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Move over Amazon. The retail giant might be the most reputable company in the US, but Apple is the brand that inspires the strongest emotional bond with US adults, according to a new study from MBLM.

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.”

Apple emerged as the clear leader, blowing away the rest of the field. Its Quotient of 83.4 was so high that second-placed Amazon (66.5) was closer to the 19th-ranked PlayStation (49.8) than it was to Apple.

In fact, not only was Apple #1 overall, but it also ranked highest among various income groups and for both men and women.

Amazon, for its part, showed a decline in brand intimacy from last year, though it was the top brand among users ages 35-44.

BMW ranked third overall, improving tremendously over the course of the year in net promoter score and in being a brand that users can’t live without.

Another automotive brand, Jeep, was next, ranking higher among women than men.

Disney rounded out the top 5, also ranking much higher among women than men, and coming in first for nostalgia. It ranked second among Millennials.

The fastest-riser of the top 10 was YouTube (#6), which is the most popular social platform in the US among adults and which jumped from 25th last year, outdoing its parent company Google (#10) in the process.

Other Survey Highlights

In other notable findings from the report:

  • Netflix, which ranked 8th overall in intimacy, was #2 for those with incomes between $50 and $75k, and actually proved stronger with older than younger users;
  • Netflix also cracked the top 5 most intimate brands for women;
  • Google, 10th on the list, was first on the components of “can’t live without” and for daily usage, and ranked second overall among men;
  • Coca-Cola and Starbucks ranked among the top 5 most intimate brands for respondents with income between $35 and $50k, but didn’t crack the top 5 among affluent ($100-150k) respondents; and
  • Media & Entertainment brands had the highest average Quotient, followed by Automotive, Retail and Technology & Telecommunications brands.

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