BMW, Disney and Marriott are leading the way in terms of their emotional connections with customers, according to research from Motista, comparing the Emotional Connection rankings of 50 of the top brands in the US. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

In its report, entitled Ranking Emotional Connection: A Look at 50 of the Top US Brands", the company analyzed over 250,000 US consumers and analyzed to what extent they were emotionally connected with major brands.

Each brand was given an Emotional Connection Score, which is a predictive metric that measures the degree to which a consumer connects their values, desires, and/or aspirations to a brand. The higher the score, the greater the percentage of customers that connect emotionally to that brand.

The top five emotionally connected brands in the US were determined to be:

  1. BMW with a score of 60%,
  2. Disney came second at 49%,
  3. Marriott with a score of 48%,
  4. Panera Bread (in the QSR category) with 46%, and
  5. Wynn Resorts at 46%.

The commonality found amongst the top five is their relentless pursuit to deliver a consistent customer experience, motivating the precise emotions that determine a customer's behavior. Emotional Connection can be a used as a predictive driving force behind brand purchasing decisions and the long-term loyalty of consumers.

According to Motista, increasing a brand's emotionally connected consumers by 1%, on average, can equate to an increase in revenue of more than US$85 million, dependent upon the brand and industry concerned.

Yet, even with solid pricing structures and convenience strategies, Amazon and Walmart are not achieving strong results in Emotional Connection, with rankings of 18% and 17% respectively, which suggests they are also leaving potential sales revenue on the table.

Rounding out the bottom five brands ranked in this study:

  • Tylenol and Wal-Mart (tied) had an Emotional Connection Score of 17%;
  • Home Depot scored 15%;
  • Chevron scored 12%;
  • Overstock scored only 10%.

These findings illustrate how merchandising, convenience, and seemingly minimal cross-channel experience strategies for consumers have been commoditised.

"While retail and ecommerce brands comprise more than half of the brands ranked on this list, many of these companies still need to better target their emotionally connected customers and work to identify prospects with a predisposition for Emotional Connection in order to reach their full potential in revenue growth," said Michael Mathias, president of Motista. "These brands are missing the mark on identifying the precise emotions that align with the behaviours that drive the most profitable growth. If brands don't activate Emotional Connection, they will continue to lose the battle with larger online retailers like Amazon and Walmart."