Monday, September 17, 2018

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! President Less Trustworthy Than Newspapers.

A recent Brand Keys study measured “trust” among readers of their newspapers-of-choice. 

Sure, ideology self-defines selection when it comes to subscribing to a newspaper (in print or digital), but “Trust” accounts for 41% of actual newspaper brand engagement. 

The remaining 59% is accounted for by content and values addressing “entertainment listings and sports,” “an ability to educate and inform via news reporting, columnists, and editorial,” and providing insights into the “economy and local events and markets.”

Three thousand eight hundred six (3,806) subscribers (hard copy) or “regular newsreaders” via digital or app (3+ times a week) evaluated their newspapers, with the following results:


SIDEBAR: Since President Trump has labeled The New York Timesas “failing,” and virtually every other news platform as “fake news” and/or “enemy of the people,” we also measured how much “trust” newspaper readers had in the President. 

Mr. Trump was rated an overall 24% (five percentage points lower than TV news viewers, 64% lower than The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal). 

Democratic newspaper readers rated Mr. Trump 9%, Independents 16%, and Republicans 29%. Eighteen percent (18%) of the sample had “No Opinion.
The next wave of the Brand Keys Media Trust Tracker will visit “Online” Platforms. 



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Top-100 Loyalty Leaders & 3 Brands Taking Over the World

Brand Keys 22nd annual Loyalty Leaders List is an analysis providing a comprehensive, cross-category perspective of brand loyalty today. 

Loyalty’s Top Line: Digital and tech brands held their ground. Traditional brands worked harder and moved up the list an average of 11 positions. Big winners included T.J. Maxx, 5 Guys Burgers, Zara, and Lyft.

For an analysis of this year’s results we invite you to read Paul Ausick’s 24/7 Wall Street article, “Tech Brands Dominate Brand Loyalty Rankings.”

Oh, joke all you want about certain brands taking over the world, but from a loyalty perspective it’s a reality. 

So not so much of a joke, and the loyalty Rule of Sixplaying itself out in the real world. Consumers that exhibit high degrees of brand loyalty in one category are 6 times more likely to use the same brand in another category. Brands in multiple categories this year were Amazon, Apple, and Google.

For this year’s top-100 Loyalty Leaders click here. 

Loyalty’s Bottom Line: Brands that make loyalty and emotional engagement a strategic priority alwaysappear high on our list. Most importantly, they alwaysappear at the top of consumers’ shopping lists too.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Churchill on Branding

There’s a Churchill quote that can be applied to brands. (OK, there’s a Churchill quote that can be applied to everything, but this one happens to work for brands!)

The last part goes, “But the past should give us hope.”

We mention that because, more older brands – “legacy” brands – are repositioning themselves and their marketing to be more attractive to younger consumers. And let’s be honest about it, an older brand’s awareness, gives it a big head start versus having to create a new brand from scratch. The older brand already has some values built into it. 

All it takes is time and insight into what another generation values most in the category in which you’re going to compete. Imbue your brand, advertising, and marketing with those values and, voilĂ , you’ll have a new old brand! 

You know the luxury brand Shinola? They sell handbags for $1,400, watches for $1,200 and bicycles for $3,000.  Not bad for a brand started life as a shoe polish in 1877.

Want to know what other brands are up to? We invite you to read Janet Morrissy’s New York Times Advertising column, “Legacy Brands Tell Younger Generations: We’re Not Just for Your Parents.” Or in some cases, your grandparents.

As to the beginning of what Churchill said, it went, “The future is unknowable,” and maybe that’s true about history, but not about predictive brand assessments! 

Today you don’t have to rely on just hope, because our psychologically-based, emotional engagement metrics canidentify values consumers can’t, won’t, or haven’t yet articulated about what they truly desire beforeyou start your re-branding efforts. More importantly those metrics identify values that get consumers to buy. 

No matter how old your new brand happens to be.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The 24th annual Brand Keys Back-to-School (B2S) survey conducted among 7,950 U.S. households (with school-age children pre-school through 12th grade) indicated slightly higher spends YOY. The average-spend – $730.02 – is a combination of consumer confidence and tax reform, but mostly due to consumer technological smarts and networking.

Regionally, B2S spending looked like this:

Northeast:    $817.60
West:            $728.08
Midwest:       $700.80
South:           $673.60

And yes, those are the hard numbers households expect to spend, but “value,” isn’t just pricing.

Real value is brand differentiation and brand engagement, and how consumers see brands meeting their expectations. Retail brands that can emotionally engage consumers will be seen as surrogates for price-based added-value.

Brands that have learned that lesson will benefit most over the nearly 4 months that now make up the B2S marketplace. For specifics on what and where B2S consumers are spending, click here.

These days, providing more than just low-lower-lowest prices is a fundamental lesson back-to-school retailers have to already mastered if they hope to just pass the B2S break-even profitability test.

Retailers that develop more loyal and engaged customers, on the other hand, will see bottom lines that translate in Quarterly “Report Cards” as A+.



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Who Are The 20 Most Innovative Tech Brands?

Our 6th annual Most Innovative Tech Brands survey found consumers’ identification with brands and innovation continues to broaden and transform categories.

The 21st century may not have delivered on the promise of flying cars, but it is clearly meeting its potential in better meeting consumers’ technological innovation expectations – including, for example, the concept of self-driving cars.

Top-5 most-innovative brands were:
  1. Amazon
  2. Apple
  3. Google
  4. Netflix
  5. Samsung
For the remaining 15 tech innovators – six of which were new to the top-20, some very surprising – click here. Each new brand that enters our list stands for something that advances the category in which they compete, responds to consumer expectations, and provides a lot of consumer-to-business crossover.

Three brands fell off this year’s top 20: Facebook, Buzzfeed, and Line, and are proof of this year’s bottom line: Consumers have come to see innovation and change as an expectation within virtually every category and want it now!

And, it’s the wise brand that remembers it’s not about having ideas any more.

It’s about making ideas happen!



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

Monday, August 06, 2018

“Fake TV News” Engenders More Trust Than The President

Drawing from our Brand Keys 2018 Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index, (www.brandkeys.com) we examined 150 categories and 1,287 brands to determine how much the single value of “trust” contributed to brand engagement and market success.

The category, “Media,” was #1 in terms of “trust” contributing most (34%) to consumer i.e., viewer/reader/visitor engagement. For broadcast and cable news – independent of other media formats and platforms ­– “Trust” was slightly higher, contributing 39% to network brand engagement.

The remaining 61% was accounted for via attributes and values like quality of hosts, levels of commentary and insight, and credible and engaging guests.

4,012 viewers rated broadcast and cable brands they watched regularly (3+ times a week) via our Emotional Engagement Analysis to determine how much – that one value in particular – trust – was engendered by the brands, with the following results. 5% indicates a significant difference at the 95% confidence level:


As President Trump has assailed news (of all varieties) as “Fake News,” and more recently, “the enemy of the people,” Brand Keys was interested to see how much “trust” viewers actually had in the President, versus the TV brands.

Mr. Trump was rated an overall 29%, less than a third of that attributed to the BBC, and half that of Sinclair. By political affiliation, Democrats rated Mr. Trump 14%, Independents 22%, and Republicans 35%. 18% of the sample had “No Opinion.”

NOW READ ALL ABOUT IT! Our next wave of the Brand Keys Media Trust Tracker will report on “Newspapers.”



Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Postmortem of the Ivanka Brand

Ivanka Trump announced the death of her brand last week.

It was famous (“Thanks, Dad!”), but it wasn’t desired.

It was famous, but it wasn’t very big.

It was famous, yet it only made a tiny flicker in the constellation of much larger, more desired, fashion-brand stars.

Listen to what we had to say to Reuters TV.

Ms. Trump forgot that being famous wasn’t enough. A real brand has to stand for something to consumers – besides being pretty and available.

To exacerbate things, Ivanka, who described her “life’s mission” as “seeking to improve the lives of working women,” wrote a book, “Women Who Work” – how women could achieve personal satisfaction and professional success. Just like Ivanka and her brand. The book ended up being an ill-timed and ill-conceived branding exercise. According to one critic, “It was not really offensive so much as witless!” Another critic thought, “Reading it is like eating scented cotton balls!”

If the book said nothing, Ivanka said nothing about anything related to being First Daughter or Presidential Advisor. Her comments regarding, well, everything was to say, well, nothing. “I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. . . Where I disagree with my father, he knows it.” That silence, the lack of standing up for anything, eventually leeched into the brand.

To further aggravate things, she was not only speechless, she was tone deaf.

While 2,000 immigrant minors were separated from families she shared photos with her children, one captioned “on a date night with my daughter.”

She was unable to comment about the White House’s 2nd annual "Made in America" celebration. Ivanka-branded clothes and shoes (along with most Trump-branded products) come from pretty much anyplace that isn’t the USA.

And sure, some of the retailers who dropped her line may have been politically-motivated, but businesses don’t make money-making political decisions, they make money-making business decisions, and consumer purchase attitudes toward the Ivanka brand are significantly down YOY, so retailers weren’t making money for the stores. So the brand got dumped, just like lots of brands. This one was just more famous.

Brands should be more interested in meaning something, saying something, standing for something, than just being famous.

Because the bottom line is, when brands don’t speak to consumers, consumers speak to each other then speak for the brand.

Usually with their wallets!


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.