- Brands in the digital technology and social networking space comprise 35% of the 100 spots on Brand Key’s 2016 Loyalty Leaders report.
- Digital’s dominance is even more apparent when looking at the top 20 loyalty spots, with digital technology and social networking brands — as well as brands that facilitate digital tech or social networking — accounting for 80% of leaders.
- The report, which the loyalty and engagement research firm has been publishing for the past 20 years, names Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook and YouTube as loyalty forerunners. Dunkin’ Donuts, Nike, Ford and Starbucks are the only traditional brands in the top 20.
It's all about the emotional engagement - digital is where consumers are spending time and forming an emotional connection with brands, which is translating to loyalty.
As consumer interest in connected experiences grows, traditional brands are finding it more difficult than ever to create an emotional engagement that resonates. Consumer expectations regarding personalized products, services and experiences are increasing, and non-digital brands must do a better job of tailoring themselves to meet this need.
Google’s search engine took the top spot in Brand Keys’ list, moving up from number six last year. Amazon’s online retail business came in at number two, up from eighth place last year.
Four digital brands made their first appearance on the list this year: Airbnb (#52), Line (#72), theSkimm (#76) and BuzzFeed (#95). Hotel brands like Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, Hyatt and Hilton dropped off the list at the same time that Airbnb is ascending as an alternative to traditional hotels.
The brands showing the greatest gains in loyalty leadership over the last year were Starbucks, Ralph Lauren, Nike, LG, Domino’s, HBO GO and Under Armour. The brands that lost the most ground in loyalty were Chipotle, Estee Lauder, eBay, Clinique and Gap.