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article imageApple remains the world's most intimate brand

By Tim Sandle     Mar 15, 2018 in Business
According to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, Apple again dominates. Overall, media & entertainment industry ranked first overall for the first time, triumphing over automotive. The chart reflects the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.
There are lists for the most identifiable brands, even the most loved brands. But what about ‘brand intimacy’? In 2017 a chart was issued for the first time on the emotional link between consumers and brands. This was reported on by Digital Journal ("Apple is the world’s most intimate brand"). For 2018, Apple again remains top but beneath this there have been some shifts.
The concept of ‘brand intimacy’ was developed by the company MBLM, being defined as a new paradigm that. Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, has said this concept “leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.”
With the new 2018 survey, aside from Apple remaining paramount, MBLM has revealed that the media and entertainment industry is now ranked first overall for the first time, triumphing over the automotive sector who dominated in 2017. Amazon and BMW were the second and third most intimate brands in the U.S.. The Top 10 was rounded out by: Jeep, Disney, YouTube, Target, Netflix, Whole Foods and Google.
In 2017, Disney was in second spot, followed by Amazon. The other brands which feature in the 2017 top ten are: Harley Davidson, Netflix, Nintendo, Samsung, Whole Foods, BMW and Toyota. Data for 2018 was drawn from an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,000), with an annual household income ($35,000 or more).
With 2018, retail was the number one industry for women, media and entertainment was the number one industry for men. The study also showed how Apple and Amazon have built bonds across all age groups, and each ranked within the top five for each group. Other findings of interest are:
An employee at an Atlanta Apple Store demonstrates the features of an iPad.
An employee at an Atlanta Apple Store demonstrates the features of an iPad.
Grant Robertson/Flickr Creative Commons
YouTube emerged from 25th place in 2017 to sixth in 2018, highlighting its growth ability to compete with other entertainment players.
Technology and telecommunications brands were linked to enhancement, making users more connected and smarter.
Top media and entertainment and apps & social platform brands were linked to ritual, habit-forming behaviors.
Brands within the smartphone ecosystem outperformed all others that were ranked.
As consumers moved from non-intimate to highly intimate, they were willing to pay more for a brand’s products and services.
The study also shows that being an "initiate" brand reaps financial rewards. The average revenue growth from 2007-2016 was 9.5 percent for the top 10 most intimate brands. This compared to 4.4 percent for Fortune 500 top brands and 4.6 percent for top Standard & Poor's companies. Moreover, the average profit growth during this same time period was 19.1 percent for brand intimate companies, which contrasts with 15.5 percent for Fortune 500 companies and 4.6 percent for Standard & Poor's listed companies.
The findings were presented at “Fostering Brand Intimacy in a Digital World,” at the HT-NEXT conference which took place in San Diego on March 13, 2018.
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