By Eric V | on 06/07/16

Why people are so eager to invest in these 3 tech companies

When we asked 10,000 people across the U.S. their impressions about the companies that made the Fortune 100 list, the idea was to understand how people felt about the world’s most valuable companies.

And as we unravel the stories we find within the data, we’re learning a lot: A big divide exists between the companies prefered by liberals and conservatives, the places people most want to work actually have a lot in common, and much more.

But by far one of the most striking stories is the overwhelmingly positive impression people have of technology companies.

As a whole, the tech industry was the sector where people gave the highest marks. That’s comparing it to the 16 other industries that make up Fortune’s list.

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Here’s what people said about the technology sector:

Most influential — No.1
Most positive global impact — No. 1
Most innovative — No. 1
Most trustworthy — No. 2
Place they’d most like to work — No. 2

But at the end of the day, the rank of the Fortune 500 list is decided by the total annual revenue of the companies on it. It’s about dollars. And on top of everything we’ve already mentioned, people also ranked technology as the No. 1 industry they’d like to invest in.

Why? We thought we’d try to find out, using our own data and with a little help from our friends.

Three tech companies stood out above all the rest

The top 5 companies people said they’d invest in were:

1. Amazon
2. Alphabet (Google)
3. Apple

4. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
5. Walt Disney

When the top spots of this list are all inhabited by tech companies, you know there’s a trend. And if you look at the companies’ places on the actual Fortune 500 list, you can start to see why.

All 3 companies have gained significant ground this year.

Amazon: For the first time, e-commerce behemoth Amazon made it into the top 25 of the Fortune 500 list. With $107 billion in revenue, it jumped from 29th place to 18th. Add to that a three consecutive quarters of beating analyst expectations on its quarterly earnings, and it’s no wonder why so many people said they’d invest in Amazon.

Across the board, our respondents agreed. Males, females and everyone under 60 called Amazon the No. 1 company they’d like to invest in. Even people over 60 put the company at No. 2.

Alphabet: While companies across the U.S. pay attention to when the Fortune 500 list drops each summer, tech companies have their own data dump they look forward to each year.

When venture capitalist Mary Meeker of the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers releases her comprehensive report on internet trends each year, the tech world listens very closely.

One of the report’s main findings? Alphabet is absolutely dominating the internet advertising economy. Alphabet outpaced industry competitors, growing 18% last year while the rest of the industry grew just 13%. The one outlier was Facebook. The social media giant grew its advertising revenue by 59% last year, but it’s total revenue is still just a fraction of Alphabet’s.

Online ads are the core of Alphabet’s $75 billion in revenue, which puts the Alphabet at 36th on the Fortune 500 list.

Nearly all the demographics we surveyed put Alphabet in the No. 2 spot for the company they’d most like to invest in—males and people between the ages of 18 and 60. Females placed the company in a slightly lower ranking at No. 4, while people over 60 had a dramatically different impression, ranking them at No. 14.

Apple: This year Apple made it to the No. 3 spot on Fortune’s list, with revenue of almost $234 billion. That’s up from No. 5 last year.

But, the company’s at a turning point. According to the same Kleiner Perkins report, smartphone growth (and by extension Apple’s bread-and-butter product, the iPhone) has begun to flatten out. Last year, smartphone shipments grew by 28% year over year, this year they’ve grown only 10%.

So what’s Apple’s next move? Whatever it is, people believe it will be big enough to put their money behind.

Overall, women called the No. 3 company they’d most want to invest in, while men and people aged 18-44 said it was No. 4. People ages 45 and up said it was the No. 5 company they’d most want to invest in.

So what did all three of these companies have in common? They built a brand that was so widely recognized that everyone wanted to be a part of it. The proof is in the data.

Have you built a brand that people are willing to invest their hard-earned money in? Are you even on their radar? It’s hard to know unless you ask.

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