The independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute today released its groundbreaking 2018 Emotionally Intelligent Brand Index, featuring annual rankings and ratings for technology brands by affluent U.S. consumers.
The Emotionally Intelligent Brand Index metrics and analytics were developed using 10 years of proprietary, quantitative and qualitative research with affluent consumers, front-line associates, managers and executives. The survey distills and measures the deep human connection elements that clients expect from an optimal brand experience across any channel, or form of engagement.
Apple achieved an overall score of 7.84 out of a maximum possible score of 10. Apple’s core strengths are its expertise in delivering quality products and services, embedded in a superior customer experience. More importantly, Apple is the top-rated brand across all key indicators of emotional intelligence: empathy, trustworthiness, and generosity. Apple scores particularly well among older affluent consumers age 65 and above. This is in sharp contrast to the typical pattern of younger consumers giving higher ratings to technology companies. After Apple, the top technology products brands score highest, while, ironically, brands known primarily as social media platforms score lowest on emotional intelligence.
Facebook is by far the lowest rated technology brand for emotional intelligence, according to the survey. Its total IEBI score is less than one-half of Apple’s score, and far below every other tech brand. A whopping 44% of affluent consumers say Facebook is the least trustworthy brand, while 35% say it is the least empathic, and 25% say it is the least generous. One in five affluent consumers report actively discouraging friends, family or other people they care about deeply from using Facebook. Through its cumulative behaviors and communications, Facebook is clearly alienating a massive swath of the consumers with the highest spending power. Consumers know that a brand is the cumulative expression of its people, and consumers ultimately hold people accountable for the expression of their purpose and values through the brand.
“Measuring traditional business metrics to gauge your brand equity, in today’s relationship-driven brand marketplace, is akin to taking your pulse, blood pressure and temperature to figure out whether, or not, you are a kind human being,” said Milton Pedraza Luxury Institute CEO. “Great products and service are a must. But creating brand value today is about going beyond, and cultivating deep, trusted, long-term client relationships with emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is driven by the aggregate emotional intelligence of the brand’s leaders, employees, and partners across any means of client engagement. Ignoring deep human needs and emotions in business today is pure incompetence, and brands that fail the emotional intelligence test are highly at risk.”
The EIBI survey also provides rated brands with their full, detailed scores by demographic customer segments, as well as the ratings of their competitive set. Brands rated and ranked were, in alphabetical order: