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Pandemic Proof: The Most Loved Brands of COVID-19

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Pandemic Proof: The Most Loved Brands of COVID-19

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Since March of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people to physically distance themselves from others, yet many feel closer to their loved ones than ever before.

When it comes to brands, consumers have forged relationships that could be just as meaningful. In fact, consumers demonstrated a 23% increase in the number of brands they have an emotional connection with—so what does this mean for brands?

The graphic above highlights data from MBLM’s Brand Intimacy COVID Study which measures how emotionally connected consumers in the U.S. are to the brands they use, and how brands can benefit.

The Power of Love

While attracting eyeballs or increasing foot traffic may carry a lot of weight when it comes to determining the success of certain brands, the real metric that should be paid attention to is love.

Brands that nurture emotional bonds with their customers tend to outperform top companies listed on the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 in both revenue and profit. Not only that, they can also build higher levels of trust, which in turn breeds a more loyal consumer base over time.

“The concept of brand intimacy is important for marketers because emotion has been proven to drive purchase decisions, and also long-term customer bonds.”

—MBLM Managing Partner, Mario Natarelli

As the global pandemic rages on, this idea has become more relevant than ever before. Consumers have been using their newfound time to deepen their relationship with brands, but who has managed to win their hearts?

Brand Love in the Time of COVID-19

Apple has been named as the most loved brand during COVID-19, moving up from third place before the pandemic. Even though the tech giant beat Disney and Amazon for the top spot, its success can mostly be attributed to female and millennial consumers, while Amazon was voted the most loved brand for male consumers.

The list of most loved brands has seen three new additions throughout the year: Google, YouTube, and Toyota, which means that media and entertainment brands now dominate the list. The retail industry has also increased intimacy score performance by 9.4% during the pandemic, with Walmart flying the flag for retail brands in fourth place.

The Formula for a Happy Relationship

When it comes to giving consumers what they want, Apple ticks the box for three important need states highlighted in the report:

  • Fulfilment: A brand that exceeds expectations by delivering on superior service, quality, and efficacy.
  • Ritual: When a person ingrains a brand into his or her daily actions, it becomes a vitally important part of their everyday life.
  • Enhancement: Customers become better through use of the brand—smarter, more capable, and more connected.

Interestingly, brands that are part of the smartphone ecosystem generally outperform brands that are not, and the ecosystem has only increased in strength during the pandemic. Moreover, brands that fall into the “devices” or “content/information” categories have higher intimacy scores, and are therefore more loved.

most loved brands covid supplemental

There has also been an increase in the performance of brands in the “access” category—such as Verizon and AT&T—which may be attributed to the value people are placing on communication during the pandemic.

Notable Mentions

It’s also worth noting that consumers have increased their usage of virtual conferencing brand Zoom more than any other brand in the study.

While hand sanitizer brand Purell did not make the list of most loved brands, it ranked in first place when it comes to the best response to the pandemic and is the brand consumers are most willing to pay 20% more for.

Overall, it is clear that COVID-19 has had a huge influence on the brands that consumers connect with most. With their preferences now leaning towards brands in the smartphone ecosystem, one has to wonder: will marketers of the future place more value on winning the hearts of consumers, or simply getting in their hands?

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Misc

Infographic: The Next Characters to Enter the Public Domain

This infographic shows which popular characters will be entering the public domain over the next 15 years.

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Infographic showing which popular characters that will enter public domain in coming years

The Next Characters to Enter the Public Domain

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Copyright is a type of intellectual property right that protects authors’ original works, meaning that their art cannot be used without approval. However, copyright protections do not last forever—eventually, all original work will enter the public domain.

In this graphic, we visualize the popular characters that are set to enter the public domain in the next 15 years, using data compiled from several sources.

How Does a Character Enter the Public Domain?

The amount of time a given work is protected by copyright varies, but this window typically lasts 70 years after the author’s death or 95 years after publication. Once the copyright expires, the work enters the public domain, signaling time for anyone to enjoy and interact with them without legal repercussions.

Which Characters Will Have Their Copyrights Expire Next?

The Brothers Grimm version of Snow White has already had its copyright expire. However, Disney’s iconic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs version will only enter public domain in 2032.

On January 1st, 2024, the Steamboat Willie versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse entered public domain (and already, content creators are seizing the opportunity). The modern version of Mickey Mouse will follow suit in roughly 15 years.

Below is a list of popular characters that will be entering the public domain in coming years.

CharacterYear expected to enter the public domain
Sleeping Beautyalready public domain
Snow Whitealready public domain
Pinocchioalready public domain
Peter Panalready public domain
Tinkerbellalready public domain
Captain Hookalready public domain
Winnie-the-Poohalready public domain
Mickey Mouse (Steamboat Willie version)already public domain
Minnie Mouse (Steamboat Willie version)already public domain
Popeye2025
Pluto2026
Betty Boop2026
Goofy2028
Donald Duck2029
King Kong2029
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Disney version)2032
Superman2034
Bugs Bunny2035
Batman2035
Joker2036
Captain America2036
Wonder Woman2037
Mickey Mouse (Disney version)2037
Bambie2038

Several of Mickey’s companions—including Pluto (2026), Goofy (2028), and Donald Duck (2029)—will be entering public domain in the next five years along with Betty Boop (2026), King Kong (2029), and Bugs Bunny (2035).

The copyright on many of DC Comics’ stars—like Superman, Batman, the Joker, and Wonder Woman—will expire in the 2030s.

If you found this interesting, check out this visualization on the world’s top media franchises of all-time by revenue.

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