Consumer Products

Brand Loyalty Leaders Chock Full of Techs

Amazon Fire_HDX_8.9
Source: Amazon.com Inc.
Of the top 100 product categories and brands in a new ranking of customer loyalty leaders, nearly half (45) are tech companies engaged in digital and social networks and products. In fact, of the top 20 brands, only one is not a tech-related firm.

The ranking is based on a survey by brand consultancy Brand Keys of 65 product categories and 721 brands. The survey included more than 43,000 consumers ages 18 to 65 who were interviewed by phone (75% of the total) or in-person (20%), and the remaining 5% who were assessed online.

Brand Keys founder and president said:

Brand loyalty has always been driven by emotional engagement, and the rankings on the 2014 list should make it abundantly clear to marketers that connection, meaning, and differentiation [are] everything.

The top 20 loyalty leaders and the associated categories are:

  1. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): tablets
  2. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): tablets
  3. Apple: smartphones
  4. YouTube from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG): social networking
  5. What’s App from Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB): instant messaging
  6. Amazon: online retail
  7. Google: search engines
  8. Kindle (Amazon): e-readers
  9. Samsung: smartphones
  10. Dunkin’ Donuts from Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN): coffee
  11. Facebook: social networking
  12. Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX): video streaming
  13. Beats (now Apple): headphones
  14. Call of Duty from Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI): major league gaming
  15. Amazon: online retail (sic)
  16. Zappos from Amazon: online retail
  17. Apple: computers
  18. Instagram from Facebook: social networking
  19. PayPal from eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY): online payments
  20. Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR): social networking

ALSO READ: Americans Overpay $44 Billion for Brand Name Products

Brands that made the biggest moves up the rankings since last year include Netflix (+79), Estee Lauder (+31), MAC Cosmetics (+28), HTC smartphones (+26) and Cover Girl cosmetics (+25).

Brands that made the biggest moves down in the rankings are Max Factor (-20), Clinique (-16), Grey Goose vodka (-13), Revlon (-13), and Apple computers, Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (NYSE: WMT) Sam’s Club stores all dropped 11 notches.

Some highlights:

  • Apple and Samsung are the only computer manufacturers to make the list.
  • McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) did not make the list for the first time since 1996, the first year Brand Keys conducted its survey.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is the top-rated fast-casual restaurant at number 32.
  • Neither Coke nor Pepsi appears on the top 100 list.
  • Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is the top-rated U.S. automaker at number 26. Hyundai ranks 23rd, leading all carmakers.
  • Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) and Trader Joe’s both entered the list this year, at number 42 and number 47, respectively.
  • Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) ranked 50th, far behind number 10 Dunkin’ Donuts.
  • No pay-TV provider made the list, but AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) both squeaked in at numbers 95 and 100, respectively, as wireless carriers.
  • No airlines made the top 100 list.

As the Brand Keys president points out, “[Y]ou can’t build loyalty on the basis of price.” That includes dollar menus at fast-food places and low air fares with a pile of fees. And the fact that pay-TV providers get no love at all indicates how consumers feel about being forced to swallow whatever the (usually) monopoly provider gives them.

ALSO READ: Apple Brand Value Reaches $119 Billion

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