Almost Half of US Consumers Emotionally Indifferent to Brands

MomentumWW-Consumer-Connection-With-Brands-June2014Consumers in the US are among the most emotionally distant from brands, per recent survey results from Momentum Worldwide. The study asked more than 6,500 consumers in 9 developed and emerging markets around the world to classify their feelings about well-known brands in interpersonal terms. Some 45% of US respondents classified their relationships with brands as no more than an acquaintance, with one-fifth of those (or almost 1 in 10 overall) categorizing brands as their “enemy” or “arch rival.”

Respondents were given 7 classifications to choose from: partner/significant other; family; close friend; friend; acquaintance; enemy; and arch rival.

Respondents in other developed markets were even more indifferent than in the US:

  • 54% in the UK would consider brands to be no more than an acquaintance, with 17% of those (or 9% overall) categorizing brands as their enemy or arch rival; and
  • 55% in Japan would consider brands to be no more than an acquaintance, although only 7% of those see brands as their enemy or arch rival.

Those results bring to mind research released late last year by Edelman Berland in which consumers claimed that brands were doing a poor job of connecting with them.

But emotional distance from brands doesn’t appear to the case everywhere. In the Momentum Worldwide study, 7 in 10 respondents in the Philippines said they would consider their relationship with brands to be friendships or stronger, with two-thirds in Mexico and 64% in Brazil concurring. In each of those markets, roughly 4 in 10 respondents see well-known brands as a member of their family or spouse.

The researchers note that 25-31-year-olds harbor the strongest emotional connections with brands, as 28% on average across the 9 markets consider brands as a family member of significant other. But, that percentage drops to 23% in the coveted 18-24 bracket.

About the Data: The study surveyed 6,504 respondents aged 18-65 across the following 9 markets: Australia; Brazil; China; India; Japan; Mexico; the Philippines; South Africa; Taiwan; Thailand; the UK; and the US.