Katherine Bernhardt's 'Jungle Jaguar'

In an annual ranking of brand intimacy, which measures the emotional connectivity that consumers have with brands, carmakers Jaguar and Land Rover took the top two spots on the list and edged out Hermès, which dropped to number five this year from second place in last year’s report.

Branding agency MBLM said the luxury industry continues to “struggle to build bonds with consumers” as the segment ranked 13th out of the 15 industries studied in the report. Media and entertainment and the auto industry were the top two ranked industries.

MBLM said in the luxury segment, Rolex ranked third and was followed by Cartier. Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada rounded out the top 10.

“Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand,” researchers at the agency said in the report. “For the third year, the study revealed that top intimate brands in the U.S. surpassed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years.”

Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM, said luxury brands “continue to struggle [in] establishing strong emotional connections with consumers. This is a surprising result given how ionic and well-known these brands are. We believe luxury brands fail to focus enough on building reciprocal relationships or leverage the power of emotion. We see this as an untapped opportunity.”

MBLM said the luxury segment garnered an average “Brand Intimacy Quotient” of 11.9, which is below the study average of 27.1. “Indulgence, which is associated with pampering and gratification, is the dominant archetype in the category,” authors of the report said adding that “Gucci ranked highest for indulgence in the industry.”

The report was based on the responses of over 6,000 consumers. MBLM said Jaguar came in number one for men and women as well as Millennials. With Land Rover, it was the number one brand for people between the ages of 55 and 64 years old. And for those respondents with household incomes of more than $100,000, Rolex was number one.

“Hermès declined in the study, while Rolex, Cartier and Gucci all improved their Brand Intimacy score,” MBLM noted.

For more business news from WWD, see:

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