Apps and social media platforms lack brand intimacy, study finds
- Apps and social media platforms might be popular, but they don't create much resonance with consumers, as the category ranked 12th out of 15 industries studied in the MBLM's Brand Intimacy 2018 report. The group, which made its findings available to Marketing Dive, found apps and social platforms have a Brand Intimacy Quotient of 18, well below the industry average of 27.1.
- Apple Music was rated No. 1 in brand intimacy in the apps and social platforms category, after ranking sixth last year. It scored highest in "ritual," or how ingrained the platform is in daily actions. Apple Music was also No. 1 among millennials and men.
- Facebook and Spotify were next in line. Women preferred Facebook, which was No. 1 among 35- to 44-year-olds. Pinterest, Pandora, Snapchat, Google Maps, Twitter, Uber and Instagram rounded out the top 10. Spotify was preferred by 18- to 24-year-olds and people with incomes between $35,000 and $50,000.
Even though social media and apps are now ingrained in most people's daily lives, users clearly aren't emotionally connecting to the platforms and brands they engage with. Apple Music leading the pack for intimacy points to how having an already strong brand and combining that with a service people can integrate into their daily routine might be a way for marketers to create more resonance and demonstrate value with their mobile efforts.
The MBLM findings still underpin a growing recognition that social media and smartphone use don't always make people happy, and can actually have considerable negative side effects. Transparency and privacy concerns are weighing heavier on consumers' minds, and MBLM reported a "steep decline" in trust for social media and search engines, from 53% to 42%. High-profile incidents, like Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, where personal information from 87 million users was abused by a data firm with ties to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, may be further alienating people.
Users generally dislike ads on apps and social platforms, and as ad spend is increasing, it's only deepening the disconnect with consumers. Brand intimacy is higher for brands that have a mobile presence, MBLM found, but consumers may often see apps an extension of their smartphone's operating system and feel entitled to them.