Automotive Industry Ranked #2 in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study


Ford Placed First in the Industry, Followed by Jeep and BMW

U.S. Top 10 Most Intimate Automotive Brands, According to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2020 Study

NEW YORK, Aug.¬†12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —¬†The¬†automotive¬†industry ranked #2 out of the 15 industries studied in MBLM’s¬†Brand Intimacy 2020 Study, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions. MBLM (pronounced Emblem), the agency using emotional science to build more intimate brands during these unprecedented times, announced the automotive industry findings of the study, which showed that Ford topped the industry followed by Jeep and BMW.¬†Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love, and has become more important as brands adjust the ways they connect with consumers today.

MBLM’s study, now in its 10th¬†year, revealed that the remaining brands in the top 10 for the automotive industry were Chevrolet, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Harley-Davidson, GMC and Audi. Additionally, top intimate brands in the U.S. continued to significantly outperform the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to the study.


“The automotive industry continues to perform very well in our annual study with four brands in the top 10 most intimate brands,” stated¬†Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “The industry has been so successful because of the important relationship that people have with their cars and the ways in which they connect with them. We believe that automotive brands can deepen and enhance their relationships even further by looking for new ways to build bonds with customers.”

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

  • The U.S. automotive industry had an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 46.2
  • Ford ranked #1 in the industry and had broad appeal; it was the top brand among men, millennials and consumers over 35 years old
  • Ford was also the leading automotive brand among users with incomes under¬†$100,000, whereas users with incomes over¬†$100,000¬†preferred BMW
  • Women ranked Chevrolet as their top automotive brand
  • Fulfillment, the archetype related to performance, was the most prominent in the industry, and Toyota was the top-performing brand for fulfillment

The¬†Brand Intimacy 2020 Report¬†contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,200 consumers and 56,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S.,¬†Mexico¬†and UAE. MBLM’s reports and rankings tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

To view the automotive industry findings, please click here. Additionally, MBLM offers Custom Dashboards providing extensive data for brands included in its annual Brand Intimacy Study. To download the full Brand Intimacy 2020 Study or explore the Rankings click here.


During 2019, MBLM with Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,200 consumers in the U.S. (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,200). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (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 research provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers. We modeled data from over 6,200 interviews and approximately 56,000 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 their brand and consumers. Thus, marketers will understand not only where their brand falls in the hierarchy of performance but also how to strengthen performance in the future.

To read a¬†more detailed description of MBLM’s approach, visit its¬†Methodology page.