- Consumer expectations for trust, which connects brands and loyalty, increased across all product and service categories and brands by an average of 250% year-over-year, while consumer concern over privacy, security and brand transparency have reached a “tipping point,” according to results of Brand Keys’ new Customer Loyalty Engagement Index shared with Marketing Dive.
- The report identified 10 brands that regularly lead their categories in consumer loyalty. They include Discover Card, Avis, Google, Domino’s, Dunkin’, Konica Minolta, Hyundai, AT&T, Amazon and Amazon Kindle.
- The brands rated highest for creating emotional engagement and loyalty in the digital and online spaces in the social networking category include Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit. Highly rated streaming video brands include Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, HBO Go and YouTube. For online retail, the brands achieving loyalty are Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, Ebay, Target and Macy’s. For online music, the leaders are Slacker, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Apple Music and Deezer.
At a time when consumer concern over trust, privacy and transparency is at a high point, the Brand Keys report reveals the brands that are getting it right when it comes to consumer loyalty, which it defines as a combination of emotional engagement, trust and a brand’s ability to engage with consumers and meet or exceed their expectations. The growing role for trust in loyalty is noteworthy given the increased focused on data privacy following a year of scandals.
"Trust has become the connective tissue between brands and loyalty," said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, in a statement.
Brands spend up to 11 times more on recruiting new customers than retaining existing ones, according to the Brand Keys report, suggesting a focus on driving loyalty can help companies keep marketing costs in check. A loyalty increase of 7% can boost lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85%, and a loyalty increase of 3% can correlate to a 10% cost reduction, depending on the sector.
With high-profile privacy breaches, like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, making headlines over the past year, most consumers are worried about online privacy and data security. Among U.S. consumers, 71% say they worry about how brands collect and use their personal data, and 34% don’t trust tech companies with their digital privacy, according to ExpressVPN research. Brands that put consumer privacy and transparency first can boost consumer loyalty, which is good for business.
Marketers are expected to be more proactive and champion customer data privacy this year, and use the strategy to differentiate their brands, according to Forrester’s Predictions 2019: CMO. Promoting the care they take with customer data as an essential part of their business model and emphasizing customer experience can drive consumer energy and translate into greater loyalty. These efforts can also help brands deliver more personalized messaging, something that consumers are expecting more of from their favorite brands.