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Does Being a Beautiful Actress have Branding Benefits?

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What makes some of the stars of our Engagement IQ (Google, Coca-Cola and Pope Francis) likeable and others, well…not that likeable?

Let’s start with Merck and do an MRI of the results. 

Merck starts off with low awareness (57%). If a company is not known, it cannot be evaluated. Top associations with Merck are that the company is smart (23%) and secretive (14%), not the best combination. 

Not quite mad scientist stuff but in that direction. 

The result is the lowest scores of all twelve companies and people on lunchability, postability and readability – and leads to a low Engagement IQ Index of 0.0.

Now, you might say that this is all driven by low awareness – and that would be a good point…if it weren’t for Jennifer Lawrence. 

Jennifer Lawrence also has relatively low awareness (68%) but has very high positives (hip = 43%; smart = 25%) and no negatives, at least before the episode in which she allegedly had a bit too much to drink. 

Ms. Lawrence had an Engagement IQ Index of 20.0.

Which brings us to Merrill Lynch and its Engagement IQ Index of -3.8, which is close to Merck but with different diagnostics. 

First of all, awareness of Merrill Lynch is much higher at 87%. Merrill Lynch is seen as being smart by 38%, a prominent favorable association. But Merrill Lynch’s reputation suffers from relatively high associations with all three negative attributes studied: secretive (16%), arrogant (16%) and dishonest (14%).

Lessons learned?
 

1. The nine (9) diagnostic metrics composing the Engagement IQ are meaningful and relevant, they combine essential behaviors and customer sentiment measurements.

2. The diagnostics lead to different implications for customer engagement communications:

  • Merck needs to build awareness and be seen as more transparent
  • Merrill Lynch needs to address specific negative perceptions

​To be fair, Merrill Lynch is being tarred by the brush of unfavorable attitudes toward all financial companies.  While this is not new, it has intensified over the last six years.

3. Being a blonde and beautiful actress has branding benefits!

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