Brand absence makes the heart grow fonder - Global study mapping consumer sentiment discovers links between brand exposure and brand indifference

- Affection for brands growing colder among Millennial generation

NEW YORK, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Global research from marketing agency Momentum Worldwide reveals that people in countries with long-established consumer spending power –  Japan, the UK and the USA – feel less connected with brands than those in emerging markets.

Brands operating in more developed consumer economies are less likely to forge meaningful relationships with customers than those in emerging markets, as global research reveals that over half of British, Japanese and American people report indifference towards some of the best known brands in the market.  

The study asked over 6,504 respondents across nine markets to classify their feelings towards well-known brands by types of interpersonal relationship: specifically whether they see a particular brand as a family member, friend, acquaintance or enemy. Over half (54%) of those asked in Britain would not consider brands as any more than an acquaintance. In Japan and the United States, 55% and 45% respectively, report a similar emotional distance from popular brands. 

In the UK, only 15% would consider brands as a member of the family. Similarly, in Japan, which tops the list of nations where affection for brands shows up low, only 13% hold a similar affection for the brands for which they have identified awareness. This is in stark contrast with emerging economies such as Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines where more than a third of those questioned would consider these brands as a member of their own family.

Most concerning, perhaps, is a clear wane in brand affection among younger respondents — the Millennial generation. Globally, those who see brands as the closest to them are in the 25–31 year old bracket with over a quarter (28%) of respondents considering them as a family member or a significant other. This drops by a considerable five points in the sought-after 18–24 bracket.

Pertinently, the study also asked respondents to score brands based on how authentic they think the brand is among their peers and social networks. There is an 89% positive correlation between brands that are seen as most authentic and brands which people would consider part of their family. 

Commenting on the research, Matthew Gidley, Director of Insight and Strategy of Momentum UK, said "What we are seeing here is a critical case of brand fatigue for countries in which people have experienced a sustained and extensive exposure to brand messages."

"As academic marketers and anthropologists predicted almost two decades ago, brands are experiencing a shift in demand away from mass market advertising towards the provision of a more personalized and individual experience. In more developed consumer economies, people's priorities have changed. As global brands become more accessible to a greater variety of people, less and less are using them as status symbols or emblems to demonstrate their own success. Instead, they expect these brands to open up an honest and authentic dialogue upon which they can build their own stories."

"Our research is a wakeup call for global brands in more developed economies, making clear that they must evolve with their changing audiences to guarantee their relevance and their futures," said Momentum Worldwide Chairman & CEO Chris Weil. "Today, people demand authentic connections and value, making the ability to create individual, personalized experiences a higher priority than ever. We're excited to advance our position as total brand experience leaders with this intelligence, taking our clients' businesses even further with stronger insight into the leading factors driving connection, consideration, conversation and purchase across diverse markets."

METHODOLOGY: This research was carried out across nine markets globally including Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Additional statistics
Markets reporting the strongest emotional connections between brands and consumers

  • 70% would consider their relationship with brands to be friendships or stronger
  • Over half (56%) of these respondents see brands as a member of their family or spouse


  • 67% would consider their relationship with brands to be friendships or stronger
  • Over half (61%) of these respondents see brands as a member of their family or spouse


  • 64% would consider their relationship with brands to be friendships or stronger
  • Over half (58%) of these respondents see brands as a member of their family or spouse

Markets reporting the most emotional distance between brands and consumers

  • 55% would consider brands to be no more than an acquaintance
  • Of these, 7% see brands as their enemy or arch rival

United Kingdom

  • 54% would consider brands to be no more than an acquaintance
  • 17% of these would categorize brands as their enemy or arch rival

United States of America

  • 45% would consider brands to be no more than an acquaintance
  • 20% of these respondents cite enemy or arch rival as the most analogous to their brand relationships

It's not about what brands say. It's what they do that matters.  People are no longer satisfied with simply "hearing" a brand's message; now it's the actual experiences we have with a brand that define its relevance—emotionally, socially and when it's time to buy. That's why Momentum Worldwide helps brands imagine, create, curate and manage their Total Brand Experience. Our job is to create meaning and connections for the best brands in the world. We do this with expertise in business and communications strategy, idea and content creation, and flawless execution across every possible touch point—including events, sponsorships, promotions, advertising, shopper and retail, music, entertainment, social, digital, product and package design and beyond. Part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), we operate in over 50 countries for partners including American Express, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Microsoft, Walmart,  William Grant & Sons and many more. and @momentumww

SOURCE Momentum Worldwide


More by this Source

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.


PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.