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Automotive Industry Ranks Second in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report

BMW Tops Industry Followed By Jeep® Brand and Toyota

NEW YORK — March 29, 2018 — The automotive industry ranked second out of the 15 studied in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. The industry was dethroned for the first time by media & entertainment, highlighting the trend toward escapism, relaxation and distraction. BMW came in first in the automotive industry followed by the Jeep brand and Toyota. Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. This year’s study again revealed that top intimate brands in the U.S. continued to surpass the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years.

The Top 10 in the automotive industry was rounded out by: Honda, Harley-Davidson, Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes, Chrysler and GMC.

“While slipping slightly, the automotive industry still performed strongly due to the bonds it creates with consumers,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “The Jeep brand has risen in our 2018 Brand Intimacy Report. We just released an analysis of Jeep and found that its recent marketing efforts have been focusing on powerful emotional themes at the core of its brand, leveraging nostalgia well and utilizing today’s marketing channels to build dialogue and strong bonds.”

“We are very pleased with the Jeep brand’s improved performance in the 2018 Brand Intimacy Study,” stated Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA US. “I am most proud of what we were able to do on behalf of all of our brands last year. We continued to focus on our brands’ unique identities, what differentiates them from other brands. Storytelling is a critical part of marketing and being successful hinges on the ability to make it resonate emotionally outside the walls of your company.”

Other notable automotive findings in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report include:

·The Jeep brand ranked first among women

·BMW ranked first among men

·The industry had a Brand Intimacy Quotient score of 44.9, which is higher than the average of 27.1

·Two automotive brands were in the top 10 overall, BMW ranked third and Jeep brand ranked fourth

·Harley-Davidson made the biggest drop, falling from the fourth overall brand in 2017 to 18th and from first in the automotive industry to fifth in 2018

·The Jeep brand moved up from 15th overall in 2017 to fourth in 2018

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.

To view the automotive industry rankings, visit: And to view MBLM’s detailed look into the Jeep brand, visit:

 To download the full Brand Intimacy 2018 Report or explore the Ranking Tool please visit:


During 2017, MBLM with 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: MBLM is the Brand Intimacy Agency, delivering expertise and offerings across three areas of focus: Agency, Lab and Platform. With offices in seven countries, our multidisciplinary teams help clients build stronger bonds and deliver optimized marketing outcomes and returns for the long term. To learn more about how we can help you create and sustain ultimate brand relationships, visit

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