Apple tops COVID-19 brand intimacy survey, iPhone leads among teen smartphone users

Analyst firm MBLM shared its 2020 brand intimacy study this past spring with Apple taking first place in the tech industry. However, Amazon and Disney (considered retail brands) beat Apple in the overall rankings. Now MBLM has done another brand intimacy study in the US through the lens of the pandemic, and Apple has come out on top as an overwhelming majority of US teens have been found to be iPhone users.

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MBLM shared in its latest US study that Apple beat out both Amazon and Disney as well as other household names like Google, YouTube, Walmart, and Netflix to be the “most intimate brand during COVID.”

Apple ranks as the #1 most intimate brand during COVID, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy COVID Study, a study of brands based on emotional connections during the pandemic. MBLM (pronounced Emblem) uses emotional science to build and manage more intimate brands. Amazon and Google are second and third in the study overall, respectively. Brand Intimacy is the emotional science behind the bonds we form with the brands we use and love.

MBLM notes that the stock of these top-ranking companies for brand intimacy naturally performs better than those with less brand appeal. As for consumers, MBLM says that COVID is increasing the connections people have with brands.

The two demographics that drove Apple to be the top brand for intimacy in the US were women and millennials. Men ended up ranking Amazon higher than Apple in the study.

Illustrating how well Apple does with young users, a Piper Sandler US survey released yesterday found “86% of teens own an iPhone and 89% expect an iPhone to be their next phone, both new all-time survey highs.”

Back to MBLM, the study highlights a few other findings and companies that have done well during the pandemic:

  • During the pandemic, consumers have shown a 23 percent increase in the number of brands they are connecting with emotionally
  • Media & entertainment, automotive and retail are the top 3 industries
  • Apple is the top brand for women and millennials, while men rank Amazon as their #1 brand
  • During the pandemic, men are forming deeper attachments to brands compared to women
  • Zoom is the top brand that people were using more during the pandemic, followed by Purell and Netflix
  • Purell is the #1 brand for consumers willing to pay 20 percent more for its services or products. Last year, the top ranked brand for this measure was Rolex
  • Brands that are part of the smartphone ecosystem increased in strength during COVID, particularly access brands like Verizon and AT&T
  • New entrant Tesla ranks #1 in the automotive industry for having the largest percent of customers willing to pay 20 percent or for more the brand’s products

MBLM’s COVID brand intimacy study is based on 3,000 respondents in the US. Here’s how the ranking of the top 10 most intimate brands during COVID shook out:

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.