When it comes to “brand intimacy,” nobody does it better than the automotive industry.
The auto industry ranked No. 1 in a new report by MBLM. The agency’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report found that Harley-Davidson placed first in the industry, followed by BMW and Toyota.
“Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand,” MBLM explains in a news release. “According to the 2017 report, top-ranked intimate brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years.”
Harley-Davidson ranked third in MBLM’s 2015 report but overtook BMW and Toyota this year.
In addition to being the strongest intimate category overall, the automotive industry also is the top industry for males, those older than 35 and those with a higher income.
The remaining brands in the top 10 for the industry are: Honda, Jeep, Chevrolet, Ford, Volvo, Mercedes and Chrysler.
“The auto industry leads all others in the degree of intimate brands,” stated Mario Natarelli, partner at MBLM. “Car brands form powerful bonds with us because they are both significant purchases and an extension of our identity and values. Cars make a statement about who we want to be and what we admire.
“As technology continues to disrupt the category in terms of car sharing, autonomous vehicles and electric/hybrids, it will be interesting to see which brands adapt best to the changing needs and priorities of their customers.”
Other notable automotive industry findings from the report in the United States include:
- The archetype most associated with the industry is fulfillment – exceeding expectations, delivering superior service, quality and efficacy – and it has the highest average fulfillment score of any industry.
- The top brand for millennials is Chevrolet, while the top brand for consumers 35 to 44 and 45 to 64 years old is Harley-Davidson.
- Harley-Davidson has had success in building and maintaining intimacy across multiple generations, placing in the top three for all age groups. Although the brand appears to be less popular with millennials, its ability to appeal to all ages is a sign of its strength as a brand.
- Millennials have less intense feelings of intimacy for their top brands than the older groups. The average brand intimacy quotient for the top three automotive brands for millennials is 59.5, while the top brands of consumers ages 35 to 44 average a score of 62.3, and those of consumers over 45 average a score of 62.6.
- Millennials are more comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles than consumers of other generations (47 percent versus 31 percent) and also would be more willing to use car-sharing services if they were readily available (42 percent versus 28 percent).
This year’s report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the United States, Mexico and United Arab Emirates, according to MBLM.