Brand Keys has released their 2013 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, which predicts customer loyalty across brands. Categories included in the index range from airlines to credit cards to canned cat food.
Most traditional loyalty measures are retroactive—measuring what brands customers have been loyal to in the past—but Brand Keys’ markets its measurements as “powerfully predictive,” designed to allow brands to develop future strategies with confidence. According to Brand Keys, the top brand in each category “is always the one whose customers will demonstrate the highest levels of engagement and loyalty over the next 12 to 18 months.”
As the owner of a small or medium-sized business, chances are your particular brand doesn’t appear on this index, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the information to your advantage. For example, knowing what brands of packaged coffee have the most loyal buyers may assist you in choosing how to stock your bodega’s shelves. (Make sure you have Dunkin’—they won their category. Starbucks came in second.) Or, if you make organic, gluten-free cookies and have to choose which big-name natural food store to approach with your brand first, perhaps you’ll want to consider Whole Foods, the winner of the Natural Food Stores category this year.
Several of the categories included in the 2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index are particularly interesting from a point of sale perspective. As Samsung and Apple war for smartphone supremacy, it’s interesting to see that the highest level of brand loyalty is predicted to go to Samsung—an indication that you’d do well to make sure your POS system can handle both iOS and Android interactions. Likewise, despite Bing’s plethora of “Take the Bing Challenge” commercials, Google won the Search Engine category—Bing came in third, after Yahoo. Facebook also took top honors in the Social Networking Sites category, followed in turn by Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, MySpace, Yelp, Four Square, Flickr and Quroa. (What’s Quroa?) As far as credit cards are concerned, Brand Keys predicts that Discover will have the most loyal customers, followed by American Express, Chase and Visa.
How does Brand Keys make these predictions? There’s a lot of math—and secret algorithms—involved. According to their website, they are “the only research consultancy in the world that specializes in uncovering what makes customer loyalty happen, providing the psychologically-based metrics that accurately predict future consumer behavior in a category.” They compare each brand to a carefully calculated “category Ideal,” and predict that the brands that come the closest to meeting—or exceeding—this Ideal will be the ones with the most loyal customers moving forward. Brand Keys also offers customized services to help businesses “develop, launch, and grow” their brands. Their clients include AT&T Wireless, Dunkin’ Donuts, Redbox and the U.S. Army.
To learn more about Brand Keys or to request a complete copy of their 2013 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, click here.
Written by Alex Mehler
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