Not all brands are equal when it comes to connecting with customers. Some successful brands can bond with their audiences emotionally. As a result, it creates a lasting relationship between brands and their customers.
MBLM recently released its annual Brand Intimacy Study 2020, ranking the top ten most intimate brands. Amazon topped the list with a narrow lead over Disney.
For small businesses, finding customers and keep them loyal is a big challenge. However, knowing how some big brands bond with their customers to build an intimate relationship can certainly help small businesses create a loyal customer base.
Top 10 Most Intimate Brands
Every year, MBLM looks at brands based on emotion to create a list of the top 10 most intimate brands.
This time, the company surveyed consumers to know their experience with nearly 400 brands across 15 industries to prepare its list of intimate brands.
Here are the top 10 most intimated brands:
How MBLM Ranked Brand that Create Emotional Bonds With Customers
MBLM has developed its brand intimacy model over a decade. What’s more, it has validated its model through quantitative and qualitative research.
The company surveys the users of brands to asses their emotional connection with brands, characteristics of their bonds with brands, and degree of intimacy to prepare the list of top most intimate brands. Then, it assigns an intimacy quotient (1-100) to brands based on the percent of users who are intimate with brands, the characteristics of their bonds, and the intensity of their bonds.
How Customers Bond With Brands
MBLM gauges characteristics of users’ bond with the following patterns:
- Fulfillment- delivering products/services of supreme quality
- Identity- showing admired values
- Enhancement- becoming better through using products/services
- Ritual- users include brands in the day-to-day lives
- Nostalgia- users having good memories of brands
- Indulgence- creating a close relationship around moments of joy
And to assess the intensity of the intimate brand relationship, it looks at following three stages:
- Sharing- users and brands interact
- Bonding- it is users feel an attachment towards brands
- Fusing- it is when users and brands are co-identified
Here is the most intimate brand, Amazon, on the list:
Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM stated, “We are thrilled to celebrate our 10th year of examining brands based on emotion. The concept of Brand Intimacy is important for marketers because emotion has been proven to drive purchase decisions, and also long-term customer bonds. Our yearly study reveals the changing landscape including which brands or industries perform best against different demographics,”
“Amazon’s rise to the top is something we forecasted for years based on the insights we’ve been gathering. The brand’s dominance and breadth of portfolio have formed both intense and essential bonds with consumers. Examining top performers like Amazon can give us clues on how others can achieve their growth and success,” he continued.
Key Takeaways for Small Businesses
Intimate brands, as the survey states, outperform Fortune 500. So, small businesses should make efforts to turn out as intimate businesses. And there is only one way to do it – to make a bond with consumers.
Following are some tips for small business to build emotional bonds with customers:
- Never adopt a one-size-fits-all approach
- Always treat your customers as people, not just as money transactions
- Embrace the speed and simplicity of social media to reach out to customers
- Show your appreciation to your customers
Last but not least, you should strive to offer top-class products/services.
About the Survey
MBLM and Praxis Research Partners surveyed 6,200 consumers across the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Amirates to evaluate brands. The main objective of the survey was to know how customers bond to brands. You can click here to know more about Brand Intimacy Study 2020.
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Surprised that Amazon beat out Disney here. Disney fans are some of the most emotionally invested people I know (maybe my opinion is skewed by my 4 year-old’s current obsession with Frozen II)
Hello Robert, you made a good observation here. Without any doubt, Disney fans are some of the most emotionally invested people in the world, including me. Thanks for the comment!
Sandeep: Why did the survey include the United Arab Amirates? How about the rest of the Western world, outside the United States?
Hello Martin, I just covered the survey. I also believe that it should include a large part of the world.
I guess it is a challenge for business owners. They need to look at how they can connect with their customers on a different level.
Yes, Aira. Businesses need to find ways to connect with their audiences. Thanks for the comment!