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Apple Earns Top Spot as 'Most Intimate Brand' for Millennials


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

MBLM this week published part of its Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, with the preliminary findings focusing on responses from millennials and other young age groups. MBLM surveyed 6,000 consumers and performed 54,000 brand evaluations across 15 total industries in the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates in order to discover which brands had the deepest emotional connections with respondents.

For millennials (typically individuals in their early twenties to late thirties as of 2018), Apple earned the top spot as the most intimate brand in the U.S. In second place was Disney, followed by YouTube, Target, and Amazon. The top four spots last year for millennials were Disney in first, followed by Amazon, Netflix, and then Apple, so the company has climbed and beaten out a few well-known brands this year.

Image via PRNewsfoto/MBLM

MBLM said it was "surprised and pleased" to see YouTube climbing the rankings this year.
"We were surprised and pleased to see YouTube as an addition to the top three most intimate brands for millennials this year," stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. "We believe its rise is due to our culture's continued need for escape and the brand's immediate, diverse content, personalities and growing offerings in movies and live TV. YouTube is clearly an established ritual in the lives of many millennials today."
A younger age group of individuals between 18 and 24 years old kept Apple as their most intimate brand, but listed Amazon in second, then YouTube, PlayStation, Starbucks, Nintendo, Google, Netflix, Coca Cola, and Walmart.

This is just a snapshot of the larger Brand Intimacy 2018 Report, which MBLM said it will be sharing next week, on March 13. Since Apple has earned the top spot in two important age groups, it's expected for the company to sit at number one for the overall rankings. For the 2017 list, Apple was MBLM's "top-ranked brand overall" and earned high marks in various categories like "can't live without" and frequency of use.

Article Link: Apple Earns Top Spot as 'Most Intimate Brand' for Millennials


macrumors member
Jun 1, 2016
Well, it's no surprise then if Apple iis the most intimate brand for us millenials. Apple positioned their brand as luxury item with high build quality since 2001 so that ethos etched in their brains even though Apple's quality is not as high as old times.
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macrumors 68040
That seems strange. Apple is now more like Coke, universal, but sort of the opposite of intimate.

The word intimate to me conjures images of Apple when there was a tight-knit group of the faithful near Apple's nadir. Or when Apple was the comeback kid with the Janie Saves Christmas ads that were still sort of quirky and cute, and Apple was still the underdog but coming out with amazing stuff in pretty fast succession.

I see Apple now more as the big machine, operationally huge, but more sterile. A bit like the antagonist in the 1984 ad. I'm kind of surprised Apple does as well as it does, but I think that's more due to the competition not being as great as it could be. Sort of like Apple was not a formidable competitor in the 90s allowing Windows to dominate. But still I would call the Apple of the 90s intimate compared to how I feel about it now. It's now a predictable cash-cow and not even consistent in quality like Coke. I think about the first version of iMovie. That was intimate and amazing. You could only do that on a Mac, and it was special and pretty amazing. For that to be a first-gen product was amazing, and now even the most trivial updates are bug-laden. Apple is more like Coke, if Coke forgot to add the ingredients sometimes.

I'd say when it comes to intimacy today, iMessage/Messages is probably Apple's most intimate product for me. I enjoy it. So it's not all bad. But first place in intimacy seems weird.


macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
I was not aware that Apple was considered a brand that made intimate products. (Gives the interestingly named iPad the wonky eye o_O)
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macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
#4 and especially #5 make no sense. Why would anyone be intimate about a company that peddles counterfeits? That makes you question if #1 is a paid placement.


macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2012
I look at that top ten list and "intimate" just doesn't come to mind, really? I need to talk with my daughters!
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Jun 13, 2015
The ad agency that gives out these awards stands to make a lot of money if they can somehow inculcate the idea of brand intimacy.

The more I think about it, the more I am disturbed by the implications.

For instance, it would not be unusual for a women to conceal early news of pregnancy from all but her closest friends and confidents-- and perhaps one or two of the brands on this list.
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macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2010
“Since Apple has earned the top spot in two important age groups, it's expected for the company to sit at number one for the overall rankings. ”

Which age groups aren't “important”? Apple (and the industry more broadly) has pushed cell phones (at least) almost to the “indispensible” category for anyone aged 5 to 117, plus the masses that grew up with Apple or have been customers since the mid-eighties. Not to sound reactionary or bereft of financial acumen, but while mass market advertising loves youth, obviously, it's a bit myopic, and unhelpfully “ageist”, to validate marketing categories. We're all in this together, after all.


p.s. Yes, I don't care for blanket terms like “ageist” either...maybe I'm just as guilty of surrendering to the temptations of shorthanding layered concepts as was the author of the piece.


macrumors 68040
Dec 3, 2003
New Orleans, LA
It's still damn impressive that Apple has bounced back the way it has. I remember being a big Apple nerd back in High School in the pre-iPod days and nobody knew what the **** I was talking about--or cared.


macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
When I think of the word "intimate" these brands are not what comes to mind.

But the idea that Apple is competing with Disney in the minds of its users, seems about right. Once one grows up and has to spend their own money, Apple products no longer have the luster they've had in years past.

As an adult, the only brand on the list that seems realistic is "Whole Foods" and I would not call that an "intimate" relationship.

More corporate brain washing if you ask me.


macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
Slapfish, North Carolina
When I Wikipedia the definition of Millenial, I still don't have a clear answer, fuzzy at best. Were they the generation born around the turn of the (21st) century? Were they the ones just coming of age at the turn of the century? Can someone tell me what the birth-years for the Millenial generation is?
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