As the specter of distrust continues to loom over the financial services industry, the sector sees its brand intimacy ranking plunge again this year, as it was ranked 11th out of the 15 groups studied in the latest Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, the largest study of brands based on emotions, from marketing intimacy agency MBLM.
The industry slipped only one spot since 2018, but has dropped five spots since 2017. American Express dominated the industry, followed by Visa and PayPal. The remaining brands in the Top 10 for the financial services industry were: Capital One, Chase, MasterCard, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and US Bank.
“While very important in our daily lives, the financial services industry again dropped in our annual study. Continued issues with trust, service and technology innovations are hindering consumers connecting with brands in this category,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner of MBLM, in a news release. “This suggests financial services brands need to change what they are doing and focus more on emotion and building bonds to help nurture stronger connections and improve perceptions.”
Other noteworthy financial services industry findings include:
- American Express was the #1 brand for women, users over 35, and users with incomes of $100,000 or more
- PayPal topped the category for men
- Visa ranked first for millennials
- Capital One was #1 for users with incomes under $100,000
- Credit card brands American Express, Visa and MasterCard all showed improvement from 2018
In conjunction with the findings, MBLM took a closer look at American Express’ success, exploring the brand’s rise in the industry, and how it leverages emotion to connect with consumers by conveying characteristics that are generally less associated with the category. The brand also utilizes differentiation, membership incentives and powerful connections with key demographics.
American Express has improved its Brand Intimacy Quotient from 32.7 to 38.6, which allowed it to jump from the #3 spot to #1, overcoming PayPal and Chase.
The Brand Intimacy 2019 Study 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 interactive Data Dashboard, which features a brand ranking tool, showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.
Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. 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 Brand Intimacy 2019 Study.
During 2018, 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).