Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
When it comes to humans loving brands, you might think they commit themselves most to the shiny, the sexy and the beautiful.
Surely you’ve seen eyes glaze over and tears fall at the sight of something from Gucci or, um, Facebook.
The truth, though, may be more parochial.
Perhaps the reality is that the brands we fall in lasting love with are those who will always come home at night, never complain and even offer us gifts once in a while.
I deduce this from perusing the annual Harris Poll Brand Reputation Quotient Survey.
It’s compiled on the basis of more than 25,000 people saying that a brand represents values such as social responsibility and emotional appeal.
And, unlike in many brand surveys, grocery brands show very highly.
At the top is Amazon.
It isn’t quite a grocery brand. Instead, it recently went shopping to buy one.
However, at number 2 is a brand you might not expect.
It comes 27 places above Apple, 26 places above Google, 52 places above Starbucks, 47 places above Target 88 places above United Airlines and, oh, 97 places above the Weinstein Company.
As my colleague and former Wegmans employee Suzanne Lucas recently described, this east coast grocery chain is a rather fine and thoughtful place to work.
Indeed, last year Wegmans was named the second-best employer in the country.
Why, one Forbes writer Pamela Danziger even revealed that her daughter wouldn’t move anywhere there wasn’t a Wegmans. (Madam, we should talk.)
Time after time, it’s voted favorite by its customers. In a Market Force Information survey, it scored a 77 percent favorable rating, as opposed to Walmart’s, oh, 31 percent.
In the Harris survey, it did have grocery competition from H-E-B (6th) and Publix (8th).
But it’s not as if Wegmans tries too hard. It seems content to be itself and think only about the people it employs and the people who shop there.
When you go to the company’s website, for example, you see something so desperately dated as to seem like it was from an era well before the iPhone was born.
Yet here it is inspiring the sort of brand reputation that so many would crave.
Moreover, it’s only on the east coast, so it hasn’t even experienced enlightened civilization. (Yes, please start penning your complaints now.)
Or perhaps that’s its secret. It’s a beacon of civilization in an increasingly insane world.