LAS VEGAS -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Brand strategy firm UTA Brand Studio today unveiled Brand Dependence™, a new index providing a unique and innovative measure of consumer brand strength. The inaugural quarterly Brand Dependence™ index, focused on technology and consumer electronics, reveals that Microsoft and Samsung topped the list of technology brands that consumers say they can’t live without and relate more to themselves. Laurence Vincent, UTA Brand Studio founder and executive director, unveiled The Brand Dependence™ index during a presentation entitled “Story of Attachment” at the International CES in Las Vegas.
Brand Dependence™ Index will be adding new categories of brands to the index once a quarter, and plans to publish the index with a major media partner. uSamp, the technology leader in sample and insights solutions providing automation, mobile and global solutions for marketers, is UTA’s exclusive technology partner for the index.
“This new branding index provides a more accurate depiction of how US consumers relate to leading brands. It challenges conventional wisdom that tends to look solely at intent to purchase, likability and sales-driven econometrics,” said Vincent. “Our index evaluates brand-self connection and the degree to which thoughts and feelings about a brand come to mind automatically—requiring little effort. This metric has been proven to be a better gauge of a brand’s influence and market power. In this case, it shows the potential and latent equity of brands like Microsoft and Sony.”
BRAND DEPENDENCE™ INDEX FINDINGS
In the consumer electronics list released today, Samsung had the highest Brand Dependence Intensity score and Microsoft had the highest Brand Dependence Impact score, which adjusts scores for national levels of brand familiarity. The core Intensity score measures how much people are dependent on, or “cannot live without,” a brand. A brand can potentially score up to 100 points for complete attachment or -100 points for complete aversion. A majority of survey respondents gave Microsoft a high brand-self connection score, agreeing with statements such as “this brand is part of who I am.” Apple ranked fifth on the index, with an Intensity score of 18 and an Impact score of 15. Google surpassed Apple slightly with an Impact score of 19 and an Intensity score of 18.
The results of the inaugural Brand Dependence™ index, which ranked 10 of the world’s most recognized consumer electronics brands, can be found in tables upon request or via the accompanying graphics on Business Wire.
Interestingly, when adjusted for HHI, Brand Dependence for the Apple brand increases proportionately and significantly. Apple ranked #1 on Intensity for households with incomes greater than $50,000 per year.
Said Vincent, “It tells us that more than anything, Apple is a very aspirational luxury brand, akin to Mercedes.”
In addition to the influence of income, responses to the Apple brand were the most polarized of any brand in the study. People loved it or hated it more so than the other brands that were studied. Apple was also the #1 brand on Intensity for respondents with college degrees.
Three key factors that influence a Brand Dependence score are enrichment, enticement and enablement. All three drivers have been proven in previous rounds of research to affect a brand’s overall attachment score, but enrichment—or how much a brand symbolically expresses the identity of the individual—has been proven to be the most impactful of the 3. Apple scored very high on enticement (which reflects the aesthetics and experience of the brand) but lagged on enrichment, which may explain why recent Apple advertising has shifted away from demonstrations of product functionality and instead into values, as it did with its recent “Misunderstood” holiday commercial featuring a teenage boy’s surprising contribution to his family.
“uSamp is proud to be the exclusive technology partner powering UTA’s Brand Dependence Index, continuing our mission of providing marketers with critical insights that will drive their businesses forward,” said Justin Wheeler, vice president product innovation & business development at uSamp. “We look forward to helping establish ‘brand dependence’ as a standard for marketers to analyze their brand’s impact on consumers.”
BRAND DEPENDENCE™ INDEX METHODOLOGY
Developed by UTA Brand Studio in the exclusive partnership with uSamp, Brand Dependence™ is a methodology built upon the pioneering academic research on brand attachment of Deborah MacInnis, Vice Dean and Professor at USC Marshall School of Business and C. Whan Park Professor of Marketing at USC Marshall School of Business, at the USC Marshall School of Business.
Unlike traditional ways of measuring brand strength, Brand Dependence™ is measured on the basis of the following two factors: (1) how close (far) a brand is to (from) consumers themselves, and (2) how often and naturally thoughts about a brand come to their mind. These two factors are, in turn, determined by how much consumers see a brand as being like themselves, sharing their values and belief systems, the degree to which they believe a brand is indispensable (or useless) in their lives, and how pleasing it is to their senses. People who are attached to a brand (a high BD score) are more likely to purchase and repurchase products and services than people who merely say they “like” or “prefer” a brand.
The next steps for the Brand Dependence Index will be a custom offering to clients who want to score their own brands as well as interpret the core drivers behind the score.
ABOUT UTA BRAND STUDIO
United Talent Agency (UTA) established UTA Brand Studio in 2012 to provide industry-leading brand consulting services for businesses. We help companies launch new brands, re-establish the relevance of existing brands, and develop innovative brand experiences.
Founded on the principle that storytelling is the root of every great brand, UTA Brand Studio uses a proprietary approach to branding that leverages two decades of research and hands-on experience in the field of brand narrative and consumer behavior. This approach results in experiences that drive strong consumer attachment and measurable brand preference. For more information, please visit www.utabrandstudio.com.
United Talent Agency is a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world's most widely-known figures in every current and emerging area of entertainment, including motion pictures, television, digital media, video games, books, music, and live entertainment. The agency is also globally recognized in the areas of film finance, film packaging, corporate consulting, licensing, endorsements and the representation of production talent. UTA operates the brand strategy agency the UTA Brand Studio as well as New York and Los Angeles-based United Entertainment Group, a joint venture firm focusing on branded entertainment for Fortune 500 companies.
uSamp is the technology leader in sample and insights solutions providing automation, mobile and global solutions for marketers. Based in Los Angeles, with five offices in the United States, Europe and Asia, uSamp has been recognized in Inc.'s 500|5000 exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. For more information visit www.usamp.com