New Survey Reveals the Most Popular Unicorn Brands

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#advertising–A new study breaks down the most popular, so-called “unicorn” brands among U.S. consumers, comparing company valuation, company growth rate and consumer demographics.

Unicorn companies are defined as privately held startups valued at least $1 billion. Many popular brands today, like Uber and Spotify, were labeled unicorns before going public.

Commissioned by McGuffin Creative Group and conducted by Digital Third Coast, the study uncovers a strong link between a unicorn company’s valuation and the percent of consumers familiar with the brand. For example, 86% of respondents are familiar with vacation rental platform Airbnb, which is valued at $35 billion, significantly higher than most unicorns.

The data also reveals that the rate at which a unicorn company grows generally has little relation to consumer awareness, with companies like JUUL Labs (growing $69 million per day) only known by 36% of consumers.

Surprisingly, there were few differences in consumer awareness across genders and ages. Airbnb and Reddit compete for the top spot across demographic segments, with Airbnb most popular among women and Generation X, and Reddit most popular among men, millennials and baby boomers.

For more on the complete survey results, visit: mcguffincg.com/best-known-unicorn-brand-statistics/.

Betsy Fiden, partner and head of marketing and strategy at McGuffin Creative Group, says the study reinforces the importance of investing in your brand presence from the startup point.

“So many unicorns have their eye on an IPO,” Fiden says. “Success here is largely based on market awareness and investor confidence. Startups can take a lesson from McGraw-Hill’s grumpy-old-man ad from the late 1950’s, which read: ‘I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know what your company stands for. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now–what was it you wanted to sell me?’”

Founded in 2004 and located in Chicago’s West Loop, McGuffin Creative Group provides creative services and marketing consulting for clients including Mayo Clinic, GE Healthcare, Bank of the West, CUNA Mutual Group, Allstate and more.

Also based in Chicago, Digital Third Coast is an award-winning internet marketing agency specializing in SEO and paid media. Their comprehensive approach to digital marketing builds a strong, and results-oriented, online presence for businesses of all sizes.


Danielle Filippone

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