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As a partner at MBLM, Rina Plapler was instrumental in creating her firm’s research on brand intimacy — the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. She’s applied this research to the financial industry in an effort to rank the companies and characteristics that make for today’s strongest brands. MBLM recently published its Brand Intimacy Study 2020.
Rina joins us on for a Tearsheet Outlier Briefing to discuss what makes up brand intimacy and how emotional people feel about financial services. We look at her rankings and the attributes of today’s strongest financial brands. Lastly, she provides advice to companies to make themselves into more intimate brands.
- Brand intimacy: “You can think of it in terms of a human dynamic. You have to be a user of a brand. You can’t be in a relationship with someone you don’t know. So you can’t be intimate with a brand you’re not a user of. This isn’t about awareness or consideration.”
- Hostage customers: “Financial services have what we sometimes called hostages, in the sense that they’ve got a lot of captive customers. You don’t want to leave for convenience or stickiness or history. But how do you make that relationship that’s really positive and powerful, not just required?”
- The emotional component: “People might think the connection between financial services and emotion is a little odd but when you think about it, what’s more important to people than their money, and maybe their health?”
- Financial services against the world: “Financial services is not the best performer but it’s not the worst either. It’s below media, automotive, retail, and consumer goods, but it’s also above hospitality, appliances, luxury and travel.”
- Variance in top financial brands: “PayPal’s got a quotient score of 40. And now, Amex is 32.2. But if you start to look at our 10th rank brand US Bank, there’s quite a difference ranking — 17.8 quotient score. So within the categories, there is quite a bit of variance.”
- Fullfillment and enhancement: “And so for financial services, things like fulfillment and enhancement are very important. Fulfillment really on the service side, efficacy, do what they say. Enhancement is more along the lines of making you smarter, better, more connected, more capable.”
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