Brand Keys, a New York company that specializes in brand and customer-loyalty consulting, just released its 2012 edition of its top 100 “Loyalty Leaders” list. The composition and rankings of this year’s list leaders reflects the continuous effects of the rapid pace of technological change and customer response to it.
“There are 21 brands in the top 100 for 2012 that did not appear in 2011,” said Robert Passikoff, Founder and President of Brand Keys, “including four of the brands in the top 10.” A copy of the report, which is the 16th from Brand Keys that ranks brands on customer loyalty, can be downloaded here.
Now, on a list of highest brand loyalty leaders, the composition and rankings can change, based on a variety of internal and external factors. However, one thing that remains constant is just what got them here (that is, on the list), and that is (drum roll please) the EMOTIONAL component of their brands. Or as Passikoff puts it, “Brand loyalty has always been primarily driven by emotional engagement … that connection is everything.”
Now, Robert is a guy who ought to know, since he’s been conducting this particular brand loyalty measure for over 16 years, and of course doing a lot more a lot longer than just that. In fact, I was an associate of his at a major New York agency, more years ago than I’m sure either one of us would like to admit. I’m familiar with his work. As they say about a famous NBA basketball player, “He’s the real deal.”
Which brings me to what this means for all you SME’s out there. You have GOT to leverage the emotional sides of your brands to drive loyalty among your customers/audience. The EMOTIONAL component of your brands is critical, whether they are B2B or B2C, high or low tech, services or products, anything. It is what will get you brand loyalty, and that will get you:
- Repeat business.
- Pricing leverage.
- Favorable word of mouth.
- Forgiveness for your screw ups (sometimes).