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Brand Keys' 2021 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index

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Both Chanel and Dior ranked among the index's quadrant one.

Brand Keys, a brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy, has released its 25th annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for 2021. (See more of the group's research here.)

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The index is divided into four quadrants based on a combination of two values related to predictive loyalty drivers: emotional engagement and meeting customer expectations.

Emotional engagement is the result of effective marketing communications that increases a brand's equity and also results in customers behaving more positively toward the brand.

Consumer expectations is a key dimension of customers' brand belief-systems and are unconstrained customer desires. Expectations increase on average 22% a year, yet brands typically manage to achieve only a 7% increase. 

For the survey, 75,804 consumers, 16 to 65 years of age from the nine U.S. Census Regions, self-selected categories in which they are consumers and which brands they are customers of. 

Emotional Engagement & Meeting Expectations

In quadrant one, the brands that were considered high emotional engagement and high levels of meeting expectations include

  • Chanel
  • L'Oreal
  • Dior
  • Crest
  • Colgate
  • Sensodyne
  • Urban Decay
  • Chapstick
  • MAC
  • Dove

In quadrant two, the brands that were considered low emotional engagement and high levels of meeting expectations include: 

  • Old Spice
  • Origins
  • Blistex
  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • Lancome
  • Clarins
  • Gillette

In quadrant three, the brands that were considered high levels of engagement and low levels of meeting expectations include:

  • Maybelline
  • Garnier
  • Rimmel
  • Axe
  • Close-up

In quadrant four, the brands that were considered low levels of engagement and low levels of meeting expectations include:

  • Aim
  • Max Factor
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Covergirl 
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Vaseline
  • Revlon
  • Carmex
  • Close-up
  • Aquafor

Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president, said, "Ideally, you want consumers to feel your brand engenders high emotional engagement and meets their expectations as completely as possible. Brands able to do that are six times more likely to create loyal customers, and loyal customers are six times more likely to give a brand the benefit of the doubt in tough circumstances."

He added, "Desperate times calls for desperate choices due to lack of product availability, and purchase of new or alternative brands represents basic need, not a lack of customer loyalty. During pandemics consumers will compromise, but they still continue to demand that their expectations be met. But lack of product availability does not denote a decline of brand loyalty. Yes, being in-stock matters as regards sales, but loyal customers are more likely to stick with their favorite brands through difficult times and, in a more stable marketplace, will wait for them or will actively seek them out."