News & Thinking

MTM Puts the Spotlight on Industry Leaders: Introduces the HEART Growth Framework for Healthy Acquisition and Retention

  • News
HEART by MTM News 12 Dec
  • MTM, the trusted insight and strategy partner for the world’s largest companies, has released HEART by MTM, its groundbreaking new growth framework for healthy acquisition and retention for subscription and digital services brands.
  • The proprietary framework uses seven brand experience drivers providing actionable insights on which strategies to double down or pull back on, who’s doing it well and who to be inspired by, so brands can take swift action to drive growth.
  • Brand health insights in the XTech categories covered include:
    • The success of the FinTech category is attributed to brands like Monzo and Wise, which have been disrupting conventional norms and delivering new experiences that exceed established benchmarks.
    • HEART highlights Airbnb as a TravelTech leader, providing a joyful vacation experience distinct from other brands that merely enable travel.
    • Just Eat leads the food delivery category in terms of brand health, due to its strong physical and mental availability and competitive pricing, whereas HelloFresh leads in the recipe boxes category.

London, UK. 12th December 2023: MTM, the trusted insight and strategy partner for the world’s largest companies, has introduced HEART by MTM, a groundbreaking growth framework for subscription and digital service brands. This innovative framework provides quantitative insights and highlights top performers across eight key industry categories including finance, travel, gaming, food, video-on-demand, sports, telecommunications and music. HEART highlights TravelTech as one of the top-performing categories for brand health.

HEART uses Structural Equation Modelling and Regression Analysis to calculate brand strength (the T-Score) and brand experience drivers, including getting the basics right, integrity, value, innovation, presence, ease of doing business, and personalised relationships, to identify the impact on brand health. Assessing fifty brands over eight different categories, HEART aims to guide brands in making the right investments to drive ROI.

HEART highlights the TravelTech sector as a top-performing category within XTech (such as FinTech, TravelTech and FoodTech), in terms of brand health, emphasising that brand success stems from understanding customers’ unique needs in various travel use cases and crafting experiences that meet those requirements. In FinTech, success is attributed to brands challenging existing category norms and innovating experiences that single-mindedly address consumer needs. Within FoodTech, HEART identifies success elements like effective advertising, lifestyle alignment, and the capacity to personalise experiences. The framework also indicates that recipe box subscription brands outperform ready-to-eat delivery brands as they provide customers with more variety and engaging experiences.


HEART is a multifaceted framework that helps subscription and digital services brands achieve better acquisition and retention outcomes in a more robust way than any other tool on the market. By assessing brand performance across brand experience drivers at various customer life stages, HEART guides brands to invest and drive ROI strategically and efficiently. HEART inspires brands by drawing lessons within and beyond their category, offering a roadmap to growth.

Jonathan Stone

Director at MTM

HEART brand health findings in the XTech category reveal that:

According to the HEART framework, Airbnb leads the TravelTech category with its distinctive benefit offering. Unlike other category brands that tend to be enablers of the vacation experience, Airbnb is an integral part of the vacation. and are perceived as brands that provide personalised experiences and relationships. Their flexible payment options, rewards and incentives resonate well with customers.

Wise’s specialised money transfer services and Monzo’s expertise in meeting daily needs and impactful advertising, position them as top brand performers in the FinTech category when compared to more established players, such as NatWest and PayPal.

Just Eat leads the food delivery category in terms of brand health, due to its stronger physical and mental availability and competitive pricing. However, in the FoodTech category overall, HEART shows that delivery and box brands need to find meaningful ways to differentiate themselves and invest in effective brand marketing for sustained growth.

Today, every brand with a subscription or membership model faces acquisition and retention challenges. While these challenges are fundamental for businesses to address, there may be a disconnect between understanding what areas to double down on and where to pull back, and how this relates to the overall health of the brand. HEART by MTM addresses this gap by offering a practical and actionable framework that empowers subscription brands to achieve improved acquisition and retention outcomes.

Caroline Wren

MTM Managing Director

The HEART framework is a new way of addressing the most existential challenges for any subscription or digital services business: acquisition and retention. HEART experience drivers are based on functional and emotional brand experience elements that are tangible and actionable by brands. The framework also provides a barometer of overall brand health and is a springboard for deeper analysis and tracking built on understanding the needs of customers at different lifecycle stages. It benchmarks brand, acquisition and retention performance and aims to be more holistic and meaningful than NPS or other single measures.

For more information, go to: HEART by MTM Framework