The 10 most buzzed about brands in America in 2012

Subway topped the annual list for the third straight year—despite its ‘footlong’ shortfall.

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It marks the third straight year that Subway has topped the list.

“Subway is a brand that positions itself on quality and healthiness,” Ted Marzilli, the global managing director at BrandIndex, wrote in an email to PR Daily. “In a category like quick-service restaurants (CSRs), those two attributes really help the brand stand out from its competition.”

To determine the ranking, YouGov, which tracks consumer perception of brands, asked more than 1.2 million people the following question about 1,100 brands: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news, or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” YouGov subtracted the negative answers from the positive to reach a score between -100 and 100.

Marzilli said that because the Buzz score is calculated by subtracting negative feedback from positive the brand “benefits by being less controversial” than others.

In short, a higher score means more favorable buzz.

Subway, as Marzilli pointed out, positions itself as a healthy alternative to other fast-food restaurants, helping it avoid much of the criticism around obesity and unhealthy foods heaped upon companies such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

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