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Apparel brands score high in terms of brand intimacy in the UAE

H&M jumps to #1 as Nike falls to #4 when measuring the most intimate apparel brands among consumers in the UAE



William Shintani

The apparel industry continued to build strong relationships with UAE consumers to rank as the fifth most intimate industry, out of fifteen, in MBLM’s 2018 Brand Intimacy Report. The dominant archetype in the industry was ‘identity’:  when the brand reflects an aspirational image or admired values and beliefs that resonate deeply.

Brand ‘intimacy’ is defined as a new paradigm in marketing, leveraging and strengthening the emotional bonds between people and the brands they use and love. The study reveals that top intimate brands deliver superior results related to revenue and profit growth by creating deeper relationships with their consumers.

H&M climbed five spots to rank #1 and was the only apparel brand to rank within the top 20 in the overall study. Interestingly, it ranks highest in the industry amongst both female and high-income consumers. The brand also scored 10 for ‘fusing’ – the rarest and strongest degree of intimacy, where the consumer and brand are inexorably linked, the score was 3 points higher than any other in the category.

Nike dropped from #1 to #4 in the apparel industry this year. Its dominant archetype switched from ‘identity’ to ‘indulgence’ from 2017 to 2018, highlighting a change in perception to a brand which focuses more on pampering and gratification.

“Brands in the apparel industry are inherently personal and intimate as we use them every day – this creates an opportunity to build an intimate bond with consumers,” stated William Shintani, managing partner at MBLM Dubai. “Brands that stay true to their essence and are able to leverage archetypes like ‘identity’ will ultimately build stronger relationships with consumers.”

Other notable findings in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy Report 2018 include:

  • The apparel industry dropped to #5 amongst 15 industries since 2017 where it featured at #4
  • Adidas increased its score by over 25% since 2017 and scores the highest for the ‘fulfillment’ archetype: when a brand exceeds expectations, delivers superior service and quality
  • Forever 21 is the #1 apparel brand for millennial users, while Nike ranked highest for users aged 35-64
  • Levi’s moved up five spots to rank #3 in the apparel industry and #1 in the industry for male users
  • H&M is the highest scoring brand among females and high-income consumers
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