Is your brand-love unrequited?


By Jason Kelley
January 26, 2016


Consumers’ emotional expectations from brands continue to grow but, according to a new study from Brand Keys, brands are failing to keep pace. The 2015 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) study uses a proprietary survey-based method to assign each brand a percentage score indicating the degree to which it meets expectations against a consumer-generated category-specific ideal. That ideal is based on path-to-purchase drivers that are distinct for each category.

This year’s study covered 64 categories and 540 brands, and relies upon a survey of 36,605 brand customers aged 18 to 65.

This year’s report also included Canadian consumer assessments for some categories. These are the category leaders:

  • Airline: Air Canada (85%), topping last year’s winner, Jet Blue
  • Automotive: Ford / Hyundai (93%), unchanged from last year
  • Computer (laptops): Apple (96%)
  • E-Readers: Kindle (97%)
  • Instant Messaging Applications: WhatsApp (91%)
  • Online Music: Pandora (90%)
  • Online Payment Services: PayPal (91%)
  • Online Retailers: Amazon (95%)
  • Online Video Streaming: Netflix (89%), after tying with Amazon last year
  • Search Engine: Google (86%)
  • Smartphones: Apple (82%)
  • Social Networking Sites: Facebook (75%), after tying with Twitter last year
  • Tablets: Apple (92%), taking the sold lead after splitting it with Amazon last year
  • Wireless Phone Service: AT&T (85%)

A couple of things stand out: Apple retains the smartphone title from Samsung. Facebook takes the social networking lead, but its low score suggests that social networking sites aren’t keeping up with consumers’ expectations.

Unlike last year, the social networking category is not in the top five. This year’s top seven (along with the category drivers where consumers hold their highest expectations) are:

  • App-based rideshare (personal needs come first)
  • Athletic footwear (personal innovation and performance optimization)
  • Luxury cosmetics (nurturing/optimizing my appearance)
  • Headphones (very personal experience)
  • Luxury hotels (services deserved)
  • Instant messaging apps (the ability to matter)
  • Smartphones (adaptability to user’s lifestyle)