Carat announced the launch of The Brand EQ Index, a proprietary piece of research that ranks the most emotionally intelligent brands across the world.
Beginning in March 2020, Carat surveyed 10,000 people about their perceptions of 48 globally known brands in five categories: retail, food & drink, technology, automobile and financial services. Respondents in 10 markets evaluated how well they think brands are doing in different areas of emotional intelligence: empathy, self-awareness, social skills, internal motivation, and self-regulation.
According to Carat, the goal of The Brand EQ Index is to demonstrate the value of building emotional bonds with audiences, something an algorithm simply cannot do at scale. It aims to identify the common traits that are shared among the world’s most successful brands and is based on the hypothesis that marketing is rooted in human understanding and designing for people.
One of the findings of the study is the close relationship between ‘human outcomes’ and the importance of technology for a brand. Among the top 20 scorers, eight are heavily oriented around digital technology and innovation, whether that is in a ‘pure’ way (Google & Microsoft) or by redefining the way we purchase (Mastercard & Visa). This flies in the face of much of what has been argued by experts concerned with the de-humanizing effects of tech.
Google is the world’s most emotionally intelligent brand in 2020. Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon and Apple also made it to the top 10.
Over the past ten years, the average share price of the 20 most emotionally intelligent brands vastly outperformed brands with a lower EQ. High EQ brands also outperformed key stock indices such as the Standard & Poors 500 and Dow Jones 30 by over 500 percentage points over the past decade.
Their poor performance is driven primarily by a lack of trust. Only 40% of respondents believe that Facebook behaves with honesty and integrity. For Uber, the figure is 37%.
Adidas, Nike, and Amazon reached top positions. Automotive and financial services brands have weaker-than-average emotional intelligence.
The report, which can be viewed in full on Carat’s website, also dives deep into key learnings for brands, ranging from how they can engage younger audiences to how they should use their EQ chops to build trust with consumers. The Brand EQ Index is the first in a series and will be built upon in the coming months.
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