The automotive industry ranks second out of the 10 industries examined in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy COVID Study, which analyzes brands based on emotional connections made during the pandemic.
The automotive industry has an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 49, well above the cross-industry average of 38.1.
Toyota tops the auto industry, up from the fifth position in MBLM’s study from a year ago. Ford, the previous top brand, is now in third place. Chevrolet is in second place.
The remaining brands in the top 10 for the industry are BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Honda, Jeep, Tesla and Audi.
Consumer preference for Mercedes-Benz and Harley-Davidson has increased, while preference for Jeep and BMW has decreased.
Mercedes-Benz is the top brand for men, while women favor Toyota. Mercedes-Benz is also the top brand for those earning over $150,000, while millennials and those earning $50,000 or less rank Toyota as number one.
Brand intimacy is the emotional science behind the bonds we form with the brands we use and love, according to MBLM. Intimate brands continue to significantly outperform the leading brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 indices across revenue growth, profit growth and stock price.
Consumers identify with their cars and it is often one of the biggest purchases they make, says Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM.
Although daily automotive usage decreased 21% during the pandemic, reliance on automobiles to get essential supplies and to help us escape our homes became vital, he says.
“We believe that the powerful emotional bonds that automotive brands have built over the years will continue to help the industry flourish in the future,” Natarelli says in a release.
According to MBLM, 27% of consumers said they increased their emotional connection to automotive brands during the pandemic, says Rina Plapler, partner at MBLM.