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). Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region.

Respondents completed a 20-minute survey that delved into the emotional connections that consumers have with brands across 15 industries: apparel, apps & social platforms, automotive, beverages, consumer goods, fast food, financial services, health & hygiene, hospitality & theme parks, appliances, luxury, media & entertainment, retail, technology & telecommunications and travel.

We crafted the survey instrument using insight from extensive qualitative research conducted on the topic of Brand Intimacy as well as previous quantitative research. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships.

During the survey, respondents:

  • completed a sorting exercise to help understand the strength of their connection with brands
  • revealed their usage and satisfaction levels with key brands
  • indicated the extent to which they could, or could not live without certain brands
  • Indicated the degree to which they would recommend certain brands
  • rated brands on carefully crafted attribute/benefit statements. These ratings formed the basis of our modeling process

Each brand was scored on our Brand Intimacy Quotient. The Quotient is a composite measure that reflects the intensity of the relationship between consumers and brands as well as the prevalence (usage) of the brand. The higher the Quotient score, the more intense the emotional relationship with a brand.

It is important to note that this research provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers. We modeled data from over 6,000 interviews and approximately 54,000 brand evaluations to quantify the mechanisms that drive intimacy. Through factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and other sophisticated analytic techniques, the research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between their brand and consumers. Thus, marketers will understand not only where their brand falls in the hierarchy of performance but also how to strengthen performance in the future.