We live in a cyberfuture, which means we have relationships with brands — and now, someone has started measuring how close we are with the companies in our lives.
Sony’s PlayStation gaming division is ranked the No. 3 “most intimate brand’ among millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34), according to a report from marketing firm MBLM. It ranks behind only Amazon and Apple. If you’re wondering what the hell “intimacy” means in this situation, MBLM defines it as a tight relationship between a person and a brand that can help a business grow.
We’ve seen evidence of PlayStation’s connection with gamers over the last couple years, as the company’s PlayStation 4 console has sold faster than any Sony system ever based largely on the company’s reputation among fans. The worldwide gaming market is worth around $100 billion, and Sony has proved that establishing a rapport with consumers can help a company capture a big piece of that.
MBLM specializes in help companies build up their brands, and so it obviously has an interest in helping people believe this metric is an important one. As part of its report, MBLM polled 6,000 consumers from the United States, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. Collectively, those subjects gave 54,000 evaluations of various brands. This, MBLM claims, enabled it to gauge the emotions that certain companies elicit.
Amazon, which is getting deeper into the gaming business, came out on top because — according to the researchers — it has built a ritual with savvy, connected customers. For millennials, Amazon has set up a fulfillment chain that fits into their lifestyle.
Sony’s PlayStation division is using a bit of a different tactic. Its product, the PS4, is nearly indistinguishable from its Microsoft competition. The two systems run many of the same games with roughly the same performance. They also have similar features like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold.
Where Sony has stood out from Microsoft, however, is in the messaging and culture.
While Microsoft dug itself a hole in the early days of the Xbox One with policies and features — like always on digital-rights management and no used games — Sony put forth executives in videos like the following to take jabs at Microsoft:
That sort of confident messaging helped establish PlayStation 4 as the brand that “gets” gamers, and that reputation has held. This is despite that Microsoft long ago undid every major issue that gamers claimed to have with the Xbox One. These days, as I mentioned, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are pretty much the exact same thing. Yet PlayStation has already won over too many hearts and minds.