The 2017 Brand Intimacy Report was based on data from a survey of 3,000 consumers in the United States age 18-64. Respondents were asked to assess the intensity of their emotional bond with major brands by answering questions about how connected they feel to the brands, how important the brands are to their lives, and how much they would recommended the brands (see the full methodology here).
The researchers assigned each brand a Brand Intimacy Quotient score of between 1 (no connection) and 100 (extremely strong connection), based on consumers' responses.
Apple received the highest Brand Intimacy Quotient score (77); Disney ranked second (73).
They were followed by Amazon, Harley-Davidson, Netflix, Nintendo, Samsung, Whole Foods, BMW, and Toyota.
Apple received the top spot in the ranking in large part because it is the top brand consumers say they can't live without.
Disney ranks as the brand consumers age 18-4 feel most intimately connected with, whereas Apple ranks first with adults age 35-64.
Men are more likely than women to feel connected with Harley-Davidson and Nintendo; women are more likely than men to feel connected with Disney and Amazon.