The UAE’s retail industry came in 8th of the 15 studied in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2018 Report. Brand Intimacy is defined as a new paradigm in marketing, which leverages the emotional bonds between a person and a brand. The study reveals that top intimate brands deliver superior results related to revenue and profit growth by creating deeper relationships with their consumers.
Carrefour took home first place for most intimate brand in the retail industry, especially amongst users 25 to 44 years of age.
Ikea, the industry leader in 2017, ranked fourth place in this year’s results. Lulu Hypermarket ranked second among retail brands and performed best among millennials aged 18 to 34, with over 65 percent of the demographic responding that they couldn’t live without the brand.
E-commerce and electronic retail brands such as Amazon, souq.com, Sharaf DG and Jumbo Electronics are among the top 10 “intimate brands” in the UAE.
The report noted that one-stop shopping destinations like Lulu, Carrefour and online retailer souq.com are deeply embedded into the day-to-day lives of their users, ranking higher for essentialness compared to the retail industry average. Despite how essential they become, many brands in the industry still struggle to build stronger bonds with users. For comparison, retail ranked as the third most intimate industry in the US study.
Meanwhile, high income users from the same demographic preferred Amazon as the most intimate brand
“Retailers in the UAE don’t seem to prioritize lasting relationships with their consumers,” said William Shintani, managing partner of MBLM Dubai.
“Dubai Summer Surprises is a good opportunity to engage new customers and spark interest, but promotions and price aren’t enough incentive to build emotional bonds between brands and users. Retail brands need to think long term about how to build customer relationships from in-store experience and product selection to post-sales services to really establish strong bonds.”
The top 10 brands featured in the report are Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, City Centre, Ikea, Amazon, Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall, souq.com, Sharaf DG and Jumbo Electronics.