Hershey’s holds top consumer goods rank in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy Covid Study
American chocolate brand, Hershey’s, has held onto its top consumer goods spot in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy Covid Study, a research which looks at brands based on emotional connections during the pandemic.
The 2021 Brand Intimacy Covid Study is a follow up to the 2020 research, which explored how the pandemic had impacted the brands consumers loved the most. Conducted with 3,000 consumers, it aims to demonstrate how leading brand and consumer behaviour has changed since a year ago.
The consumer goods industry overall ranks fifth out of the ten industries analysed. This is because many people turned to consumer goods as restaurants remained closed or offered limited menus during the pandemic. Despite ongoing manufacturing and supply chain challenges since the pandemic, ‘Brand Intimacy’ performance for the consumer goods industry has increased by an average of three percent, demonstrating that these brands have provided continued comfort.
Hershey’s was followed by ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, Kellogg’s, and cookies and snacks brand, Nabisco.
“The [consumer goods] industry is the only one in our study where nostalgia is the dominant archetype, highlighting consumers are continuing to take comfort in the foods of their childhood. Brands in this space have assumed the role of soother during the pandemic and we believe they can continue to build up on the emotional connections forged and deepen their bonds in the future,” says Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM.
The research also showed that ‘Can’t live without,’ a measure based on a ten-point scale that determines how essential a brand is to consumer’s lives, has risen by 70% since the other 2021 study. This further emphasise a reliance on consumer goods brands. Similarly, two more advanced stages of Brand Intimacy, bonding and fusing, increased by 17% and 25% respectively, suggesting that once consumers are emotionally connected to consumer goods brands, they are able to move to more significant relationships.
In addition to the Brand Intimacy findings, MBLM also analysed how brands have communicated since the pandemic began in 2021 and how their messaging has changed. MBLM reviewed five brands (Hershey’s, Kellogg’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Nestle and Campbells) based on the different Covid-19 related messages they were prioritising. Hershey’s, for instance, focused on how its products provide moments of goodness related to safe family enjoyment, while Kellogg’s leveraged its global donations to hunger relief. Both Ben & Jerry’s and Campbell’s highlighted employee safety, and Nestle featured a business focus related to the impact of Covid-19, whilst also supporting equitable vaccine distribution.