Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Greenest Brands In America

Tomorrow, April 22nd is the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, so the appropriate time to release our list of the top-25 greenest brands in America. Of 740 brands included in this year’s 22nd annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, 49,168 customers deemed these brands as authentically, resolutely, and significantly “green.” And when it comes to this particular value, high engagement is an indicator of positive consumer behavior in the marketplace. And the political arena, too.

The top-25 brands, presented alphabetically since consumer environmental expectations are category-specific and vary sector to sector, are:
  2. Apple
  3. AT&T
  4. Avis
  5. Ben & Jerry’s
  6. Best Buy
  7. Chick-fil-A
  8. Coke
  9. Discover Card
  10. Dunkin’
  11. Ford
  12. Fuji
  13. Home Depot
  14. Hyundai
  15. Jack Daniels
  16. Kiehl’s
  17. Konica-Minolta
  18. Microsoft
  19. New Balance
  20. Nike
  21. Pepsi
  22. Tom’s of Maine
  23. Toyota
  24. Wyndham Hotels
  25. Xerox

This year campaign is, “Environmental & Climate Literacy.” Given the recent politicization of climate change, the campaign is designed to help make people more fluent in the concepts of climate change. A more climate-literate citizenry, it is hoped, will end up being the engine that fuels green voters and laws and policies that advance environmental protection.

Brands can’t simply play the environmental awareness card as part of a CSR or PR campaign anymore. In just the same way politicians are going to be held to the fire according to voter standards, so too are brands. Brands will have to do it in ways that meaningfully support a sustainable future that’s both palpable and believable to the consumer because when it comes to brands, consumers will end up “voting” with their wallets. And while it is the hope of many that corporations are looking to find ways to do business more sustainably, it’s worthy of note that brands are getting better at being “green.”

It’s been independently validated is that brands best able to meet expectations, particularly those that are more emotionally-based – saving the planet, for example – ultimately do better than those brands that don’t or can’t meet those expectations.

And when it comes to the bottom bottom-line, unlike many things in consumers’ lives, it’s precisely as Albert Einstein observed, “Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better.”

Including brands.

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

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Baseball Makes A Comeback: National Pastime Is #1 In Fan Loyalty

Yesterday was Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. It's always a big moment, but this year it’s considerably bigger

Based on the 25th annual Sports Fan Loyalty Index from Brand Keys, the New York-based brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy, and according to 17,852 fans, Major League Baseball was rated #1 in fan loyalty for the first time in a decade, beating out the National Football League, perennially Major League Sports’ loyalty leader.

Fan loyalty ratings never lie. They’re a leading-indicator of behavior and profitability, and they always tell us what fans are going to do when it comes to increased TV game viewership and purchases of licensed merchandise.  

MLB’s 2016 World Series was the highest rated and most-watched series since 2004. For the Fall season, the World Series ranked as TV’s top show for adults 18-49 years of age, topping Sunday Night Football. MLB’s leadership, which recently eliminated the four pitch intentional walk in order to “speed up the game” may be tinkering too much, there are other powerful and emotionally-based loyalty drivers that need to be taken into account when it comes to fans, and those can’t be rushed. The percentages next to each loyalty driver indicates the contribution each makes to fan loyalty and league engagement:

History and Tradition (30%):
Are the game and the league part of fans’ and community rituals, institutions, and ‘tribal’ beliefs?

Fan Bonding (29%):
Are players particularly respected and admired?

Pure Entertainment (21%):
Win-loss ratios for sure, but more importantly, how entertaining is their play? Is it a consistent experience year-to-year?

Authenticity (20%):
How well they play as a team. Do they seem unified? Does it involve both skill and strategy?

For 2017 league loyalty rankings were found to be as follows:
  1. Major League Baseball
  2. National Basketball Association
  3. National Football League
  4. National Hockey League
NFL ratings took a nosedive throughout its last season, which is troublesome because live events are supposed to be the last bastion of defense against the Internet. This is the second consecutive year the Super Bowl has failed to set a new ratings record. Pre-election NFL ratings were down by 12 percent Year-Over-Year and ratings for the 2016-17 season were down 9 percent YOY and were off 6 percent through the playoffs.

The National Basketball Association, consistently ranked #3 in terms of fan loyalty, moved up to the #2 spot this year. Not-so-coincidently NBA’s viewership increased from last season on all four networks: ABC was up 9 percent, ESPN up 10 percent, TNT up 1% and NBA TV games were up 19%.

The 2016 Stanley Cup Final was one of the lowest-rated NHL title games since the sport returned to NBC 11 years ago, and is again ranked #4.

Via interviews with 250 self-declared fans in each team’s local market, current 2017 MLB top-5 and bottom-5 brand standings are listed below:


1. Chicago Cubs (+6)
2. Washington Nationals (+3)
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (-1)
4. Boston Red Sox (+4)
5. San Francisco Giants (-2)


30. Arizona Diamondbacks (-1)
29. San Diego Padres (-2)
28. Colorado Rockies (--)
27. Milwaukee Brewers (-5)
26. Minnesota Twins (-10)

Loyalty is incredibly powerful and emotional. And when it comes to loyal baseball fans, their attitudes echo what pitcher Gaylord Perry once noted, ‘The only trouble with baseball is that it’s not played year round.” In the meanwhile, for the rest of you fans for the rest of the season, “Go (INSERT YOUR TEAM’S NAME HERE)!”

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