Report: Fast food brands increase 'emotional connection' with customers

The fast food industry is getting more love from the general public in the U.S., Mexico and United Arab Emirates, according to the 2018 Brand Intimacy Report, the largest study of brands based on customers' emotions, according to a news release.

The study was conducted by MBLM, an international branding and marketing agency that defines brand intimacy as "a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand."

In the report this year, fast food brands moved from eighth to sixth place with QSR Chick-fil-A coming in second overall for customer emotional connection, while fast casual brands Starbucks and Chipotle rounded out the top three in first and third place, respectively, the release said.

But perhaps most significantly for true QSR brands, the remainder of the top 10 in this year's report were QSRs, including Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Wendy's, Baskin-Robbins, Subway, Dunkin' and KFC.

This year, top brands in the U.S. surpassed the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in terms of revenue and profit over the past 10 years, the release said.

Additional noteworthy fast food findings from the report include: 

  • Fast food scored an average of of 28 on the so-called "Brand Intimacy Quotient," above the cross-industry average of 27.1.
  • The most dominant category archetype  for fast food was labeled as "Indulgence," which describes a brand relationship centered on moments of pampering and gratification.
  • Domino's Pizza and Wendy's moved up in the industry's rankings since last year, while McDonald's and Subway fell in the rankings. 

This year's report contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of consumer bonds.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Customer Service / Experience, Marketing / Branding / Promotion

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