Monday, January 29, 2018

Brands Face Loyalty and Engagement Shifts

This month we spoke to 50,527 consumers. They were 16 to 65 years of age. They were from all over the United States (9 U.S. Census Regions).

They evaluated 761 brands in 84 categories. We used emotional measures and some really neat, higher-order statistical analyses. So a big sample, a lot of brands, and quantitative, reliable, and generalizable metrics.

Here’s the bottom line: Values that drive loyalty and engagement have shifted.  Big time! Big enough so that it is going to change how you’ll have to market your brand in the future.

Some value shifts were due to Political Tribalism. Others were due to Social Activism. As you might expect, different categories reacted differently to different values.

If you’d like to see which ones reacted to what, there’s a deep-dive here.

If you want to see which were 2018’s leading brands, go here.

For a deeper-dive, here’s a link to Tanya Gazdik’s Marketing Daily article “Brands FaceLoyalty, Engagement Shifts.”

Give it a read. It will take you less than 3 minutes.

Your brand will thank you.

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. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Why NFL TV Ratings Are Down & Other Predictive Brand Stories

Last March we released our 2017 Sports Loyalty Index. According to nearly 18,000 fans, Major League Baseball was rated #1 for fan loyalty and brand engagement for the first time in a decade. They beat out the NFL, perennially Major League’s Sports’ loyalty leader. The NFL ended up being ranked #3.

Brand pride and league-denial notwithstanding, those rankings are precursors of consumer behavior, are always highly predictive, and for Major League Sports, are leading-indicators of TV viewership.

Because that’s the case, we thought you might be interested to know that the Brand Keys 9th annual audio series, “What Happened? Successful Strategies, Marketing Misdeeds, and the Brands That Loved Them!” – predictions of brand, marketing, and advertising successes and failures – has just been posted at

We launched this series almost a decade ago when it became clear that brand engagement was a powerful planning tool and that making predictions had become more popular pastime than providing actual proof of their accuracy. Very few researchers put their predictions to a test – then or now – until they turn out to be wrong. Then the post mortems, finger pointing, and rationalizations begin.

So again, as a cautionary tale, we’ve posted stories about what we publicly predicted and published – and what really happened. Independently validated, emotionally-based measures that showed what was going to happen to brands in the real marketplace!

This year, in addition to that, we pose two questions: 1) If traditional survey-based research predictions are so good, why are brands unable to avoid messy marketing failures? And 2) Why doesn’t the research match up with actual market results?” Give those two questions a ‘think.’
While you do, you might be interested in listening to brand storytelling about:
  1. The Marketplace of Everything (Amazon)
  2. Brewed Awakenings (Beer)
  3. Brand Trump (Ivanka, this year)
  4. Building the Perfect Burger
  5. Driving Profitability (Lyft vs. Uber)
  6. Is it Love, or Food Poisoning? (Chipotle)
  7. Who Killed Retail?
  8. #Millennialslovebrands
  9. America’s Most Patriotic Brands
  10. Making A Splash in the Video Stream. (Netflix)
  11. A Big Slice of Heaven (Pizza!)
  12. Trends for 2018
Feel free to pass this link along to your colleagues because, while we hope these recordings will entertain, we also hope they just might change your perspective about what predictive research metrics should deliver. And if nothing else, we hope they’ll inspire you to demand a bit more prediction from your brand research.

Oh, and what happened to the NFL?

The decline in their TV ratings accelerated in the regular 2017 schedule. Their average audience down nearly 10% a steeper decline than the 8% viewership erosion in the 2016 season.

Lots of League, TV, and research executives have offered up explanations for the NFL’s continued decline. But what it all comes down to is “engagement.” When brand engagement deteriorates, behavior declines, and when consumers don’t act positively toward your brand, well, you get the point.

As always, we hope these real-world examples and our annual recordings encourage you to ask the ultimate question about your own market and brand initiatives – “What happened?

Brand Keys is always available to help provide some predictive answers to that question for your brand.

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. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Economics of Branding

At Brand Keys we specialize in predictive loyalty and emotional brand engagement metrics.

Real loyalty is more than satisfaction or awareness or a willingness to recommend. It’s more than tweets, likes, or shares. Real loyalty is much more, and much more valuable. Loyalty and brand engagement all link to positive consumer behavior toward a brand.

Axiomatically, the better the behavior, the better a brand does in the marketplace and the better the brand’s bottom line. Increase engagement and you increase loyalty. Our findings correlate with positive consumer behavior at levels of 0.85 or higher. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe some hard economic facts of brand life will:
  • It costs 10 to 12 times more to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing one.
  • An increase in customer loyalty of only 7% can lift lifetime profits per customer by as much as 90% depending upon the sector, an increase in loyalty of just 3% can be the equivalent of a 10% across-the-board cost reduction program.

Our approach has been independently validated, with a basic survey identifying the following 12 to 18 months ahead of traditional research:
  • What drives loyalty and engagement in your category,
  • Which category and consumer values make the greatest contributions to consumer behavior,
  • What consumers really expect from your brand, and, perhaps most importantly,
  • A precise identification of how well your brand is seen to meet those expectations. 

For more information about our correlated-to-behavior, emotionally-based, and independently-validated brand insights, and to find out if your brand is or can be included in Brand Keys 2018 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, give Leigh Benatar a call (212-532-6028) or send him an email ( He can answer any questions about how you can increase your brand’s bottom line in 2018.