Brand Keys recently released “The 2011 Loyalty Leaders List.”
The list shows some brands have suffered decreases in loyalty as consumers shifted to less expensive brands. However, the rankings also prove that brands that understand how real emotional connections and delight serve as a surrogate for added value that create stronger loyalty regardless of the economy.
Beauty brands, like Mary Kay, Estee Lauder, Crest Whitestrips and Maybelline accounted for one-third (32%) of the top-100 loyalty leaders.
A total of 528 brands in 79 categories were examined. The top 10 were:
- Apple (smartphone)
- Samsung (cellphone)
- Apple (computer)
- Patron (tequila)
- Mary Kay (cosmetics)
It is interesting that Amazon displaced Apple as number one and that an Amazon subsidiary, Zappos, ranked number six. I’ve written several posts on how Amazon could learn a lot about customer service from Zappos.
According to Brand Keys, brand loyalty has always been driven by emotion. Rankings indicate that more than ever consumers are looking to emotionally connect with brands that stand for something and connect with each other as well.
The brands with the greatest gains in loyalty are:
- Starbucks (+352)
- Skechers (+290)
- Ford (+237)
- Overstock.com (+150)
Skechers invented a new athletic/exercise shoe category. Ford and Starbucks reinvented their brands. Overstock has been slowly building loyalty and moving up the list.
Brands in the top-100 with the greatest losses were:
- Nokia (-63)
- Blackberry (-51)
- Chanel cosmetics (-23)
- Eucerin moisturizer (-23)
- True Value (-21)
- 3 Olives Vodka (-18)
I would guess that Nokia and Blackberry’s losses are a result of the success of Apple’s iPhone. It’s interesting that Chanel declined since it’s a high-end cosmetic and cosmetics as a whole stayed strong.
So, what does your brand stand for?