Consumer loyalty is often influenced by how a brand responds during a crisis and without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as just that. As such, brand agency MBLM has released an updated COVID study, ranking the top “intimate” brands in the US.
As with its annual study, brands are ranked based on survey responses from 3,000 US adult consumers ages 18-64 with an annual income of at least $35k, with the intimacy metric designed to measure the extent to which these consumers have relationships with brands – and the strength of those relationships. The results were used to form a Brand Intimacy Quotient for each brand, which is “a composite measure that reflects the intensity of the relationship between consumers and brands as well as the prevalence (usage) of the brand.” That measure appears as a score on a 1-100 scale.
There has been some movement within the top-10 list since earlier this year, including a new leader: Apple jumped two spots to take the top position with a Brand Intimacy Quotient of 74. Amazon, which had the strongest emotional bond with US adults at the beginning of the year, slipped to #2 (69.4), followed by Google in #3 (66.9).
In separate research, Apple has performed nicely on other recent rankings: moving up three spots to #4 for customer loyalty (for its smartphones) and occupying the #3 position for the most loved global brands on social media.
Another notable mention goes to Walmart, which is the strongest non-tech performer. Its Brand Intimacy Quotient has risen from 53.9 in the previous study to 59.7 in this version, propelling it from the 9th most intimate brand to the 4th. As well as supporting consumers with its physical stores this year, Walmart was already the second-largest e-commerce brand in March 2020.
Surprisingly, although the time spent with streaming video services increased during the pandemic, the undisputed leader in SVOD services, Netflix, dropped two notches to #8, with a Brand Intimacy Quotient of 55.2. However, YouTube joined the top-10 at #5 (58.6).
Along gender lines, male consumers ranked Amazon on the top of their list, with YouTube and Google rounding out their top 3. On the other hand, women ranked Apple #1, followed by Amazon and Toyota.
Other Study Highlights
In other notable findings from the report:
- Purell, which ranks #85 overall, ranks #1 in the best response to COVID and in willingness to pay 20% more since COVID, as well as #2 in increased usage since COVID.
- The top position for increased usage since COVID goes to Zoom (#82 overall). The video conferencing technology brand also ranked #1 in increased emotional connection since COVID and #2 in the best response to COVID.
- Apple ranks #1 among consumers ages 18-34, followed by YouTube at #2.
- Apple’s competitor, Samsung, is the favorite for consumers ages 35-44, with Walmart taking the #2 position.
- While Amazon ranks #1 with 45-64-year-olds, it is also ranked at the top among those consumers with an income between $35K and $100K.
- Media & Entertainment retains the top position in the industry category in the US. Its industry average Quotient of 50.3 remains well above the overall mean of 38.1. It has also seen a 7% increase in daily usage since the pandemic.
To read more, download the report here.
About the Data: The ranking is derived from a survey of 3,000 US adults, who answered questions designed to measure the extent to which they have relationships with brands – and the strength of those relationships. The results were used to form a Brand Intimacy Quotient for each brand, “a composite measure that reflects the intensity of the relationship between consumers and brands as well as the prevalence (usage) of the brand.”