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Levi’s & Amazon Foster Meaningful Brand Connections That Win at Retail


Many clothing brands, including Levi’s and Nike, are successfully capitalizing on consumers’ emotions.

MBLM, brand management agency, released a report about the top companies as ranked by brand intimacy. For apparel and retail, companies that successfully executed brand intimacy were those that created desire and implemented a seamless omni-channel platform. They’re able to fortify the emotional bonds between consumers and and their brands.

MBLM evaluates the type of emotional connection by looking at various metrics, including to what degree the brand fulfills expectations, reflects an aspirational image, is ingrained in users’ everyday lives and triggers nostalgia. The level of intimacy looks at how deep or shallow the connection is. From this, MBLM provides each brand with an intimacy quotient score from 1-100 based on the percentage of intimate users and intensity of the relationship.

With an average quotient of 27.9, apparel falls slightly below average compared to other industries for brand loyalty. 

Levi’s ranked first place with a quotient of 49.2, due to its ability to successfully provide a feeling of indulgence. This type of gratification was the leading factor for brand intimacy in the apparel sector.

Most of the top 10 apparel companies for this year were associated with activewear. Nike came in second place, Lululemon Athletica third and Under Armour fourth. The report also compared brands head to head. The report said Adidas’ brand intimacy score is almost two times more than Puma, indicating Adidas’ stronger connection. Adidas currently has 29 percent of consumers that are brand loyal, compared to 17 percent for Puma. Furthermore, 6 percent of Adidas’ consumers are willing to pay 20 percent more for products and services, compared to Puma’s 0 percent.

Retail’s average quotient of 43.3 places it significantly above other industries, including apparel, for brand intimacy. Last year, U.S. retail sales reached $5.126 trillion with a projected growth of 3.1% for 2016. Considering 8.4 percent of U.S. retail sales are generated from e-commerce, retail brands also can bank on consumers’ emotions for market success.

Fulfillment, also known as service expectations, dictated the companies that came out on top for brand intimacy in the retail sector. Amazon was the highest-ranking retailer among millennial and Gen X shoppers, with a quotient of 71.0. Other retailers that scored in the top 10 included Target in third place, H&M in fourth, Macy’s in fifth and Nordstrom in sixth.

Head to head retail brands in the report included Amazon and Whole Foods, which were in the top two spots. Compared to Whole Foods, Amazon has 42 percent of its consumers demonstrating some form of brand intimacy. With excellent fulfillment performance, Amazon’s consumers are likely to pay 20 percent more for its products and services. Despite Whole Foods reflecting a more aspirational image, Amazon still executes higher brand loyalty by allowing shoppers to feel their lives are enhanced by use of the site and becoming more ingrained in their daily lives.

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