The multinational technology company stands out as America’s most intimate brand.
As the world changes dramatically and impacts how we buy and sell, new approaches have become a much sought-after currency for survival in today’s complex business environment.
While companies have tried various approaches, a strategy of building consumer loyalty has turned out to be one of the primary ingredients for success, turning brand intimacy into market advantage.
This new business environment has given MBLM—a self-proclaimed “brand intimacy agency” that ranks brands based on their numbers of users and the intensity of their customer relationships—the tools to study and determine this new paradigm in marketing, which is becoming key to branding success.
In their 2018 Brand Intimacy Report on the top-performing brands in the U.S., data shows that the Cupertino, California-headquartered Apple is the most “intimate” brand in the U.S., considerably ahead of all other brands, and also ranks #1 in the MBLM Mexico and UAE findings.
The company, founded by Steve Jobs, is strongly associated with lifestyle enhancement, making users feel smarter and more connected. Meanwhile, Amazon climbed to #2, improving its ranking from last year’s 3rd place; BMW is #3; Jeep seals #4 with a 42% intimate relationship with customers; Disney is #5 while Youtube, Target, Netflix, Whole Foods and Google complete the top-ten.
Intimate relationships by demographics
Brand relations with customers are also impacted by gender, age and income.
According to the index, both women and men in the U.S. feel most emotionally attached to Apple. Both genders also share the same industries among their top 5 brands: technology & telecommunications, retail, entertainment and automotive, although women favored the retail sector.
Apple, Amazon and Target build emotional bonds across all age groups (18-54), however, industries such as entertainment and retail appear to be popular among both young and older consumers.
As for income, only Apple and Amazon are intimate across all segments ($35-$150K).
Presenting a new paradigm in marketing
The study of these emotional connections we form with our brands and services has become a crucial tool for marketing executives.
On June 6th, 2018, Claude Salzberger, founder and President of MBLM, and Rodrigo Diez, Director of MBLM Mexico, presented the book “Brand Intimacy: A New Paradigm in Marketing”, by Mario Natarelli and Rina Plapler, which talks about the fast-paced, constantly-changing world of the modern marketplace and how brands must constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant.
At the event, Claude, who has personally directed some of the most highly acclaimed branding programs over the last three decades, spoke on the challenge of branding and how companies can fashion a message of empathy that helps them reach their customers.
“Companies have to be creative. To form a strategy, they have to identify the characteristics their customers are looking for, hone them and deliver a clear and intended message.
The great obstacle is finding the right creative message for the company‘s image. All the elements have to be used, because at the end of the day, it‘s the competitive edge many brands rely on.”
Brands will remain important in forming consumer habits. Nevertheless, the market continues to be open to shifts and transformations that could place any company of any industry at the top of the world’s most intimate brands.