Cue up the Marvin Gaye and slip into something more comfortable, because Chick-Fil-A wants to get to know you… intimately. At least, that’s what we can gather from brand agency MBLM’s recent Brand Intimacy COVID Study. The study focused on how brands form “emotional connections” with consumers during the pandemic and, wouldn’t you know it, fast food had a big role to play. According to the study, Chick-fil-A is the fast food company with the strongest Brand Intimacy, or emotional connection with customers. The study also found that Chick-fil-A customers exhibit strong associations with “fulfillment” and “indulgence,” both of which might result from chowing down on waffle fries during trying times.
“Despite daily consumption increases, the fast food industry has been severely affected by stay-at-home orders and initial closings.” Mario Natarelli, MBLM managing partner, said in a press release. “However, consumers have been more emotionally connected to fast food brands during the pandemic. As we return to ‘normal’ life, fast food brands should find a way to reference what we have all been through together and how they have reliably comforted us through this crisis.”
McDonald’s came in second place for Brand Intimacy, with Starbucks following in third. MBLM also noted that “intimate fast food brands” continue to outperform the leading brands in the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 in terms of revenue growth, profit growth, and stock price. You can find more info on that in the agency’s article entitled “Our Connection to Fast Food During the Pandemic.” Overall, it seems like customers appreciated brands like Chick-Fil-A that focused on safety, affordability, and comfort food during the onset of the pandemic. Of course, this particular comfort food has a long history of funding anti-LGBTQ organizations, so. Just something to consider before you Eat More Chikin.