business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

MBLM, which describes itself as "the brand intimacy agency," is out with its annual ranking and "comprehensive review of 386 brands across 15 industries in terms of their ability to create and sustain Brand Intimacy." The conclusion is that the top five brands that have achieved the greatest intimacy with consumers are Apple, Disney, Amazon, Harley-Davidson, and Netflix ... each of which, based on the survey, actually improved their connections to customers.

Netflix saw an enormous improvement in its fortunes - a year ago, it was ranked 25th.

When seen through the prism of the millennial generation, the rankings are a little different - Harley-Davidson falls off the list (it doesn't even make the top 10), Disney moves to the top, and Nintendo moves into fifth place.

The top 10 list, cutting across all demographics, consists of Apple, Disney, Amazon, Harley-Davidson, Netflix, Nintendo, Samsung, Whole Foods, BMW, and Toyota.

The millennial list of top 10 most intimate brands are: Disney, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Nintendo, Target, Chevrolet, Xbox, Google, and YouTube.

I'm intrigued by how well Disney performs in this ranking ... I suspect this may have something to do with how well it has spread its bets around the table, with the acquisition of businesses like Lucasfilm (which gives it the ability to produce new Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies) and Marvel (which gives it the various Avengers franchises). This has been very smart; its ESPN business has been struggling lately, and these entities give it a hedge.

And there have been rumors that Disney might be interested in acquiring Netflix ... though analysts have differed about whether this would make economic or strategic sense.

But all that aside ... it seems to me that one of the things that any marketer should do is examine what the elements are that make these brands resonate with consumers. Not every brand can emulate them, not certainly not every brand can be successful. But I think it is important for brands to think about how they touch people's lives ... and how they should work to sustain those connections over the short-term and long-term.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: