- Facebook saw a steep drop in brand loyalty to 24th place this year from 8th place in 2018, contrasting Twitter's jump to 11th place from 23rd, per a Brand Keys survey shared with Marketing Dive. Digital brands overall became less dominant in the ranking, as automotive, restaurant and retail categories boosted loyalty, often by adopting the types of strategies that had supported digital media's loyalty and engagement.
- Old Navy, Sam's Club, Spotify, Twitter, Chick-fil-A, MSNBC, Fox, Kia, Discover and Samsung grew brand loyalty the most, while iTunes, Uber, YouTube, Under Armour, Facebook, Ketel One, Tito's vodka, Line, Panera and Nissan saw the steepest declines.
- Consumer loyalty is a key leading indicator of brand success, typically able to demonstrate results 12 to 18 months before traditional brand tracking of focus groups, according to the survey. The firm last month surveyed more than 55,000 U.S. consumers about their preferences of more than 900 brands across 110 categories.
While Brand Keys' survey doesn't explain Facebook's steep drop in consumer loyalty, negative publicity from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal and broader discussions around data privacy likely played a role. Facebook's daily average user count in the U.S. and Canada rose 1% to 187 million in Q2 from a year earlier, and was outpaced by Twitter's 10% gain to 29 million U.S. users. Twitter has worked to improve the user experience by making tweets easier to find and by cracking down on trolls and bots, among other changes that likely elevated consumer trust in the social platform.
More recent data indicate that mobile app downloads of Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram have fallen a combined 13% this quarter from a year earlier, according to an analysis of Sensor Tower data by Bank of America. Twitter, Snap and Pinterest have boosted downloads since last year, the bank's analysts wrote in the report.
As Brand Keys notes, the automotive, restaurant and retail categories saw significant gains in loyalty, replacing domination by digital brands. Hyundai was the top-ranked automotive brand, as its loyalty ranking rose to No. 10 from No. 14 last year. Toyota also boosted its ranking two spots, while Ford slipped slightly by one. Chick-fil-A had the highest loyalty ranking among restaurant brands, rising to No. 13 from No. 24, while Trader Joe's was the highest-ranked retailer, rising to No. 9 from No. 10 last year.
Brand Keys' analysis identifies which media channels affect loyalty drivers and define how consumers view a product category, compare brands and ultimately buy a product or service. The metrics provide the percentage contribution that each medium provides to attention, message awareness, recall, brand engagement and sales. The survey examines 26 media platforms including TV, newspapers, B2B publications, over-the-top video, radio, out-of-home and digital, including mobile, social, apps and search, to identify which are most effective at boosting loyalty from consumer exposure to brand advertising and marketing.
"Loyalty and engagement can be quantified, predicted, and integrated into a brand's research efforts," Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys' founder and president, said in a statement. "Real loyalty metrics correlate highly with customer activity in the marketplace, sales, and profitability."