Many up-and-coming brands from social media platforms like TikTok to generative AI companies like OpenAI are making a large impact on society. In its 20th annual Most Innovative Brands survey, brand loyalty and engagement research firm Brand Keys ranked the top brands that are standing out in nine sectors. 

While brands like Amazon, Disney and Tesla are recurring companies, consumers are noticing the innovations new companies are making. This year, 38% of the 50 available spots were taken by first-time brands. “Consumers are the ultimate jury when it comes to acknowledging and successfully adopting innovation. Brands need to recognize those expectations are the gateway to meaningful innovation,” says Brand Keys Founder and President Robert Passikof. 

“The consumer perspective regarding innovation is reflected in expectations related to product, process and culture,” says Passikof. This can be seen by the inclusion of OpenAI in the technology sector. OpenAI has made a large impact in a short amount of time resulting in its No. 1 position in its sector, above well-established companies like Apple, Samsung and Google. 

This year, the survey included an additional sector for direct-to-consumer brands. The following lists show the top three brands from each of the nine categories.

Many new brands, shown in bold, made it to the Top 50 list this year including OpenAI, Uber, Squarespace, Allbirds, WhatsApp, MAX (HBO), Caulipower and Warby Parker. 

“While consumers can’t always articulate what form they want innovation to take, a brand that can accurately [measure] what consumers emotionally expect, then [address] those expectations via innovation, will have an enormous advantage over the competition,” says Passikof. 

About the survey: 

Brand Keys surveyed a national sample of 8,120 consumers, ages 16-55.