Dubai: Apple has outranked Samsung as the brand with the strongest connection with consumers in the UAE, according to a new study.

The UAE MBLM Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which has been released for the first time, ranked Apple as the most intimate brand in the UAE, followed by Lexus and Samsung placing second and third, respectively.

The top ten is rounded out by Mercedes, Dove, Starbucks, Sony, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Google and Ikea. ADCB is the only local brand to earn a spot in the top ten.

The UAE report is part of a wider global research that analysed the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations in the United States, Mexico and UAE.

Apple also topped the rankings in the US and Mexico. BMW and Toyota completed the top three in the US, with American Express and NIssan ranked second and third, respectively, in Mexico.

In terms of sales, Samsung has been holding the crown as the number one brand, but it recently struggled to prop up its business as it has met strong competition from Apple and new entrants in the smartphone market.

While Apple has seen rising demand for its latest mobile phone releases, the Korean company’s smartphone sales continued to decline in 2015, with its market share dropping to 24.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 30.4 per cent a year earlier.

Taj ElKhayat, regional vice president for Middle East, Turkey, North West and Central Africa at Riverbed Technology, attributed the decline to competition.

“Samsung is not only losing market share to Apple, but also to its Android competitors. With the emergence of a number of smaller players who supply developing markets with entry level-priced smartphones, there is now fierce competition in this space,” ElKhayat told Gulf News earlier.

The MBLM study was conducted to understand the emotional bonds between consumers and brands.

"This report is based on quantitative research among consumers where our goal was to measure, quantify and better understand how emotions impact brand relationships and further dimension which brands are most successful at creating these bonds," William Shintani, partner at MBLM, said.

"The significance of the research findings is that intimate brands make business sense. The top ten most intimate brands outperform established financial indices for both revenue and profit growth over ten years. These brands also command a price premium, enjoying more financial resilience than brands in the same industries that are not intimate."

Top 10 most intimate brands in UAE

1. Apple

2. Lexus

3. Samsung

4. Mercedes

5. Dove

6. Starbucks

7. Sony


9. Google

10. Ikea