A Few Words About Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty experts, Brand Keys, just released their annual survey, and in its first year of inclusion Netflix came out on top of the list of all 528 brands, beating out reigning champ Apple. Each year the company assesses the data points that influence and engage customers, foster real brand loyalty and, of course, drive real profits.

  The Data points, or “drivers” as the company calls them, define how consumers view a certain category - movie rental, in the case of Netflix, for instance. The drivers influence every aspect of customer engagement, from intangibles like “how I feel about the brand” or expectations based on advertising promises, to the nuts and bolts of cost and customer service quality.

  The brands most likely to remain as favorites are those whose drivers come closest to meeting or exceeding the aggregate of all those customer expectations and realities. In turn, those drivers influence customer engagement and loyalty.

  Here are the ten brands that ranked highest on Brand Keys’ Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for the last year:

  1.  
  2. Netflix
  3.  
  4. Apple
  5.  
  6. Walgreens
  7.  
  8. Discover
  9.  
  10. Hyundai
  11.  
  12. Mary Kay
  13.  
  14. McDonald’s
  15.  
  16. J.Crew
  17.  
  18. Samsung
  19.  
  20. Nikon

  These ten brands were also winners in at least one category listing products and/or services. Some brands, Apple and Samsung for instance, were winners in multiple categories.

  According to Brand Keys’ president Robert Passikoff, “At a time when brands are struggling to differentiate themselves from their competition and to find ways to profitably engage their customers, the changes this year serve as a real benchmark for marketers. Products and services that respond with a truly consumer-centric view of their category - delighting the customer - based on predictive loyalty metrics, stand to gain the most, and establish themselves as this decade’s brand leaders.”

  Hmm. Going out on a limb here, next year’s list may well feature Verizon, courtesy of the iPhone 4G. But perhaps that’s just a disgruntled and former AT+T customer speaking.