2017 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders

NEW YORK, NY October 10, 2017 – Retail brands comprise sixteen percent (16%) of the top 100 brands in the 2017 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders List, the 21st annual survey conducted by Brand Keys (brandkeys.com), the New York-based brand and customer loyalty and engagement research consultancy.
“These assessments provide an extraordinarily comprehensive and insightful, cross-category perspective of today’s loyalty brandscape,” noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president.
2017 Top Loyalty Leaders In Retail
Retail Loyalty Leaders included the following brands:
(Numbers in parentheses represent actual rankings among the top 100 Loyalty Leaders.)
1. Nike (#12)
2. Trader Joe’s (#13)
3. Zappos (#24)
4. Ralph Lauren (#29)
5. eBay (#35)
6. Forever 21 (#37)
7. Home Depot (#45)
8. New Balance (#53)
9. Whole Foods (#54)
10. Victoria’s Secret (#61)
11. Lowe’s (#66)
12. Old Navy (#70)
13. T.J. Maxx (#73)
14. Costco (#78)
15. Sam’s Club (#82)
16. Zara (#89 new to 2017 list)
Retail Brands Worked Harder For Loyalty
“It’s no secret that retail brands have faced difficult times of late,” noted Passikoff, “But some of them have been working hard to engage customers and deliver against their expectations. Emotional engagement – the ability for a brand to be seen as meeting consumers’ expectations for their Ideal – has created challenges for the retail sector, particularly for brick-and-mortar brands.”
“But this year some retail brands on the Loyalty Leaders list have shown some of the most significant growth in loyalty we’ve ever seen,” said Passikoff. “And, as emotional engagement is predictive of real-world loyalty, market share, and profitability, and correlates very highly with same-store sales, customer traffic and profitability, it heralds good news for some brands.
Category Loyalty Leaders. Digital and. . .
Retail brands represent sixteen percent (16%) of this year’s list. Digital brands represent 36% of this year’s list. Other categories well-represented by Loyalty Leader brands, include:
• Automotive: 12%
• Restaurants: 9%
• Cosmetics: 8%
• Financial: 8%
• Alcohol: 7%
• TV News: 2%
2017’s Changes in Retail Loyalty
Customer loyalty and emotional engagement are leading-indicators of behavior toward a brand. Axiomatically, the better consumers behave toward a brand, the better the brand does in the marketplace, which ultimately shows up on brands’ bottom lines. This year, retail brands’ greatest loyalty gains, with significant increases in their loyalty rank, included: Forever 21 (+46), Home Depot (+39), Lowe’s (+33), eBay (+29), and Trader Joe’s (+24).
Loyalty’s Bottom Line
When it comes to loyalty – no matter the category – brands that understand that emotional connections serve as surrogates for added-value will succeed. “Brands that have made loyalty and emotional engagement a strategic priority,” noted Passikoff, “always appear high on the Loyalty Leaders List. More importantly, they also always appear at the top of consumers’ shopping lists.”
Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders analysis was conducted in September 2017 and includes assessments from 49,168 consumers, 16 to 65 years of age, recruited from the nine US Census Regions. Respondents self-selected the categories in which they are consumers, and the brands for which they are customers. The 2017 Loyalty Leader assessments examined 83 categories and evaluated 740 brands.
Unlike economic use models, which rely heavily on historical data and profitability conjecture, the Brand Keys Loyalty and Engagement Model and rankings are 100% consumer-driven, and are predictive, leading-indicators of brand and corporate profitability.
“The good news is that brand loyalty is understandable. The better news is that it can be quantified and predicted,” said Passikoff. “And, today, knowing what’s coming down the road from a category and competitive perspective is an extraordinarily powerful advantage that brands shouldn’t really pass up.”
For more information regarding the Brand Keys 2107 Loyalty Leaders List, your brand’s position on the list, or general information about integrating predictive loyalty and emotional engagement metrics into your marketing and research efforts, contact: Leigh Benatar at 212-532-6028 or leighb@brandkeys.com.

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