US tech firm Apple has been named the brand that has the closest emotional bond with UAE citizens and residents.
According to MBLM’s second UAE Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, Applie retained its position at the top for the second year in a row, followed by car brands BMW and Ford.
The top 10 is rounded out by Lexus, Audi, Google, Mercedes, Louis Vuitton, Hilton and Nescafé.
According to the 2017 study, automotive and technology brands are consistently in the top two categories across gender, age and income.
It said Apple, the top ranked brand overall, has the largest percentage of fusing customers – when an individual and a brand become attached.
The report added that Nescafé, which rose significantly in the ranks from last year, developed several products specifically for the region like Nescafé Arabiana, the first ever instant Arabic coffee.
Sales for Nescafé beat estimates in the second half of 2016, rising 3.9 percent on an organic basis.
Similarly to the US market, the report revealed that premium brands may not be doing as well as expected to build emotional connections with their consumers in the UAE – except with women and those under 35.
Conversely, brands in media, entertainment, technology and telecommunications show strong customer intimacy, especially amongst millennials. This may be due to the generally melancholic mood of the past year, resulting in a common need for escapism and a distraction from stress, it added.
Globally, this year’s Brand Intimacy Report analyzed responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the US, Mexico and UAE.
Key brand intimacy associations in the study – like nostalgia, personal enhancement, identity and ritual – are designed to give a better understanding of how brands create powerful emotional connections with consumers.
William Shintani, partner at MBLM, said: “Leveraging the new science of these emotional bonds gives us a new framework to navigate the opportunities – and pitfalls – of the UAE marketing landscape.”
“What we know from the latest neurological research is that decisions are emotional – not logical,” added Jae Hwang, partner at MBLM. “We also know that brands using this knowledge to their advantage have an impressive track record.”