FutureBrand gauges the perception of customers about the 100 biggest companies in the world on a yearly basis, and Apple takes the cake in 2016.
The survey asks 3,000 customers to rank the big enterprises by 18 different factors, such as trust, price premium, individuality and innovation.
Apple came out on top in this year's public opinion, and CNET reports that it scored more in terms of "perception strength, rather than financial strength."
The company stood out in authenticity, purpose and individuality while the places where it lacked were resource management, respect and wellbeing, according to the surveyed users.
Microsoft ranked second in the general survey, and there are some notable differences compared with Apple. The iPhone manufacturer scored higher than Microsoft in personality and consistency, while customers said that Microsoft beats Apple in terms of innovation.
FutureBrand notes that the top two spots in its ranking belong to tech enterprises, with "strong perceptions across our measures."
Out of the 24 "future brands," six are from the technology sector. In 2015, seven of the "future brands" belonged to the tech field.
The survey company defines "future brands" as brands that have a high chance to grow in the future. One of the defining characteristics of such a brand is that it has a consistent balance between the customers' perception of its purpose and its delivered experience.
Last year, Apple lost the first place on account of Google taking over. However, Google losing the first place in 2016 might have something to do with the internal reorganization that the company underwent recently.
As the search engine company is regarded by the survey as a division of its parent company, Alphabet, only the latter will show up in FutureBrand's inquiry. The fact that Alphabet is not as widely known as Google could be the reason why the company only sits on place 21 out of 100.
Other notable presences at the top of the survey are companies such as Amazon, Disney, Samsung, Facebook and Toyota.
If we look exclusively at the technology sector, Apple's numbers are even more impressive. The OEM ranks 36 percent more than the sector average in thought leadership, and it sits above the average by 33 percent when looking at its habit of delivering high quality products.
From the list of respondents in the survey, 37 percent more than the average said that they would enjoy working for Apple. However, when looking at the perks a company offers, none can measure up to Google, as we showed in our coverage.