Apps & social brands playing key role in new world of social distancing

by | Apr 23, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from brand intimacy agency MBLM, apps and social platforms are playing a key role in the new world of social distancing, which could be impacting the way consumers connect to them emotionally. The firm, which explores the emotional science behind building more intimate brands, analyzes the industry and how its brand intimacy profile may be changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consumers’ increased usage.

The agency also announced the apps & social platforms findings of its Brand Intimacy 2020 Study, the largest study of brands based on emotions. The study, now in its 10th year, revealed that Spotify ranked #1 in the industry followed by Pinterest and Apple Music. The remaining brands in the top 10 for the apps & social platforms industry were: Facebook, Instagram, Pandora, Snapchat, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, LinkedIn and Venmo.

Apps & social brands playing key role in new world of social distancing

U.S. Top 10 Most Intimate Apps & Social Platforms Brands, According to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study

Brand Intimacy is more relevant than ever as brands must alter their roles and relevance during today’s challenging times. Top intimate brands in the U.S. continued to significantly outperform the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to the study.

The apps & social platforms industry is playing an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic

It is a resource for disseminating information and also for keeping people engaged. For example, both health care practitioners and consumers have greatly increased their social media conversations around disease states recently. Apps are also being highlighted as a tool for connecting people with family, friends and colleagues while social distancing. Brands are also taking notice of consumers’ shifting needs, for example, due to the increase in its app usage, Pinterest launched a new ecommerce merchant program. Snapchat has created a new lens to help people donate to WHO’s COVID-19 relief fund. And Apple Music started a $50 million relief fund to help ensure indie musicians are paid during the pandemic.

MBLM’s latest article, “Apps & Social Platforms: Why Social, Why Now?,” details the past performance of brands in this space and how COVID-19 has created a new role and rituals for social brands.

Apps & social brands playing key role in new world of social distancing

“Apps & social platforms have become more essential in helping us feel connected during the current crisis,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner of MBLM, in a news release. “Although historically weak performers at building emotional connections, the current landscape presents an opportunity for these brands to forge stronger bonds with their audiences and attract new ones.”

Additional significant apps & social platforms findings in the U.S. include:

  • Apple Music was the top brand for men, while women, millennials and those earning $100,000 or less preferred Spotify
  • Those over the age of 35 and consumers who earn more than $100,000 ranked Pinterest as their top brand in the category
  • Consumer preference for Apple Music and Facebook increased
  • Enhancement, which relates to becoming better through use of the brand, was the archetype most associated with the category, and Pinterest was the top brand for enhancement

View the apps & social platforms industry findings here.

Download the full Brand Intimacy 2020 Study here.

During 2019, MBLM with Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,200 consumers in the U.S. (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,200). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (18 to 64 years of age) and annual household income ($35,000 or more) in the U.S. and socioeconomic levels in Mexico and the UAE (A, B and C socioeconomic levels). 

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter