By Ashley Watson, dealnews writer Have you ever thought about why your favorite brand ranks above all the others? The people at Interbrand Design Forum certainly have, with their list of "Best Retail Brands," which ranks the top 50 brands of 2011. Not surprisingly, Walmart comes in at number 1, closely followed by Target, Home Depot, Best Buy and CVS. There were a few surprises, however. Amazon barely made it in the top ten at number nine, Abercrombie & Fitch didn't make the list at all this year, and Macy's moved up from 50 to 48 because the company "does a great job branding every customer touchpoint," according to the report. What are some of those touchpoints? Interbrand’s report highlights three "emerging trends" for 2011: Customer’s demand for a more seamless retail experience. The need for human touch in all interactions. An increasingly interrelated global retail market. The report also reveals that the categories of apparel and electronics are thriving, as evidenced by Anthropologie's debut on the list. "Anthropologie continues to weave together compelling stories around apparel, home and accessories for the 25- to 40-year-old wealthier woman, a position that makes it largely immune to downturns. It was only edged off the list last year by the overall shopper flight to value," according to the report. Anthropologie and its sister company, Urban Outfitters, also won the National Retail Federation's "Retail Innovator of the Year." While electronics and apparel remain afloat in this sinking economy, grocery retailers are struggling this year, with the exception of Whole Foods, Woolworths and Tesco, due to "their ability to understand customers and reinvent what a grocery retailer can offer," say Interbrand experts. Still, Interbrand thinks that even in the midst of the most recent crises, "our report shows true and measurable signs of optimism." Ultimately, the report states that retailers need to learn how to maintain that optimism and "truly connect with skeptical and savvier customers." To do this, they need to embody the three touchpoints that Interbrand places at the helm of success. "Retailers need to focus on crafting a true point of view," the report states. "This means ensuring that each and every touchpoint — whether it is brick-and-mortar, digital, mobile or internal &mdsaah; is infused and operating with the same unique brand story." What matters to you most as a consumer?online surveys Ashley Watson is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Vermont. When she's not writing fordealnews, she's working on an independent film project and writing and editing screenplays. You can follow her by signing up for an email alert for all dealnews features. Brands photo credit: thegirlriot's album DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).