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BrandKeys Customer Loyalty Leaders in 2021 Oct2021

For the fifth year running, Amazon has been named the brand loyalty leader in the US. This is per Brand Key’s latest annual loyalty study [pdf], which ranked customer engagement and loyalty to 1,260 brands across 112 categories. 

Rounding out the top five were: 

  • Apple, up two spots to #2, for Smartphones
  • Netflix, down one spot to #3, for Video Streaming;
  • Domino’s, up one spot to #4, for Pizza; and
  • Amazon again, down two spots, for Video Streaming. 

These brands were among the most likely to meet customer expectations for the respective categories.

Once again this year, Amazon appears on the top-10 list twice: for its performance in the Online Retail (#1 overall) and Video Streaming (#5 overall) categories. In the past, it has also ranked within the top-10 for its performance in the Tablet category; however, it has slipped down another nine spots to #23 across categories this year for its performance in that category. Nevertheless, Amazon tops the list of the most loved brands on social media this year and retains the top spot on the list of most valuable global brands.

For its part, Apple has seen its performance improve slightly over last year (up from #3 to #2 overall for Smartphones). While its overall ranking as a result of its performance in the Tablets category has remained steady (#15 overall again this year), the big news is Apple TV’s entry into the top 100 at #26 for the Streaming Video category.

Brands are able to appear in Brand Keys’ loyalty leaders list more than once as they are measured against the loyalty “ideal” for each category in which they are present. This generates a percentage for each brand in each category, and the loyalty leader rankings are then formed by comparing the top percentages across all brands and categories.

Two social networking brands made it into the top-20 this year. Instagram jumped two spots over 2020 to take the #9 spot, while YouTube moved one spot to #16.

Recent figures show that 3 in 5 US households subscribe to a streaming video service. And, when it comes to customer loyalty, four video streaming services occupy a place within the top-20 this year. Netflix (down from #2 to #3), Amazon (down from #3 to #5) and Disney+ (up from #7 to #6) have spots within the top-10, while at #18, Hulu has moved up one spot to secure its place in the top 20. 

Fastest Risers and Other Notable Moves

Some of the brands that saw a surge in loyalty this year include Pinterest (+22 to #63), Chobani (+21 to #50), Lyft (+17 to #79), Old Navy (+17 to #79), GEICO (+15 to #44), Ford (+15 to #59), and Dick’s Sporting Goods (+15 to #75).

As for those that saw the greatest loss in customer loyalty ranking, Zara had the dubious honor (-27 to #70), followed by Costco (-23 to #68), USAA (-19 to #83), Budweiser (-19 to #85), T-Mobile (-18 to #91) and State Farm (-18 to #96).

TikTok (#21), Apple TV (#26), Levi Strauss (#46), Red Bull (#61), Walmart (#64), Crest (#65), Svedka (#86) and Lulelemon (#90) are new to the list this year. And, while brands like McDonald’s (#72), Shake Shack (#80) and iTunes (#95) have made their way back onto the list this year, other notable brands that have fallen off the list include Lancôme, Grey Goose, Progressive, LG and Ben & Jerry’s. 

The full top-100 list is available here [pdf].

About the Data: Brand Keys’ Loyalty Leaders analysis was conducted in August and September 2021 and includes assessments from 53,222 consumers, 16 to 65 years of age, from the nine US Census Regions, who self-selected the categories in which they are consumers and the brands for which they are customers. The 2021 Loyalty Leader assessments examined 112 categories and 1,260 brands.

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