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Disney boots Apple off top US spot in 2019 'Brand Intimacy' study

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Entertainment megacorporation Disney has, for the first time, replaced Apple at the top of MBLM's annual "Brand Intimacy" study in the U.S., gauging the emotional attachments manufactured by brands.

Disney did well because of its nostalgic associations, and the "strong bonds it builds with both men and women and across a variety of age groups," MBLM said. Apple meanwhile "lost some luster" because of "well-publicized missteps and consumer gadget fatigue," the firm explained. Amazon, Chevrolet, Netflix, Harley-Davidson, PlayStation, YouTube, Ford, and Chick-fil-A rounded out the top 10.

To create the U.S. rankings 6,200 people were polled during 2018. Respondents were limited to those aged 18 to 64, and household income of $35,000 or higher. In separate polls in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, Apple retained first place.

It's not clear what specific Apple mis-steps MBLM is referring to. The company has dealt with a variety of incidents in the past year though, such as the controversy over throttled performance for iPhones with weakened batteries. Under public pressure Apple was forced to make that throttling optional and offer discounted battery replacements. It was also hit with a number of legal actions, including a fine by the Italian government

Both Apple and Amazon did well with younger demographics, like last year, MBLM noted. In terms of class, Apple was the top brand among people making between $100,000 and $200,000 per year — people below that income picked Amazon.