Of all the major players in the financial services industry, San Antonio-based USAA enjoys the strongest emotional connection with customers, a new study says.
The study, published by global branding agency MBLM, puts USAA atop the list of financial services providers with the strongest “brand intimacy.” It’s followed by Standard Chartered, PayPal, Mastercard, Robinhood, Visa, Citi, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and Chase.
This is the second year in a row for USAA to lead the study’s financial services category.
In terms of brand intimacy, the major driver at USAA is “identity,” according to MBLM. This is “when the brand reflects an aspirational image or admired values and beliefs that resonate deeply,” the agency says. The identity factor aligns with USAA’s mission of serving active-duty and retired members of the military and their families.
USAA’s strong showing in the identity gives it “the edge it needs to lead the financial services industry,” MBLM says.
While USAA is No. 1 in financial services, it ranks No. 98 among all of the companies included in the MBLM study.
As a whole, the financial services industry didn’t fare well in the study. It lands at No. 14 among all industries, with media and entertainment leading the pack.
“Financial services ranks six industries below newcomer crypto in this year’s study, revealing that the industry overall lacks in building emotional connections with customers the way crypto does,” says Mario Natarelli, managing partner of MBLM. “We believe that the two industries will become more intertwined; however, financial services needs to evolve, focusing more on building trust and valued relationships, or risk falling further in our study.”
Among the companies in all of the industries covered by the study, entertainment powerhouse Disney ranks first. Two Austin companies appear in the top 25: automaker Tesla at No. 2 and grocery chain Whole Foods at No. 21. They’re the only other Texas companies in that group.