Despite supply chain challenges that have left dealers with low supply and frustrated prospective buyers, the automotive industry continues to hold straight with the number two spot in brand intimacy.
The auto industry’s “can’t live without” measure, based on a 10-point scale that determines how essential a brand is to our lives, rose 87% since 2020, according to MBLM’s 2021 Brand Intimacy COVID Study, a study of brands based on emotional connections during the pandemic.
Toyota is the top automotive brand in terms of brand intimacy, up from fifth position before the pandemic. It is followed by Harley-Davidson, BMW and Chevrolet. Other brands rounding out the top 10 are Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Tesla, and Audi.
Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Honda all showed improvement this year, while Chevrolet, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz all declined.
Brand intimacy is the science behind the bonds consumers form with the brands they use and love. The study is based on emotional connections during the pandemic. MBLM (pronounced Emblem) uses emotional science to build and manage more intimate brands.
Consumers closely identify with their car brands and the essential role they play in their lives, says Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM.
“With supply shortages, this year we saw a 47% increase in consumers willing to pay 20% or more for automotive products, highlighting the important bond we have with these brands,” Natarelli says in a release. “COVID has intensified our emotional connection to automotive brands, and we expect the industry to continue to thrive as it works to improve operations and manufacturing.”
Harley-Davidson is the highest-ranked automotive brand for which consumers are willing to pay 20% more for, with 25% of all users willing to do so.
Automotive ranks first among all industries for the highest percentage of users in sharing and bonding, the earliest and middle stages of brand intimacy. The industry does better with men than women, and with consumers over age 35, according to MBLM.