Desperate for Return to Normalcy, Loyalty Shifts as Consumers Seek Solace in Established Loyalty Leaders: Amazon, Apple, Domino’s, Netflix, Discover and Instagram.
New Brands Entering Top 100 is Lowest in a Decade:
TikTok, Levi Strauss, Red Bull, Apple TV, Walmart.com Join the List
After Loyalty Hiatus McDonald’s, Shake Shack & Konica-Minolta Return
The 2021 annual Loyalty Leaders List, conducted by Brand Keys (brandkeys.com), found consumers chose to recognize brands with established loyalty bona fides rather than acknowledge new brands. This year’s survey, a cross-category examination of brand loyalty, conducted by the New York-based brand loyalty and customer engagement research consultancy, included 1,260 brands in 112 categories.
“The 2021 loyalty rankings describe a desperate desire by consumers for a return to normalcy. Over the past year loyalty has experienced a COVID-induced medical and marketplace trial-by-fire, the toughest test of customer loyalty we’ve measured in nearly 40 years conducting loyalty research,” noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president.
Brands As Surrogate For Solace
Brands can act as surrogates for emotional values absent from consumers lives. But brands with high levels of customer loyalty provide solace too and are six times more likely to fulfill that role in uncertain circumstances, including lockdowns, product shortages, and supply chain SNAFUs. This year, brands like Home Depot, PayPal, Clorox, Hulu, and Purell managed to maintain loyalty leads established during the initial year of the pandemic.
2021 Top 20 Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders
(#s in parentheses indicate 2020 loyalty rankings)
1. Amazon: online retail (#1)
2. Apple: smartphones (#4)
3. Netflix: video streaming (#2)
4. Domino’s: pizza (#5)
5. Amazon: video streaming (#3)
6. Disney+: video streaming (#7)
7. Google: search engines (#6)
8. WhatsApp: instant messaging (#9)
9. Instagram: social networking (#11)
10. Nike: athletic footwear (#12)
11. Home Depot: home improvement retail (#8)
12. Discover: credit cards (#16)
13. PayPal: online payments (#13)
14. Samsung: smartphones (#10)
15. Apple: tablets (#15)
16. YouTube: social networking (#17)
17. Hyundai: automotive (#18)
18. Hulu: video streaming (#19)
19. UPS: delivery (#21)