These 10 brands show how to connect with customers, emotionally

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Last week, MBLM, the Brand Intimacy Agency, released its Brand Intimacy 2018 Report revealing this year’s UAE Top 10 Most Intimate Brands. The report studies brands based on the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.

UAE’s top 10 most intimate brands 2018 are, in order, Apple, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Emirates, Nestle Nido, Nikon, Samsung and Ford.


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Blossom Furtado, Nikon – Brand Manager, Middle East & Africa, goes behind the ranking to elaborate the “why”.


Apple enjoys a brand equity that makes most marketers green with envy. When it comes to brand loyalty, Apple is really a case study. ‘Think Different’ is the core of Apple’s brand identity and it is this identity of being different, being unordinary that its customers resonate with.

Apple recognizes that we are social animals who want to be a part of a revolution of sorts – part of the newest cutting-edge technology, part of something important and it does a fabulous job at connecting with its consumers this innate level.


Brand loyalty can only work in combination with a good product and that’s the balancing act that Lexus seems to get the right time and again. But what really drives its customer loyalty is the unwavering trust that people have in Lexus’s (Japanese engineering) quality combined with its modern futuristic designs.

Its biggest arrow in the quiver has been to accurately identify its customer’s wants before they turn to demand.


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With the tagline “the pursuit of perfection” they have positioned themselves as the industry’s perfectionists and since cars are often seen an extension of the owner’s personality- it’s easy to see why people reverberate so well with the brand.


A successful brand has two main reasons – its ability to translate its value in any market and a strong connection to its origins. The brand has a strong sense of identity that binds its consumer to its products.

To say that they have character would be an understatement. The self-confessed “ultimate driving machine” goes beyond its apparent value and connects with the young, driven and the ambitious consumer who finds compatibility in the brand’s inherent core philosophies of excellence and innovation.

The brand is not without a healthy sense of humor having taken on its competitors in its cheeky ad campaigns!


Brands are no longer intangible, impersonal extensions of the companies they represent. In the current age, they must be engaging, lively and must “behave” like humans if they are to survive. No brand embodies that sentiment more than Mercedes.

They have managed to strike the perfect balance between aspiration and inspiration, driving generations of people to its star and status value.

The customers feel a sense of kindred ship with the brand that has been relentless in its pursuit of success and creativity in the field of automobiles.


Adding to the list of automobile firms in the list, Toyota still features in the top five brands. The automobile manufacturing is a study of the fundamentals of marketing- segmentation, targeting and positioning.


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By effectively identifying the various consumer segments, it has created value that is customized. This mass customization has earned the brand a stellar brand following in addition to acquiring a reputation for being offering the best value for money in the industry.


You know a brand has hit the home run when it is not defined by what it does but rather how it makes the consumer feel. Emirates is more than an airline brand and has crossed over to be widely regarded as a lifestyle brand for its consumers.

The brand’s grandeur and luxury aside, its core message to enable global connectivity and inspire experiences hit the mark with the current generation, for whom travelling and exploring form a major part of a fulfilling life.

The brand also reinforces its beliefs through its impeccably trained crew that further help promote the intimacy with its customers.

Nestle Nido

The world is moving towards becoming more health conscious, especially for children and the market is flooded with children’s health products.

As parents become conscious about their children’s nutrition and are enabled by a vast amount of information, quality is the only parameter that matters.

Nestle Nido has proven itself as a brand and a product to gain the trust of its audience. The only food brand on the list, their efforts are certainly aimed right.


Nikon has always believed that our products will truly realize their potential only in the hands of its consumers. I am Nikon is more than a tagline, it is our belief that each and every user is part of the larger Nikon family, promoting and preserving the art of photography.


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Each customer has a unique take on the medium and our products both understand and incorporate that.

Not to blow our own trumpet but it is perhaps this deep relationship that has made it the only camera equipment brand on the list.


The electronics giant stands alone in the tally at the penultimate slot. The technology-driven company has made the transition to being seen as a lifestyle brand with its variety of products that cover a wide range of markets.

When it comes to consumer durables, your most effective marketing strategy is your product and service.

Perfect to a fault, its history of fine engineering and functional superiority has often been its USPs as consumers find a sense of comfort and assurity with their products.


The brand that bears the name of its illustrious owner who made owning a car a reality for many has come a long way from its assembly line days.


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Home to some of the iconic Mustang, it has retained its history as it steps into the future. It is this unique combination of tradition and modernity that draws the consumers to it.

It still evokes the same sense of pride as it did when it flooded the American middle class.


The views expressed by the author are his own and do not necessarily represent those of Gulf Marketing Review.