Apps & social platforms not clicking in brand intimacy—which brands lead?

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Public Relations

You’d think that social platforms and apps would be among the highest brand groups in making emotional connections with consumers since they are so engaging and personal, but the category overall performed rather poorly, ranking 15th among the 20 industries in the Brand Intimacy 2022 Study, the largest study of brands based on emotions, from marketing intimacy agency MBLM.

Within the category, Twitter proved to be the most intimate brand, with Zoom and Facebook rounding out the top three brands. The researchers found that a top keyword for Twitter was “entertainment.” Top keyword for Zoom was “emotional” and Facebook’s was “connections.”

The remaining brands in the top ten for apps & social platforms are: TikTok, LinkedIn, Instagram, Hinge, Microsoft Teams, Google Maps and Airbnb. Uber, Waze and Clubhouse ranked last among the 26 brands in the category. Consistent with previous years, MBLM also found that top intimate brands outperformed Fortune 500 top brands across profit, revenue, and stock performance.

Apps & social platforms not clicking in brand intimacy—which brands lead?

Twitter, an elder statesman in its category, narrowly missed a spot among the top 50 brands in the study, ranking 54th overall. Zoom (76th overall) was the only industry peer to join Twitter among the top 100 brands. The remainder of the top 10 brands in the apps & social platform category were ranked far away from the leader in Brand Intimacy, Disney: Facebook (119), Tik Tok (154), LinkedIn (181), Instagram (182), Hinge (183), Microsoft Teams (195), Google Maps (218) and Airbnb (235).

“Although people use some of these brands every day, apps & social platforms generally underperform in our study, which could be a result of many factors and challenges,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, in a news release. “Some of the brands in this category may be seen as ubiquitous, while intimacy among others may be shaded by issues related to trust or privacy. And further segmenting the category, some of the apps & platforms may also have difficulties building a separate identity that breaks through the clutter.”

Apps & social platforms not clicking in brand intimacy—which brands lead?

The report also showed that among brands in this category:

  • Apps & social platforms average Brand Intimacy Quotient score is below the cross-industry average of 36.8—however, the industry did improve its Quotient score performance by 23 percent since our 2021 study.
  • When it comes to dating apps, Hinge breaks away from the pack with a strong Identity archetype and a quotient score of 38.0; compared to Bumble (31.7 score) and Tinder (27.5 score) who rank high in Enhancement
  • When it comes to ride-sharing apps, Lyft (ranked 401 with a keyword of “rely”) narrowly edges Uber (ranked 421 with a keyword of “convenience”) in the overall rankings
  • Apple Music was in the 371th slot in the overall rankings and with a quotient score of 25.9 percent and was ranked 19th in the industry, behind Pandora, which ranked 258th overall and 11th in the industry
  • Looking at consumers who mention apps & social platforms, Hinge ranks highest in terms of users in some sort of intimacy with the brand (29.1 percent), followed by Pandora (27.6 percent), compared to brands at the bottom of the list including Waze (0.7 percent) and Clubhouse 4.7 percent)
  • Clubhouse ranks 428th overall and has an industry ranking of 26th with 4.7 percent of users showing some form of intimacy with the brand
  • Zoom ranked highest in terms of fusing, scoring a 19 for the depth and degree of intensity in the relationships users have with the brand.  Comparatively, Apple Music (0) and Lyft (0) are at the other end of the spectrum and fall well below the industry average.

MBLM also released an article examining the performances of Twitter and Facebook, “Why Twitter Is Trending: Comparing Twitter and Facebook’s Performance in the 2022 Brand Intimacy Study.” The agency observes that newer, platform-specific features and shifting demographics within the two companies have contributed to a notable change in the way people talk about and use each. Unique success in the indulgence archetype gave Twitter an edge needed to dominate the apps & social platforms industry as the most intimate brand.

The Brand Intimacy 2022 Study contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion. The scale of the study included more than 600 brands and more than 1.4 billion words analyzed over 2021.

Download the Apps & Social Platforms report here.

Download the complete study here.

Read the study methodology here.

The enhanced 2022 study combines MBLM’s proven Brand Intimacy model with the power of AI and big data to analyze over 600 brands, assessing how consumers bond with the brands they use and love. 

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


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