The media and entertainment (M&E) industry in the UAE is evidently doing the right things to tap on consumer’s emotions. According to the largest study of brands based on emotions, the sector saw an unprecedented rise to the top three among 15 industries researched in the UAE this year. This is in comparison to 2018, where the category ranked #9 and #8 in 2017.
This jump represents a marked shift in the way consumers connect with these brands, putting UAE trends more in line with those revealed in the U.S. study, where media and entertainment ranks #1.
Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds consumers form with brands they use and love. Top intimate brands outperform top brands in the S&P and Fortune 500 indices for revenue and profit. Consumers are also more willing to pay price premiums for intimate brands and less willing to live without them. MBLM leverages the yearly study to help client brands create, sustain and measure ultimate brand relationships.
YouTube’s performance in particular indicates just how integral M&E brands are becoming to UAE consumers’ lives. YouTube reached the top 10 across all industries, making it the first-ever M&E industry brand to do so in the UAE. Meanwhile, National Geographic, OSN and Netflix all moved up to the 2nd 3rd and 4th places respectively. Gulf News, PlayStation, Disney, MBC and Nintendo followed them to round out the Industry Top 10.
“In the UAE, the media and entertainment industry has appeared much lower in the rankings, as consumers traditionally are more intimate with industries like automotive and technology. Those industries still score high, but to see media and entertainment rise so quickly in 2019 is an indication of shifting consumer priorities in the UAE,” stated William Shintani, Managing Partner, MBLM.
Other notable findings in the M&E industry include:
• Netflix was the most intimate M&E brand overall for women surveyed
• National Geographic topped the list as most intimate industry brand for men
• Although Disney slipped from #2 to #8 in the industry, it still maintains the highest score for the nostalgia archetype (memories of the past and the warm, poignant feelings associated with them)
• The highest-ranking regional brand in the industry, OSN, had the top score for sharing, the primary stage of brand intimacy wherein the person and the brand engage and interact. At this stage, attraction occurs through reciprocity and assurance
• Indulgence, which describes a brand relationship centered on moments of pampering and gratification, was the most dominant archetype in the category
During 2018, MBLM with Praxis Research Partners conducted an online quantitative survey among 6,200 consumers in the U.S. (3,000), Mexico (2,000), and the United Arab Emirates (1,200). Participants were respondents who were screened for age (18 to 64 years of age) and annual household income ($35,000 or more) in the U.S. and socioeconomic levels in Mexico and the UAE (A, B, and C socioeconomic levels).
Quotas were established to ensure that the sample mirrored census data for age, gender, income/socioeconomic level, and region. The survey was designed primarily to understand the extent to which consumers have relationships with brands and the strength of those relationships from fairly detached to highly intimate. It is important to note that this research provides more than a mere ranking of brand performance and was specifically designed to provide prescriptive guidance to marketers.
We modeled data from over 6,200 interviews and approximately 56,000 brand evaluations to quantify the mechanisms that drive intimacy. Through factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and other sophisticated analytic techniques, the research allows marketers to better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between their brand and consumers. Thus, marketers will understand not only where their brand falls in the hierarchy of performance but also how to strengthen performance in the future.