Theme Parks and Hospitality Companies Take a Hit in “Brand Intimacy”

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The hospitality & theme parks industry ranked 12th out of the 15 studied in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, which is the largest study of brands based on emotions, falling two spots since 2018. Disney Parks dominated the industry, followed by Hilton and Universal Theme Parks. The remaining brands in the Top 10 for the hospitality & theme parks industry were: Marriott, Four Seasons, Holiday Inn, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, Sheraton and Days Inn.

Brand Intimacy is defined as the emotional science that measures the bonds we form with the brands we use and love. Top intimate brands in the U.S. continued to significantly outperform the top brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P indices in both revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to the Brand Intimacy 2019 Study.

“Beyond theme parks, the industry continues to struggle to build strong emotional connections with consumers,” stated Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM. “Disney Parks is an example of a brand that works to create emotional bonds beyond the commoditized approach many take today, focusing on the experiential, affinity programs and amenities. We firmly believe the industry is underperforming and has an opportunity to leverage strategies and tactics around building stronger bonds with customers to increase its Brand Intimacy.”

Other significant hospitality & theme parks industry findings include:

  • The gap between the #1 and #2 brand in the industry was larger than in any other: Disney Parks had a Brand Intimacy Quotient of 58.4, while Hilton’s score was 34.2
  • Disney Parks was the #1 brand for both women and men
  • Disney Parks was also #1 for millennials, users over 35, and users with incomes both under and over $100,000

In addition to the findings, MBLM released an article examining why Disney Parks performed so well in its study. The piece, “Making Sense of the Magic of Disney Parks,” explores Disney Parks’ tie to the #1 overall brand, Disney, and how Disney Parks is able to appeal across age groups and gender to create strong bonds.

The Brand Intimacy 2019 Study contains the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,200 consumers and 56,000 brand evaluations across 15 industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Data Dashboard, which features a brand ranking tool, showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

To view hospitality & theme parks industry findings, please click here. MBLM also hosted a webinar on the industry, a recording of it can be found here. To download the full Brand Intimacy 2019 Study or explore the Data Dashboard click here.

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