How Costco Became One of 2021’s Most Beloved Brands

A new survey ranks the companies that best serve their customers
Costco Halo 100
Photograph: Shutterstock

Costco is killing it in customer experience. The warehouse club chain that recently earned the top spot on Qualtrics’ 2022 Experience Index has beat out the competition yet again.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based club store claimed the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ newly released inaugural Halo 100 list that ranks how well and how responsibly brands are serving their U.S. customers.

To create the Halo 100 list highlighting excellence in delivering the experience that customers want, Forbes partnered with HundredX, a Dallas-based data and analytics company that has developed an innovative way of collecting customer experience feedback, the company said. Consumers select up to 75 brands that matter to them from more than 2,000 options and share their opinions and experience with those brands—HundredX gives money to their favorite charity in return.

The goal, founder Rob Pace said, is “to measure the outcomes you’re creating for customers vs. their other options.” The list is the result of feedback from 110,000 customers on more than 2.8 million interactions with different brands over the past year, providing insight into who’s performing well.

“Interestingly, retailers—and specifically, grocery chains—dominated [Halo 100], with Costco taking the top spot, followed closely behind by Publix and Trader Joe’s in the No. 4 and 5 spots, respectively,” said Forbes.

How did Costco capture the hearts, minds and spend of so many consumers?

Forbes points to the lengths to which Costco will go to avoid disappointing shoppers, saying, the club store “has even chartered its own ocean vessels to keep a steady supply of low-cost products flowing to its 113 million members.”

Publix, the next grocer on the Halo 100 list and WGB’s 2020 Most Trusted Grocer in America, came in at No. 4, while Trader Joe’s rounded out the top 5.

“And then there are those names that grab the spotlight less often but quietly outperform their flashier peers,” said Forbes. “Florida-based Publix comes in slightly ahead of Trader Joe’s to round out the top five, for example.”

Other grocers and c-stores “creating brands that consumers love” and winning a spot on the Halo 100 include:

1. Costco

4. Publix

5. Trader Joe’s

12. Wawa

16. Target

19. H-E-B

35. Stater Bros. Market

49. Sprouts Farmers Market

50. Sam’s Club

75. WinCo Foods

86. Kroger



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