most loyal brands

Does your brand command loyalty? The Brand Keys' annual survey of customer loyalty has been released, and you might be surprised at a few names on the list:

1. Netflix
2. Apple
3. Walgreens
4. Discover
5. Hyundai
6. Mary Kay
7. McDonald's
8. J.Crew
9. Samsung
10. Nikon

What does it take achieve this kind of loyalty? Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says that "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."

Once again, pleasing your customer over and over again works. Funny how that sometimes gets lost in the clutter of social media buzz, isn't it?

1 comment:

Ben Kunz said...

It's a nice idea, but "truly customer-centric" is not the best or only way to build loyalty, as hard as that sounds.

There are three methods for any business to compete -- customer focus, or product focus, or operations focus -- and most management schools agree you have to pick one. Apple is a classic example of a product-focused competitor. You and I are rabidly loyal to Apple Macs and iPods not because we get good service (thanks, Steve Jobs, for that personal email), but because the products are smoking hot. McDonald's, by comparison, is operationally focused -- every burger tastes the same, you know what you get whatever city you're visiting, they've upgraded the menu to good oatmeal and salads, but you only spend 10 seconds talking to their staff. Customer interactions have nothing to do with the good, cheap, operationally consistent product.

Customer-focus can be a good loyalty play, if that is 1 of the 3 strategies you hang your hat on. Zappos is king. Ad agencies focus on customer mantras because the agency model typically depends on delivering total customer service, no matter what the client wants, so we are caught in a belief system of customer service that doesn't apply to other business models. But consider Netflix -- its famous personalization is really more of a *product-centric* innovation, and Walmart (which has great customer loyalty) offers low prices based on *operational* excellence with surly staff waiting to whisk you through the checkout.

So yay, loyalty! Just don't mistake it for customer-centricity, which is just 1 of 3 ways to play the game.

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