The health & hygiene industry ranked eighth out of the 15 industries studied in the latest Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, the largest study of brands based on emotions, from marketing intimacy firm MBLM. Top intimate brands have outperformed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years, the research reveals.

Dove topped the industry, followed by Olay and Crest. The top 10 for the health & hygiene industry was rounded out by: Nivea, Colgate, Ivory, Head & Shoulders, Listerine, Pantene and Gillette.

“While improving its performance slightly, health & hygiene continues to be an industry that could do a much stronger job leveraging the power of emotion,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, in a news release. “These brands, which are personal and intimate by nature, are failing to fully leverage their potential and continue to fall short on performance. We believe archetypes, or the characteristics of how we bond with brands, is a great starting point for brands like these aiming to create stronger bonds with their customers.”

MBLM’s study also revealed additional insights about the health & hygiene industry including:

  • While the industry retained its eighth spot in the study, its average Brand Intimacy Quotient rose from 25.3 in 2018 to 29.6 in 2019
  • Dove was the top brand among millennials, women and users earning less than $100,000
  • Dove increased its Brand Intimacy Quotient from 34.7 in 2018 to 44.7 in 2019
  • Olay ranked first for users aged 35 and older
  • Colgate placed first among men and users earning $100,000 or more
  • Scope, which ranked third in last year’s study, did not place in the top 10 this year

The top-ranking company in the industry, Dove, is a clear leader and is relating to its customers in new and innovative ways. Earlier in 2019, the brand launched its #ShowUs initiative in partnership with Girlgaze and Getty Images. This project is “the world’s largest photo library created by women and non-binary individuals to shatter beauty stereotypes.” Unilever, the parent company of Dove, reported a 3.1 percent growth in sales in 2018.

MBLM also released a new article, “Dove Flies to First Place,” exploring the brand’s strong performance. In moving to first place in 2019, Dove improved its Brand Intimacy Quotient score by 10 points. Its percentage of users in the fusing stage, when a consumer and a brand become inexorably linked and co-identified, grew from five to seven percent. Dove has worked hard to differentiate itself from its competitors, marketing less around its products and more around consumers and emotional stories.

Health & Hygiene sector maintains healthy brand-intimacy ranking

The brand also continues to focus its brand and story on empowering women. It also perfoms well in ritual, with 60 percent of its customers saying they use Dove daily. If Dove continues to leverage the emotional and positive aspects of beauty through its branding, it will likely maintain its top position and improve upon it in the future.

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 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.

The average revenue growth from 2008-2017 was 8.68 percent for the top 10 most intimate brands, compared to 3.66 percent for Fortune 500 top brands and 4.75 percent for top S&P companies. In dollar value, this translates on average to the top 10 intimate brands having $37 billion more in total revenue over a 10-year period compared to the Fortune 500.

View health & hygiene platforms industry findings here.

MBLM also hosted a webinar on the industry, a recording of it can be found here.

Download the complete Brand Intimacy report here.

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). 

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Richard Carufel

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 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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