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Retail industry delivers solid brand intimacy—who are the leaders?

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Public Relations

Following the pandemic-fueled disruption of 2021, retail brands made a strong showing this year for establishing emotional connections with consumers—the industry ranked third overall, behind technology & telecom, and media & entertainment, in the latest Brand Intimacy Study from marketing intimacy agency MBLM.

Trader Joe’s outperformed 21 brands in its category, with a strong association to the indulgence archetype, centered around moments of pampering and gratification, as well as 50 percent of its customers having an emotional connection with the brand.

Trader Joe’s ranking is the grocer’s first entry in the study, as measured through the firm’s artificial intelligence-driven analysis of 1.4 billion words used by consumers in discussions surrounding more than 600 brands. Trader Joe’s ranked 7 among 600+ brands in the study, ahead of other retailers that made it into the top 20, including Costco, H&M, and Amazon.

Retail industry delivers solid brand intimacy—who are the leaders?

When it comes to retail brand intimacy, keywords used most often are ‘delicious’ and ‘tasty,’ for Trader Joe’s and runner-up Costco. Trader Joe’s emerged as the more intimate brand, however, with better performance across the identity, ritual, and indulgence archetypes, as well as demonstrating better connectivity with customers though all three Brand Intimacy stages.

“Trader Joe’s is winning customer hearts and minds not only as the highest performing retailer in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2022 Study, but also among the top 10 out of hundreds of brands across industries,” said Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, in a news release. “Its focus on unique offerings, affordable prices, friendly staff and creating its own unique ethos, is effectively connecting with customers, who see it as a preferred alternative to generic, anonymous grocery store brands.”

Retail industry delivers solid brand intimacy—who are the leaders?

To see more about Trader Joe’s performance, as well as more detail on H&M and Ikea, MBLM has also released on article, “Retail Roundup.”

Overall, the study shows that consumers have increased the brands they are forming emotional connections with by 9 percent since the pandemic started. They are also building deeper connections with those brands, as brand performance has increased by 19 percent since COVID, highlighting that people are bonding with brands more deeply.

To download the Brand Intimacy 2022 Study, click here.

To read the study methodology, click here.

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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. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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