Commentary

Shakeup In Loyalty Land: Hello, Clorox. So Long, Chick-fil-A

A new report on shifts in brand loyalty offers a closer look at how consumers favor brands that give them what they need during the pandemic -- and shake off those that don’t.

Brand Keys’ new annual ranking finds that while Amazon retains the No. 1 spot, 20% of the brands in the Top 100 are new, including Clorox, Campbell’s and Zoom. And formerly loved brands, including Chick-fil-A, Expedia, McDonald’s, Under Armour and LinkedIn, have vanished.

“For consumers, the critical questions were, ‘Who showed up and who delivered when needed most?’” writes Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, in the report. And those ubiquitous “We’re in this together” messages from brands didn’t really work.

Passikoff says the radically rewritten list of winners is proof that this year, consumers expected much more than many brands gave them and snubbed the ones that let them down. “They won’t settle for average. They won’t settle for ordinary. Consumers demand their expectations be met. Some brands delivered, others didn’t.”

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The top 10 reflect the changes safer-at-home orders sparked in hundreds of millions of households, with consumers favoring brands that helped them stream, munch and connect. After Amazon, Netflix came in at No. 2 (up from #6 last year), then, in order, Amazon’s video streaming service (up from #7), Apple smartphones (up from #8) and Domino’s pizza, up from #15.

Google, Disney’s video streaming, Home Depot, WhatsApp and Samsung rounded out the top 10.

Brand Keys looks at the performance of 1,121 brands in 109 categories to compile the annual ranking, and says this is the largest number of new brands making the list in its 24-year-history.

Many are brands that have become part of people’s daily worlds since COVID-19 swept the globe, including Disney, UPS, FedEx, Purell, CVS, Progressive and Charmin.

But that surge of newcomers means that many also fell off the list, showing how quickly once-beloved brands lose relevance. Restaurants, travel, retailers and apparel brands suffered the most.

The report notes that brands that meet consumer expectations do better during crises, “usually six times better. The 2020 Loyalty Leaders List proves brands can emerge from watershed moments stronger than before,” Passikoff writes. “Brands that do it right, brands that show up, can be surrogates for comfort, support, and added value.”

2 comments about "Shakeup In Loyalty Land: Hello, Clorox. So Long, Chick-fil-A".
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  1. Alan COX from Dan Fife Communications and Marketing, September 23, 2020 at 10:42 a.m.

    Quoting your article“Brands that do it right, brands that show up, can be surrogates for comfort, support, and added value.” Chick-fil-a does it right. Since March when restrictions were placed on restaurants, Chick-fil-a has set the standard on Drive-thru and Curbside service. I am curious what criteria Brand Keys used to dismiss Chick-fil-a.

    Progressive Insurance uses the basic element of marketing. Frequency and Consistency of their commercials provides front of the mind awareness. 

  2. Sarah Mahoney from MediaPost/MARKETING DAILY Contributor, September 23, 2020 at 1:28 p.m.

    I know -- these results are so intriguing. And you can learn more about the methodology here: https://brandkeys.com/faq-2/

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