Car PR: Auto industry ranks high in Brand Intimacy study

by | Apr 5, 2018 | Public Relations

The automotive industry ranked second out of the 15 studied in the latest Brand Intimacy 2018 Report—the largest study of brands based on emotions—from brand marketing firm MBLM. The industry was dethroned for the first time by media & entertainment, highlighting the trend toward escapism, relaxation and distraction.

BMW came in first in the automotive industry, followed by the Jeep brand and Toyota. Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. This year’s study again revealed that top intimate brands in the U.S. continued to surpass the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years.

The Top 10 in the automotive industry was rounded out by: Honda, Harley-Davidson, Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes, Chrysler and GMC.

Car PR: Auto industry ranks high in Brand Intimacy study

“While slipping slightly, the automotive industry still performed strongly due to the bonds it creates with consumers,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, in a news release. “The Jeep brand has risen in our 2018 Brand Intimacy Report. We just released an analysis of Jeep and found that its recent marketing efforts have been focusing on powerful emotional themes at the core of its brand, leveraging nostalgia well and utilizing today’s marketing channels to build dialogue and strong bonds.”

“We are very pleased with the Jeep brand’s improved performance in the 2018 Brand Intimacy Study,” said Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer at FCA US, in the release. “I am most proud of what we were able to do on behalf of all of our brands last year. We continued to focus on our brands’ unique identities, what differentiates them from other brands. Storytelling is a critical part of marketing and being successful hinges on the ability to make it resonate emotionally outside the walls of your company.”

Car PR: Auto industry ranks high in Brand Intimacy study

Other notable automotive findings in the report include:

  • The Jeep brand ranked first among women
  • BMW ranked first among men
  • The industry had a Brand Intimacy Quotient score of 44.9, which is higher than the average of 27.1
  • Two automotive brands were in the top 10 overall, BMW ranked third and Jeep brand ranked fourth
  • Harley-Davidson made the biggest drop, falling from the fourth overall brand in 2017 to 18th and from first in the automotive industry to fifth in 2018
  • The Jeep brand moved up from 15th overall in 2017 to fourth in 2018

This year’s report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

See the study’s complete industry rankings here.

Download the full Brand Intimacy 2018 Report here.

During 2017, MBLM with Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,000). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (i.e. 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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