Introducing America’s Hottest Brands of 2021
As summer heats up, Ad Age is serving up the 20 buzziest brands in business today. The annual list of America’s Hottest Brands chronicles the brands that are having a moment—through a resurgence of popularity, capitalizing on newfound fame or through a modern reboot of a well-loved franchise.
This year’s list highlights trends that are taking our culture by storm, including a brand that could be called the poster child for viral commerce and one that went mainstream through vaccine marketing. Some brands are fortunate enough to take advantage of trends, such as e-commerce and loungewear, brought on by the pandemic. Others, including a fast-growing cannabis company, are only now able to expand because of newly loosened laws. And several are gaining ground because of cultural momentum and a new focus on Black-owned businesses.
Not all brands on this year’s list will continue to sizzle—some could be just peaking now. Last year’s inclusion of Tiger King taught us how fleeting fame can be—Joe Exotic is still serving out his 22-year prison sentence and actor Dennis Quaid just dropped out of a Tiger King movie.
Yet the vast majority of the brands Ad Age has picked have gone on to reach new levels of success. TikTok, which was on Ad Age’s list in 2019, went on to be crowned our Marketer of the Year, as brands from Walmart to Citi clamor to market on the channel. Peloton, which was on last year’s list, recently reported a 141% rise in quarterly sales to $1.3 billion—and shares rose 12% as a result, despite the company’s expectation of a $165 million financial hit from its treadmill recall. Zoom continues to be the platform du jour for remote workers across the country and Headspace just rolled out a new Netflix special.
Check out which brands made the cut this year below, and tune back in on July 13, when Ad Age goes behind the scenes to see what makes some of the brands on our list tick. Register for Ad Age In-Depth: America’s Hottest Brands a digital conference here.