American consumers are more loyal to their pets than to their churches, favourite bands, sports teams or alma maters, according to a study by Colloquy and FanXchange which followed a similar study of Canadian consumers' loyalties.
The Colloquy/FanXchange 2014 Experiential Rewards Research showed that 71% of Americans state they are "extremely loyal" or "somewhat loyal" to their pets, with loyalty to their favourite bands ranking a close second at 69%.
Favourite sports team rated third with 66%, while church/house of worship (55%) and university/alma mater (49%) rated a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
The findings were based on a June 2014 online survey of 1,003 American consumers, and found that Southerners are most loyal to their pets (74%), with Westerners (72%) following close behind. Those living in the Northeast (70%) and Midwest (67%) rank third and fourth.
"The supremacy of loyalty to pets is instructive," noted Colloquy research director, Jeff Berry. "The essence of loyalty is a true sense of connection. There's a lesson here for brands."
Gender stereotyping would point to men being more loyal to their favourite sports teams than women, but the Colloquy/FanXchange research exposes a staggering gap of 78% to 55%. While both sexes would claim to be pet champions, women scored higher on loyalty to pets (73-69%). Women also outscored men on loyalty to church/house of worship (56-53%).
"Americans are thrilled to see their favourite teams or bands perform live," said FanXchange's president, Morley Ivers. "It's a motivating and memorable experience that increases engagement with the rewards programme making it possible."
In other key findings from the loyalty research:
- The Midwest is the only geographical region of the United States scoring higher in loyalty to bands than pets (Favourite Band - 69% vs. Pet - 67%);
- American men are more loyal to their universities/alma maters than women (Men - 55% vs. Women - 43%)
- Affluent Americans (household income more than US$150,000 per year) are more loyal to their favourite sports teams than their pets or churches (Favourite Sports Team - 71%, Favourite Band - 59%, Pet - 59%, Church/House of Worship - 53%, University/Alma Mater - 45%).