Wednesday, 20 October 2021 15:50

Automotive Industry Holds No. 2 Spot Despite Supply Chain Challenges in MBLM's Brand Intimacy COVID Study


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The automotive industry ranked No. 2 out of the 10 industries featured in MBLM's 2021 Brand Intimacy COVID Study, a study of brands based on emotional connections during the pandemic.

MBLM (pronounced Emblem) uses emotional science to build and manage more intimate brands. Brand Intimacy is the emotional science behind the bonds we form with the brands we use and love.


Toyota is the top automotive brand, up from fifth position before the pandemic, followed by Harley-Davidson and BMW, respectively. 


Although the industry has faced manufacturing and supply chain challenges related to COVID, Brand Intimacy performance increased by an average of 5% since before the pandemic. Other brands rounding out the top 10 are Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Tesla and Audi, respectively.


"Automotive brands continue to be among the strongest Brand Intimacy performers," said Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. "Consumers closely identify with their car brands and the essential role they play in our lives. 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. 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."


Additional noteworthy automotive industry findings in the U.S. include:


  • The U.S. automotive industry had an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 48.4, well above the cross-industry average of 38.2
  • Harley-Davidson, BMW and Honda all showed improvement, while Chevrolet, Ford and Mercedes-Benz all declined
  • The 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 the 2020 study
  • 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 35 than under


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