Presenting top performers and key findings from our BFF study. Written By Rina Plapler and Will Biondi.


Today, entertainers, athletes, politicians, impresarios, and spiritual leaders drive many of the trends, beliefs, and messages we consume. Think about the world we live in and the impact they have on the products and services we buy, use, and sell. In this way, they are undeniably powerful brands.

To complement our annual ranking of brands based on emotion, we’ve released our BFF (Brand-intimate Famous Figures) study, which shares the most intimate living celebrity brands in the U.S. While the study covers 25 of…

How technology brands build and maintain Brand Intimacy

by Mario Natarelli and Will Biondi

The smartphone has become our window to the world. It is the utility knife of our time, fostering our social connections, communications, entertainment, finances, and even our mobility. Can you think of a brand that doesn’t somehow leverage the smartphone today? Examples are becoming fewer all the time. While building the largest study of brands based on emotion, we wondered: how do brands build greater intimacy with a device that knows your preferences, is always near you, and is the very definition of intimate? How do…

Despite their efforts to improve, airlines struggle to build bonds with customers

by Claude Salzberger and Will Biondi

For the second year in a row, travel is the least intimate industry in our Brand Intimacy Study. In addition to having the lowest average Brand Intimacy Quotient, the industry has below-average scores for five out of the six archetypes (patterns that identify the character and nature of brand relationships) and below-average percentages of consumers in each of the three stages of Brand Intimacy, which measure the depth and degree of intimate bonds.

Rewriting the recipe for success in the consumer goods industry

by Mario Natarelli and Will Biondi

In our 2017 Brand Intimacy Study, there are a few brands that swim against the current. These brands have successfully built intimacy in well-established industries that are home to more established brands. Amazon leads its industry, outperforming older, more traditional retail brands, and Netflix is second only to Disney in the media & entertainment industry. …

Lessons in building consumer bonds from the most amusing industry

by Rina Plapler and Will Biondi

In our 2017 Brand Intimacy Study, we were surprised to discover that the Hospitality & Theme Parks category is led not by hotel brands but by two theme parks: Disney Parks and Universal Theme Parks. In addition to having the highest brand intimacy quotient scores in the category, these brands also have the most price resiliency, as the percentage of consumers willing to pay 20 percent extra for Disney Parks and Universal Theme Parks was roughly twice the industry average. Also, more consumers said…

Building Intimacy in the Age of Amazon

by Rina Plapler and Will Biondi

Retail is the third most intimate industry in our 2017 Brand Intimacy Study, following automotive and media & entertainment. This is a strong showing, although it ranked second in our previous study. This category contains a diverse array of brands ranging from specialty stores that sell food, beauty products, and home furnishings to generalists with broad department-store offerings. It is clear we rely on these brands for everyday living and appreciate them for the convenience they provide.

How does the Apple Watch launch stack up compared with iPhone and iPad launches?

By Rina Plapler and Mario Natarelli

As the Brand Intimacy Agency, MBLM is dedicated to building ultimate brand relationships. We seek to help develop strong bonds and emotional connections between users and brands, largely through technology. For nearly a year, we have been conducting ethnographic research with Apple Watch users, to understand their perspective on using the device. We have been examining every aspect of their experiences by having them complete daily and weekly diaries, requiring them to try specific features and functions, forcing them not…

Better understanding how and why women form intimate brand relationships

by Rina Plapler

After completing the most comprehensive research and rankings of brands based on emotion, MBLM also wanted to dig deeper to see if and how men and women form intimate brand relationships differently. After all, women drive 70–80 percent of all consumer purchasing.(1)

What we learned is, essentially, they don’t. They form these relationships in the same way and go through the same process to develop a close connection with a brand. …

by Mario Natarelli and Rina Plapler as featured in Forbes.

Following our extensive study examining the emotional bonds between brands and 6,000 consumers, we asked close to 150 senior marketers to give us their perspectives. Those results have created our Marketing Resolutions for 2016, four ambitious goals that can transform your brand.

Decoding Its Winning Brand Formula
by Mario Natarelli and Rina Plapler

The Amazon brand has not only built a unique business proposition (retail, cloud services, entertainment, technology), but it also dominates part of our Brand Intimacy Report and Rankings. If we asked you to think about the warm and fuzzy attributes the Amazon brand connotes, could you name any? Probably not. So how does it perform so well in driving what ultimately matters most — how consumers feel about the brand?

Moreover, how does Amazon lead our retail category in the annual Brand Intimacy study, which ranks brands driven by…


We are the Brand Intimacy Agency, creating, building and sustaining ultimate brand relationships.

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