Automotive industry ranks #2 in brand intimacy—which brands lead?

by | Aug 26, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

Taking a victory lap in the latest brand intimacy rankings, the automotive industry ranked #2 out of the 15 industries studied by MBLM (pronounced Emblem), the agency using emotional science to build more intimate brands during these unprecedented times.

The firm’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study, the largest study of brands based on emotions, announced the automotive industry findings, revealing that Ford topped the industry followed by Jeep and BMW. The remaining brands in the top 10 for the automotive industry were Chevrolet, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Harley-Davidson, GMC and Audi, according to the study, now in its 10th year.

Automotive industry ranks #2 in brand intimacy—which brands lead?

Why is brand intimacy important?

Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love, and has become more important as brands adjust the ways they connect with consumers today. According to the research, 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.

“The automotive industry continues to perform very well in our annual study with four brands in the top 10 most intimate brands,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, in a news release. “The industry has been so successful because of the important relationship that people have with their cars and the ways in which they connect with them. We believe that automotive brands can deepen and enhance their relationships even further by looking for new ways to build bonds with customers.”

Additional noteworthy automotive industry findings in the U.S. include:

  • The U.S. automotive industry had an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 46.2
  • Ford ranked #1 in the industry and had broad appeal; it was the top brand among men, millennials and consumers over 35 years old
  • Ford was also the leading automotive brand among users with incomes under $100,000, whereas users with incomes over $100,000 preferred BMW
  • Women ranked Chevrolet as their top automotive brand
  • Fulfillment, the archetype related to performance, was the most prominent in the industry, and Toyota was the top-performing brand for fulfillment

The report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,200 consumers and 56,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and rankings tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

View the automotive 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


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