Cardano Is The Most Popular Crypto Brand

Published 21.3.2024

The Brand Intimacy Agency’s 2022 report astonished many crypto enthusiasts as it revealed Cardano as the top-ranking crypto brand. In spring 2024, Cardano continues to hold its position at the pinnacle, with its score remaining unchanged. Bitcoin and Polkadot trail behind, securing the second and third spots respectively. In this article, we will delve into the process of analyzing the relationship between users and brands, as it offers crucial context for interpreting the results. Following that, we will focus on the results in the Crypto category, providing a detailed examination of them.

About The Brand Intimacy Agency

The Brand Intimacy Agency (also known as MBLM), is a pioneer in brand analysis. Their comprehensive model is designed to create, sustain, and measure ultimate brand relationships.

MBLM’s approach to brand analysis is a comprehensive process focusing on several key aspects of brand relationships.

The process begins by identifying who the user is. In MBLM’s studies, the user is defined as someone who has had repeated interactions with the brand or has used it extensively.

The core of brand intimacy lies in the emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. The stronger this emotional bond, the more intimate the relationship becomes. This connection is what differentiates a casual user from a loyal customer.

MBLM has identified six common patterns or markers that are consistently present among brands that have strong relationships with their users. These are:

  • Fulfillment (exceeds expectations, delivers superior service, quality, and efficacy)
  • Identity (reflects an aspirational image or admired values and beliefs that resonate deeply)
  • Enhancement (becomes a part of the user’s daily routine, making life easier)
  • Ritual (incorporated into daily routines)
  • Nostalgia (reminds of memories and associations)
  • Indulgence (gratifies desires and provides personal luxury or comfort)

The stages of a brand relationship reveal the depth and intensity of the bond. They include Sharing, Bonding, and Fusing.

  • Sharing is the initial stage where the person and the brand engage and interact. Knowledge is being shared, and the person is informed about what the brand is all about and vice versa. At this stage, attraction occurs through reciprocity and assurance.
  • The bonding stage happens when an attachment is created, and the relationship between a person and a brand becomes more significant and committed. This is the stage of acceptance when trust is established.
  • Fusing is the final stage where a person and a brand are inexorably linked and co-identified. In this stage, the identities of the person and the brand begin to merge and become a form of mutual realization and expression.

Each brand is assigned a score from 1 to 100, known as the Brand Intimacy Quotient. This score is based on the prevalence (how common the brand is among users), intensity (how strong the emotional connection is), and character (the nature of the relationship) of the brand relationship.

By understanding these aspects, MBLM can analyze and measure the strength of the relationship between a brand and its users, providing valuable insights for brand strategy and development.

MBLM conducts research across a wide range of industries. Besides Crypto, these include Consumer Goods, Appliances, Media & Entertainment, Tech & Telecom, Financial Services, Fast Food, Apps & Social, Automotive, Retail, Gaming, and several others.

The purpose of MBLM’s research is to gain a deeper understanding of marketplaces, trends, categories, and customers. Their ultimate goal is to establish strong brand relationships that drive performance, engagement, and return.

In terms of methodology, MBLM, in collaboration with Relative Insight and Allen Advanced Analytics, conducted a comprehensive examination of over 600 brands and over 1.4 billion words used across select social media platforms. They use artificial intelligence, text analytics, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis in their research.

By focusing on the emotional connection between brands and consumers, they can provide valuable insights into brand relationships and their impact on performance and engagement.

Results In The Crypto Category

The cryptocurrency industry has shown impressive performance in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy Study. In its first year included as an industry, crypto ranked an impressive eighth overall in the 2022 study. With an average intimacy Quotient Score of 37.7, crypto scored higher than the cross-industry average of 36.8 and outperformed the financial services industry. This may point toward younger generations shifting away from investing in traditional financial services in favor of crypto.

At the time of writing, the Quotient Score of crypto is 37.8, so it has improved slightly.

Cardano (ADA) topped the list with a Quotient Score of 52.6. Despite being a younger and less-established coin, Cardano has built stronger emotional connections and come out on top in the study.

Cardano's strongest archetype is indulgence. Cardano has 21% of users in the sharing stage, 11% in bonding, and 9% in fusing. Of the consumers who write about Cardano, 41.1% are in some form of intimacy with the brand.

Bitcoin (BTC), the most widely held and traded digital asset, came in second with a Quotient Score of 51.9. Despite its dominance in the market, it was not the most intimate brand according to the study.

Bitcoin's strongest archetype is ritual. Bitcoin has 14% of users in the sharing stage, 7% in bonding, and 7% in fusing. Of the consumers who write about Bitcoin, 28.4% are in some form of intimacy with the brand.

Another surprise is the third place occupied by the Polkadot (DOT) project with a Quotient Score of 43.5.

Polkadot's strongest archetype is fulfillment. Polkadot has 19% of users in the sharing stage, 8% in bonding, and 9% in fusing. Of the consumers who write about Polkadot, 35.4% are in some form of intimacy with the brand.

Ethereum (ETH) took up to fourth place with a Quotient Score of 42.8. This is a surprise, as Ethereum is the largest SC platform with the second-largest market capitalization in the crypto industry.

Ethereum's strongest archetype is fulfillment. Ethereum has 13% of users in the sharing stage, 7% in bonding, and 4% in fusing. Of the consumers who write about Ethereum, 24.9% are in some form of intimacy with the brand.

The table below presents the results for the four discussed cryptocurrency projects.

Why is Cardano a winner?

Cardano’s dominant archetype has shifted from fulfillment (2022) towards indulgence (2024). This archetype centers around pampering and gratification. It suggests that users derive a significant amount of pleasure and satisfaction from their interactions with Cardano.

The shift can be credited to the network's reliability, including staking, and the growth of the DeFi ecosystem. Two years ago, the Cardano community was in anticipation, curious to see if the project would meet its promises. Today, however, users can actively use many DeFi applications on Cardano and assess their quality firsthand.

Cardano leads across all stages of sharing, bonding, and fusing. Notably, Cardano has 9% of users in fusing, the highest stage of Brand Intimacy, compared to Bitcoin's 7%. This suggests that Cardano users have a deep, intertwined relationship with the brand, and they see themselves and the brand as one. This is a significant achievement for a younger brand like Cardano.

While Bitcoin performs better across the enhancement, ritual, and nostalgia archetypes, it lags behind Cardano in the stages of sharing, bonding, and fusing. This suggests that while Bitcoin is more ingrained in users' daily lives and routines, it may not have as deep an emotional connection as Cardano does with its users.

It’s also worth noting that the keywords associated with Bitcoin are ‘BUY’ and ‘SELL’. This implies that users primarily view Bitcoin as an investment instrument.

Despite Bitcoin being an older project with a larger market cap, Cardano’s higher intimacy ranking could be attributed to its strong performance in the indulgence archetype. This suggests that Cardano may be providing a more satisfying and gratifying user experience compared to Bitcoin.

MBLM results from 2022 to 2024 have shown remarkable consistency. This consistency can be attributed to several factors.

MBLM uses a proven methodology developed over a decade of qualitative and quantitative research.

Consumer behavior towards brands tends to change gradually over time. Therefore, unless there are significant market disruptions or changes in a brand's strategy, the intimacy scores of brands are likely to remain relatively stable from year to year.

Brands that consistently meet or exceed consumer expectations, align with their values, and successfully engage with them at different stages of the relationship (sharing, bonding, and fusing) are likely to maintain their intimacy scores.


Cryptocurrency enthusiasts often equate the best brand with the one that experiences the fastest growth in market capitalization. However, betting on a project’s growth doesn’t necessarily foster positive connections between users and the brand. In the long run, it’s beneficial for Cardano to maintain its top position in brand ranking. This achievement is likely to be reflected in its market capitalization sooner or later. Cardano is perceived as a project with a purpose beyond just enriching speculators. The mission and narratives surrounding Cardano carry a deeper significance than just speculation. This perception is confirmed by the MBLM results.

Experts have recognized Cardano as the most decentralized blockchain according to the EDI Dashboard, while Bitcoin and Ethereum lag behind in this area. It’s plausible that the MBLM results mirror, to some degree, the quality of decentralization among other factors.

The Cardano community is well-known for consistently coming out on top in polls conducted on various social media platforms, particularly on platform X. This phenomenon could very well be linked to the results observed in the MBLM study.

It's crucial to understand that MBLM's focus is on the relationship between users and the brand, not on the number of users or the market capitalization of a particular network. While Bitcoin and Ethereum may be more well-known and widely used, MBLM's study doesn't take these factors into account. The results solely indicate the strength of the bond between Cardano and its users, demonstrating the depth of connection that exists between them.


Related articles

Did you enjoy this article? Other great articles by the same author