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Amazon was the US company with the most positive "buzz" in the first half of 2014, according to a recent report from YouGov.

The ranking was based on data from the BrandIndex Buzz Poll, which regularly asks respondents this question: "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?"

Amazon ranked No. 1 on the 2013 US Buzz List and retained its top spot in the first half of 2014 thanks largely to the expansion of its Prime service and streaming media offerings, as well as the announcement of its Fire smartphone.

The Subway restaurant chain is second on the list, thanks in part to the installation of Keurig Green Mountain’s new coffee brewing machines in all its stores and its sponsorship of the NHL Playoff Overtime reports on NBC-TV.

YouTube is third on the list, followed by Ford, Netflix, Samsung, Walgreen's, Apple, Lowe's, and Google.

Carnival improved the most in positive buzz in the first half of 2014, recovering from a well-publicized series of problems on its cruise ships in 2013.

Some financial institutions made the list of top buzz improvers, including Bank of America (No. 2 most improved), Goldman Sachs (No. 9), and Wells Fargo (No. 10).

Facebook was the third-best improved in positive buzz in the first half of 2014, likely based on offering more privacy controls to its users, the purchase of messaging service WhatsApp, and the dropping of some controversial sponsored content offerings.

About the research: The report was based on 1H14 data from YouGov's BrandIndex's Buzz poll, which regularly asks respondents this question: "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?"

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji