The beverages industry continued to struggle building bonds with customers and ranked ninth out of the 15 industries studied 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. Coca-Cola maintained its top spot in the industry this year. However, reflective of the beverages industry’s below average performance and the brand’s overall ranking of 31, Coca-Cola also saw a net revenue loss of 10% in 2018.[1]

Mountain Dew climbed from #12 in the 2018 study to #2 this year, performing particularly well with millennials. Coming in third was Pepsi and the top 10 was rounded out by: Jack Daniel’s, Tropicana, Budweiser, Miller, Heineken, Coors and 7Up.

“The beverages industry is not effectively seizing the opportunity to create stronger emotional connections with its customers,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “Brands in the industry have the advantage of being inherently personal. We believe this can be leveraged to develop stronger bonds and increase both their Brand Intimacy performance as well as their overall financial performance.”

MBLM’s study also revealed other significant beverages industry findings including:

  • The industry had an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 28.5, which is below the cross-industry average of 31.0
  • Indulgence, which is related to moments of pampering and gratification, was the most prominent archetype in the category
  • Jack Daniel’s was the top-performing beverage brand for indulgence
  • Coca-Cola led across a range of incomes and among women, men, and users over 35, whereas millennials preferred Mountain Dew
  • Pepsi improved its position in the industry since last year, while Coors and Budweiser declined in the rankings

In addition to the study findings, MBLM examined Coca-Cola in an article entitled, “Bubbling at the Top.” The brand ranked first in the industry for the past three years; however, its performance has slightly declined each year, meaning it may need to revamp its strategy. Coca-Cola continues to enjoy success as an intimate brand due to a number of factors including its linkage to many archetypes and its broad appeal to both women and men, multiple age groups and different income levels. Coca-Cola improved its performance in fulfillment, enhancement and identity but declined in ritual and nostalgia. The brand has success in diversifying its product and also in improving in fusing, the most important and advance stage of Brand Intimacy. However, challengers such as Mountain Dew are emerging, which is a popular brand with millennials. In an attempt to connect with younger customers, Coca-Cola is bringing back one of its biggest marketing mishaps, New Coke, tied to Netflix’s Stranger Things, in order to attract millennials who watch the show. The brand is trying new strategies in attempting to maintain its dominance.

To view beverages industry findings, please click here. MBLM also hosted a webinar on the industry, a recording of it can be found 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.

[1] The Coca-Cola Company

See Also