What are the top US loyalty and brand experiences?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 2, 2007

Financial services firm ING and auto maker Honda were given top ranking based on customer brand experience in a recent study of US branding and loyalty by RTC Relationship Marketing.

Toyota, Volkswagen, Southwest Airlines, Radisson, GM, Hyatt, Westin and The Home Depot took the next eight places for "best customer experience".

Brand experience as a differentiator
"This study demonstrates how brand experience can be leveraged as a major differentiator, even among leading brands," said CEO Barry Kessel. "While the automotive industry has been doing this successfully for years, it's compelling to see a financial services brand like ING so significantly outperform its competitors on experience."

Indeed, according to Kessel, while marketers spend billions on brand awareness and acquiring new customers, it remains just as important - and profitable - to keep customers happy and committed by delivering a positive experience.

Customer communities
In addition to its overall top ranking, ING ranked top for the sense of community its customers feel with other users of the brand, as well as number one for "listening to and addressing customer concerns". This was followed by Sesame Street and Wonderful World of Disney in terms of "sense of community with other brand users".

Honda and Southwest Airlines followed ING in terms of "listening to and addressing customer concerns". Perhaps not surprisingly, Honda, ING and Toyota also ranked highest for "brand meets needs and is worth a premium".

Brand experience scorecard
The study ranked leading brands from Young & Rubicam's BrandAsset Valuator study. Fifty-four brands in eight categories were evaluated using the proprietary Brand Experience Scorecard model, which correlates brand performance, customer treatment, and sense of community as the major drivers of overall brand experience.

Together, these scores provide an indicator of customer commitment to the brand. Categories included in the study were automotive, banking, television programming, mobile phones, internet providers, hotels, airlines, and specialty retailers.

Top three brands by sector
The top three brand experiences included:

  • Airlines: Southwest, JetBlue and Continental;
  • Auto: Honda, Toyota and General Motors;
  • Banking: ING, Wachovia and Wells Fargo;
  • Internet: Verizon, Google and AT&T;
  • Hotel: Radisson, Hyatt and Westin;
  • Specialty Retail: Home Depot, Bath & Body Works and Best Buy;
  • TV programming: Sesame Street, Wonderful World of Disney and Oprah;
  • Mobile: Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Motorola.

The data was compiled from an internet-based survey of 1,035 adults (aged 18+) in September 2007, conducted by market research firm Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.

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