Today, we unveiled the third installment of the Brand Dependence™ Index, our periodic ranking of brands in a category based on strength of brand attachment. Studio Chief Larry Vincent presented our findings during a keynote session at ThinkLA’s Motor City West event at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This is the third study in our series of Brand Dependence investigations. Working again with our partners at uSamp, we surveyed over 4,500 US consumers, focusing our attention on 23 leading maker brands in the sedan segment.
Audi outranked other auto brands with a Brand Dependence score of 77. Brand Dependence measures how much a brand’s users and owners feel a personal sense of connection to a brand—how much it is a part of who they are as a person. It is a quantitative methodology based on a growing body of peer-reviewed academic research on brand attachment, which has been shown to be a more reliable predictor of consumer behavior than traditional attitude and satisfaction scores. A brand can potentially score up to 100 points.
The top five brands on this wave of Brand Dependence research included Audi (77), BMW (71), Cadillac (70), Mercedes-Benz (69) and Acura (69).
“It was interesting to see how high Audi scored in all categories in comparison to the other brands we studied in this round,” said Vincent. “Audi has a slightly shorter luxury history than its German competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz. However, in virtually every important measurement in our study (most notably, willingness to repurchase), the Audi brand scored higher than its German cousins. Among U.S. luxury brands, Cadillac’s strong attachment scores may be indicative of the bold moves that General Motors has taken in recent years to re-establish the brand. We were surprised to not see Lexus in the top five.”
During the event, Brand Studio presented executives from Audi with the 2014 Automotive Brand Dependence Award, an inaugural award established by UTA Brand Studio to recognize and celebrate the branding accomplishments of the most attached automotive brands.