Brand loyalty is the Holy Grail in the quest for profitability. In fact, marketers, content creators, social media strategists, sales teams, designers and creatives depend on this essential consumer relationship for a strong business performance. In MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines brand relationship, it found that top ranked intimate brands outperform major financial indices in profit growth and revenue growth over the past 10 years. This year’s report includes 54,000 brands and responses from 6,000 consumers in the U.S., Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
Interestingly, among intimate brands there are six patterns present to some degree that identify the character and nature of ultimate brand relationships: Fulfillment (service quality exceeds expectation), Identify (aspirational or admired values), Enhancement (becoming better through use), Ritual (habitual behavior), Nostalgia (memory focused) and Indulgence (pampering). Consumers build relationships with brands Using and identifying with these patterns.
MBLM’s defines brand intimacy as an essential relationship between a person and a brand. It provides brands with the propensity to share experiences and when intimacy is achieved it results in lasting value. Measuring and understanding brand intimacy can also inform what time, what message, what media and how often a brand can connect effectively with its customers.
Overall, in the U.S. one-quarter of people surveyed (15%) have intimate brand relationships. Further, consumers under age 35 tend to have emotional relationships with technology, entertainment and retail brands, while those over 35 have stronger connections with consumer packaged goods. In terms of brand intimacy across categories, automotive industry ranked highest, retail ranked second and health and beauty ranked third; travel and leisure was the poorest performing category.
Brands are also ranked based on a Brand Intimacy Quotient. The quotient is based on prevalence and intensity (sharing, bonding, fusing). In other words, the quotient demonstrates how a brand performs relative to its ability to create brand relationships. The quotient score enables comparisons to other brands in the same category.
In the U.S. within all categories, the top three intimate brands were Apple #1, BMW #2 and Toyota #3. Within the entertainment category, Disney ranked #1, Nintendo #2 and Xbox #3 and in technology, Apple ranked first, Samsung ranked second and Google ranked third. Importantly, building emotional bonds and measuring brands can lead to new and untapped business opportunities.