Top Ranked Intimate Brands Continued to Outperform S&P and Fortune 500 Indices in Revenue and Profit Over Past 10 Years, According to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report

The top ranked intimate brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. Brand intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.

If top S&P and Fortune 500 brands performed at the same growth rate as the top intimate brands, an average S&P company would have earned an additional $7.7 billion in revenue and $5.3 billion in profit. An average Fortune 500 company would have generated an additional $20.3 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in profit.

The most intimate brand in the U.S. is Apple, followed by Disney and Amazon. The Top 10 is rounded out by: Harley Davidson, Netflix, Nintendo, Samsung, Whole Foods, BMW and Toyota.

“Our report once again reveals that the bonds created between a brand and a consumer deliver greater economic growth. Brand growth starts and ends with emotion and the quantity, quality and character of the bonds formed with customers,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner. “We found that escapist brands performed especially well – mostly in the media and entertainment industry – due to the melancholy mood of the past year and the need for distraction, control and enjoyment.”

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 U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

Other notable findings in the U.S. include:

  • Automotive retained its number one position from the 2015 report and is the strongest industry
  • Apple is the highest-rated brand across several considerations. It scored highest for enhancement, ritual, identity and frequency of use. It also ranked #1 for can’t live without, meaning it would be difficult to live without this brand
  • Disney ranked highest for the archetype of nostalgia
  • Hershey’s is seen as the most indulgent brand
  • Amazon and Apple are more successful than most in crossing age groups and income levels
  • PlayStation ranked number one amongst those with incomes of $35K-$49,999K, while Disney ranked first with those making $100K-$149,999K
  • Luxury brands did not fare well

“Netflix is the new Amazon,” added Natarelli. “The brand, which ranked 25th in our previous study, has quickly risen to this year’s top five and we believe still has untapped potential.”

In Mexico, American Express placed first, while Apple was number one in the UAE. The technology and telecommunications industry ranked first in Mexico, while automotive ranked highest in the U.S and UAE. Additionally, intimacy is lower in the U.S. than the other two markets.

To download the full Brand Intimacy 2017 Report or explore the Ranking Tool please visit:


During 2016, Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,000 consumers in the United States (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,000). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (i.e. 18 to 64 years of age) and annual household income ($35,000 or more) in the U.S. and socioeconomic levels in Mexico and the UAE (A,

B, and C socioeconomic levels). Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships, from fairly detached to highly intimate. It is important to note that this study provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers. We modeled data from a total of 54,000 brand evaluations to quantify the mechanisms that drive intimacy. Through factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and other sophisticated analytic techniques, the research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between brands and consumers.

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About MBLM: Founded in 2004, MBLM is the Brand Intimacy Agency, which is dedicated to creating greater emotional connections between people, brands and technology. With offices in nine countries, its multidisciplinary teams help clients deliver stronger marketing outcomes and returns for the long term. To learn more about creating and sustaining ultimate brand relationships, visit