It's called brand loyalty, and it's something every company that sells anything is striving to induce in its potential customers. Last week, research consultancy Brand Keys revealed which American companies do it best.
The 2012 Brand Keys report examines the customer loyalty and brand satisfaction of nearly 600 brands in 83 major product categories. Consumers surveyed were asked to rank the brands based on quality, level of enjoyment, ease of use, respectability, and other category-specific factors. Brand Keys gave each product an ideal score -- the highest rank a customer would be willing to give a product in that category. 24/7 Wall St. identified the 11 brands that received the highest scores relative to each product's ideal ranking.
Many of the brands that made our list are for products of the "lower expectations" variety, and the differences in the satisfaction scores among the brands in those categories are small, suggesting that customers perceive little difference between them. Instead, brand recognition appears to be the key factor -- and almost every brand in the top 11 is the market-share leader in its category.
But customers' higher expectations can be met and exceeded. The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game franchise had among the highest product satisfaction scores of any product. Meanwhile, customers' expectations for video games are among the highest for any category. The major league gaming category had the tenth-highest ideal score out of the 83 categories.
- Michael B. Sauter, Ashley C. Allen