Amazon ranked #1 for women in the U.S. in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, which is the largest study of brands based on emotion. Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. Disney and Apple rounded out the top three brands for women. The remaining brands to round out the top 10 were: Netflix, Chick-fil-A, Target, Costco, Chevrolet, Ford and BMW.

“More and more, marketers need to understand that the way women build bonds with brands varies greatly and that few universals apply to all women,” stated Rina Plapler, partner at MBLM. “However, from our research, we have found that women are more likely than men to form emotional connections with brands and that the archetypes of ritual and indulgence play an important role.”

Additional notable findings in the U.S. include:

  • Women ages 18-34 ranked Target first, while those between 35-64 years old chose Amazon
  • Those making between $35,000-$75,000 picked Amazon first, whereas study participants making over $75,000 selected Disney
  • Women formed more intimate bonds than men in apps & social platforms, consumer goods, fast food, health & hygiene, luxury, retail and travel
  • Women were more likely to say they could not live without intimate brands than men (16.3% vs. 14.4%)

In conjunction with the findings, MBLM released a piece examining the key takeaways across the U.S., Mexico and the UAE entitled, “Women and Brand Intimacy.” In it is analysis, MBLM revealed:

  • In Mexico, Mastercard ranked #1 and in the UAE, Chanel placed first for women
  • Apple was the only brand to be in the top 10 for women across all three research markets
  • Women in Mexico experienced intimacy at greater rates than women in the U.S. and the UAE. Approximately 40 percent of Mexican women surveyed felt an emotional connection to brands, compared to 32 percent in the UAE and only 23 percent in the U.S.
  • Women in Mexico had higher quotient rates than those of women in the U.S. and the UAE. This is a change from last year, when women in the UAE had the highest levels of emotional connection
  • This is the first year women in all three markets had a higher average quotient score than men, suggesting that women are connecting more strongly with brands, on average, compared to men
  • Like last year, in all three markets, indulgence (centered on moments of pampering and gratification) and ritual (being ingrained into daily actions, becoming a vital part of daily existence) are stronger among women than among men
  • Women have higher rates of bonding in all three markets compared to men. Bonding is the stage when an attachment is created and the relationship between a person and a brand becomes more significant and committed

MBLM also hosted a webinar on the findings, and a recording of it can be seen here. Additionally, MBLM offers Custom Dashboards providing extensive data for brands included in its annual Brand Intimacy Study. To download the full Brand Intimacy 2019 Study or explore the Data Dashboard, click here.

Methodology & Sources

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). Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships from fairly detached to highly intimate. 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 6,200 interviews and approximately 56,000 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.

To read a more detailed description of MBLM’s approach, visit its Methodology page.

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