20% More Money Goes to Brands Mastering Intimacy
Not only do consumers value emotional bonds with brands, they’ll pay 20 percent more for that brand intimacy than they will on products and services with which they have no emotional attachment, finds MBLM’s “2018 Brand Intimacy Report.”
The research announced in an emailed press release yesterday is the first installment of marketing agency MBLM’s survey of consumers about their feelings for brands. The findings concern more than the rankings, though, which are:
- Whole Foods
“Our collective need to escape, cocoon and be entertained is growing, particularly with those 35 and under,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM. “Brands that are optimizing content for our preferences dominated in 2017 by creating strong bonds and powerful connections. We expect this trend to continue in 2018.”
To that end, the media and entertainment vertical emerged as the top industry, according to the report. That, coupled with apps and social platforms, shows how habit-forming products can create emotional bonds with consumers.
The study overview reads, in part:
“We are excited by the findings emerging this year; the fast-rising and those brands that excel with Generation Z point to a bright future. Brands within the smartphone ecosystem continue to thrive, as do automotive brands.”
(In last year’s survey, automotive brands scored highest. This year, it’s media and entertainment.)
The research focuses on brand intimacy because MBLM says emotion “drives behavior and willingness to purchase.”
This is a sentiment Target Marketing’s been reporting for years, mostly through direct marketing legend Denny Hatch’s emotional copy drivers. He says these triggers prompt consumer action:
According to MBLM’s “Brand Intimacy Primer”:
“Advances in neuroscience have proven that the majority of the decisions we make are based on emotion and instinct, not rational thought and measured consideration. Furthermore, behavioral science suggests that how we feel about a brand is the best predictor of purchase.”
In addition to the 20 percent premium customers with emotional bonds with brands will pay, the study announced yesterday after being partly released on Tuesday shows:
“The average revenue growth from 2007-2016 was 9.5 percent for the top 10 most intimate brands, compared to 4.37 percent for Fortune 500 top brands and 4.59 percent for top S&P companies. The average profit growth during this same time period was 19.14 percent for brand intimate companies, compared to 15.46 percent for Fortune 500 companies and 4.59 percent for S&P companies.”
This may be the most exciting research finding, MBLM says. And it demonstrates that “building stronger bonds with customers creates a strong financial return.”
Apple’s secret, the report states, is that it’s “strongly linked to enhancement, making users smarter and more connected.” That’s why it’s No. 1 for the third year in a row.
Amazon is the top brand in retail, an industry which women support most, MBLM finds. Consumers aged 35 to 44 are most likely to shop on Amazon. (Target Marketing’s take on this is that it’s interesting to see a price-conscious retailer be rated in brand intimacy, because price-driven customers can be fickle.)
Men aged 45 to 64 love the No. 3 brand, BMW.
YouTube is especially popular with Gen Z, which is mainly responsible for the brand’s rise from No. 25 last year to No. 6 in this study.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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