The world has spoken: YouGov’s Global Recommend Rankings 2021
July 15th, 2021, YouGov

The world has spoken: YouGov’s Global Recommend Rankings 2021

Word-of-mouth recommendations are a powerful measure of brand affinity among consumers. In YouGov’s Global Recommend Rankings, discover the brands whose customers are most likely to recommend them, even amid a year full of disruptions and change.

Our metric, based on a question put to consumers around the world on a daily basis, tracks whether customers of a brand would recommend its products or services to friends or colleagues.

The most recommended brands around the world

At no. 1 in the Global Recommend Rankings is Japanese automaker Toyota. The pandemic has impacted sales of many companies, but Toyota’s reputation has proven resilient. Toyota is the most recommended brand among all customers in YouGov’s analysis and that’s not the only success the car brand is enjoying - its RAV4 is the best-selling SUV in America in the first half of 2021. And at a global level, Toyota’s sales were up year-on-year between October and December 2020, driven primarily by sales in North America, Europe, China, and Japan.

Another automaker, Mercedes-Benz, also makes its way into the Recommend Rankings at no. 8 on the list. The German-based luxury car brand was able to record a net profit last year, with nearly all of it coming in the fourth quarter and helped by the swift economic recovery in China—the biggest market for Mercedes-Benz cars.


Netflix is the second most recommended brand amid the pandemic. Its global dominance was only reinforced by the disruptions brought on by COVID-19, which kept people at home and in need of entertainment and distraction. In YouGov’s recent International Media Consumption 2021 report, more than half of global consumers in 17 markets say they streamed video content last year (57%). Netflix responded to the change in media consumption by releasing several exclusive shows and original films as an influx of consumers flocked to their devices and in front of screens.

Other tech brands such as Samsung (no. 3 on the list) and Apple (no. 8) saw a boom especially as people adjusted to a “new normal” but still needed to communicate and stay in touch with another. Samsung, which supplies a range of domestic appliances as well as mobile phones and TVs, came top of our Technology Rankings this year, too, which track Impression for brands across the globe, making it a great year for the brand.

At the middle of our Global Recommend Rankings for 2021 are apparel retailers Nike, Adidas and Uniqlo. Consumer preference for athleisure and loungewear only accelerated as many people spent larger part of their time at home and the three apparel brands benefited from this demand, as well as the way they managed it.

Travel companies such as Airbnb (no. 7) and (no. 10) also saw surges in demand throughout periods of 2020 and early 2021 - at least in some countries. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on travel plans last year, home-sharing and alternate lodging rentals were positioned well to take advantage of long-duration bookings given increased opportunities for people to work remotely.

For those whose only option was domestic travel this year, Airbnb increased local supply as homeowners latched on to the opportunities the platform gave them. The brand’s Recommend Rankings success suggests that the platform – and its landlords – did a good job of ensuring customers went home happy.

Methodology: The YouGov Recommend Rankings 2021 are calculated using data we collect from members of the public in markets around the globe every day, from our flagship YouGov BrandIndex tool.

Every brand’s performance is tracked daily against a range of metrics, and our Recommend ranking measures the percentage of a brand’s customers who would recommend it to a friend or colleague. The rankings data can be further developed with YouGov Recommend+ a fresh approach to understanding consumer advocacy.

YouGov Recommend+ is a highly cost-effective NPS® diagnostics approach that gives marketers the full picture on what drives existing and potential promoters by speaking directly to those customers who recommend your brand.

YouGov BrandIndex draws data from interviews with our 15 million registered panel members across 40 sectors and more than 55 countries globally. This year’s ranking includes consumer views from across 33 markets, including USA, China, Germany, India and the UK, and many more.

Want to see how other markets compare? Our annual rankings highlights the top 10 recommended brands across 33 markets and top 10 most improved brands across 29 markets. Click here to get a copy.