2019’s Top Brands Ranked by Customer Loyalty

September 23, 2019

Amazon retains its position as the brand loyalty leader in the US for the third consecutive year. So says the latest annual loyalty study [pdf] from Brand Keys, which ranked customer engagement and loyalty to 921 brands across 110 categories.

Rounding out the top five were:

  • Google, flat at #2, for Search Engines;
  • Samsung, up three spots to #3, for Smartphones;
  • Amazon again, up five spots to #4, for Tablets; and
  • Apple, up two spots to #5, for Tablets.

These brands were among those most likely to meet consumer expectations for their respective categories.

Keeping up its impressive track record, Amazon appeared in the top-10 list three times: for its performance in the Online Retail (#1 overall), Tablets (#4 overall) and Video Streaming (#5 overall) categories.

Apple also made the top-10 list twice for its mobile devices, with its Tablets (#7 overall) ranking better than it did for Smartphones (#8 after being #3 overall in 2018). In fact, Samsung’s loyalty ranking bypassed Apple’s in the Smartphone category to reach #3 overall, up from #6 last year and #7 in 2017.

Despite the competition from Samsung, Apple still remains at the top of the minds of consumers, ranking #2 among the most ‘intimate’ brands in the US and hovering in the top-three most loved brands on social media this year.

The only social networking brand to make the top-20 was Twitter, which moved up 12 spots to take its place at #11. Twitter is used by fewer than one-quarter (22%) of US adults and, despite this ranking on this customer loyalty list, is being used less frequently by social media marketers.

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.

Eight of the top 10 customer loyalty leaders this year are digital brands. Trader Joe’s, which leads the Natural Foods category, and Hyundai, which leads the Automotive category, are the exception at #9 and #10, respectively.

Digital tech, social networking, and “brands that facilitate digital and social interactions” comprised 27 of the top 100 loyalty leaders this year. Other categories well represented in the top 100 include Retail, Automotive/Auto Rental/Ride Share, Cosmetics, Restaurants and Financial.

Brands with the biggest loyalty gains this year were a good mix of both digital and non-digital brands, led by Old Navy (+23 to #33 ), Sam’s Club (+16 to #62), Spotify (+15 to #72), Twitter (+12 to #11), Chick-fil-A (+11 to #13), MSNBC (+11 to #34), FOX (+10 to #27), Kia (+10 to #58), Discover (+8 to #18) and Samsung (computers) (+8 to #45).

While the use of ride-hailing apps have increased in recent years and Uber’s positive impression among women has increased, that has not stopped it from seeing one of the biggest declines in the loyalty rankings. It dropped 26 positions in 2019 to #74, only eclipsed by iTunes which dropped 27 positions to settle at #55. As for Facebook – which has had its own problems? It fell 16 positions to #24.

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

About the Data: Brand Keys’ Loyalty Leaders analysis was conducted in August 2019 and includes assessments from 55,115 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 2019 Loyalty Leader assessments examined 110 categories and 921 brands.

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