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Which Brands are Most Admired for Putting People First?

In this day and age, a lot of companies talk about aspiring to serve a bigger purpose beyond just financial success.  They want to positively impact shareholders and all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and society.  By committing to delivering value for a broader stakeholder audience, these companies prioritize people as much as profits.  Our company mantra is “People First,” so we’re inspired by brands that adopt this mindset as essential to their business strategy and culture.

Which brands do consumers admire most for genuinely caring about more than just profits? And which brands do consumers view as being singularly motivated by profit? We’ve been continuously tracking over 250 notable brands since 2020 to see what people think, and we’re fascinated by the results so far. 

The standout leader in our research is Bombas Socks. No other company comes close.  Bombas took a highly commoditized, functional item and turned it into something people feel passionate about. 

From our study, here are the top 10 most highly-rated brand that “genuinely cares about things other than just profits”:

  1. Bombas Socks
  2. Chick-fil-a
  3. TOMS
  4. Kiehl’s
  5. Melissa & Doug
  6. Orangetheory
  7. Ben & Jerry’s
  8. TheRealReal   
  9. Gilead Sciences
  10. Trader Joe’s

On the flip side, other brands are perceived as pursuing profit at all costs. Goop had the lowest rating in our study, followed closely by Facebook.  Other social media brands like Twitter and Snapchat also fell near the bottom of our rankings. Additionally, digital tech platforms designed to match people up for things like dates (Tinder, Match), ticket exchanges (StubHub), and ridesharing (Uber) also scored poorly on this attribute. Some industries’ brands may inherently face an uphill battle in enhancing their reputation for putting people first—but they can do it. For example, Lyft ranks quite a bit better than Uber.    

We’re passionate about this critical dimension of brand equity, and we’ll continue monitoring which companies are moving up and which continue to struggle.

Want to know how your brand stacks up and why?  Reach out any time—we love talking with brands about where they stand and, importantly, what they can do to elevate purpose in their organizations and deliver more value to all stakeholders.  


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