Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Why NFL TV Ratings Are Down & Other Predictive Brand Stories

Last March we released our 2017 Sports Loyalty Index. According to nearly 18,000 fans, Major League Baseball was rated #1 for fan loyalty and brand engagement for the first time in a decade. They beat out the NFL, perennially Major League’s Sports’ loyalty leader. The NFL ended up being ranked #3.

Brand pride and league-denial notwithstanding, those rankings are precursors of consumer behavior, are always highly predictive, and for Major League Sports, are leading-indicators of TV viewership.

Because that’s the case, we thought you might be interested to know that the Brand Keys 9th annual audio series, “What Happened? Successful Strategies, Marketing Misdeeds, and the Brands That Loved Them!” – predictions of brand, marketing, and advertising successes and failures – has just been posted at http://brandkeys.com/what-happened.

We launched this series almost a decade ago when it became clear that brand engagement was a powerful planning tool and that making predictions had become more popular pastime than providing actual proof of their accuracy. Very few researchers put their predictions to a test – then or now – until they turn out to be wrong. Then the post mortems, finger pointing, and rationalizations begin.

So again, as a cautionary tale, we’ve posted stories about what we publicly predicted and published – and what really happened. Independently validated, emotionally-based measures that showed what was going to happen to brands in the real marketplace!

This year, in addition to that, we pose two questions: 1) If traditional survey-based research predictions are so good, why are brands unable to avoid messy marketing failures? And 2) Why doesn’t the research match up with actual market results?” Give those two questions a ‘think.’
While you do, you might be interested in listening to brand storytelling about:
  1. The Marketplace of Everything (Amazon)
  2. Brewed Awakenings (Beer)
  3. Brand Trump (Ivanka, this year)
  4. Building the Perfect Burger
  5. Driving Profitability (Lyft vs. Uber)
  6. Is it Love, or Food Poisoning? (Chipotle)
  7. Who Killed Retail?
  8. #Millennialslovebrands
  9. America’s Most Patriotic Brands
  10. Making A Splash in the Video Stream. (Netflix)
  11. A Big Slice of Heaven (Pizza!)
  12. Trends for 2018
Feel free to pass this link along to your colleagues because, while we hope these recordings will entertain, we also hope they just might change your perspective about what predictive research metrics should deliver. And if nothing else, we hope they’ll inspire you to demand a bit more prediction from your brand research.

Oh, and what happened to the NFL?

The decline in their TV ratings accelerated in the regular 2017 schedule. Their average audience down nearly 10% a steeper decline than the 8% viewership erosion in the 2016 season.

Lots of League, TV, and research executives have offered up explanations for the NFL’s continued decline. But what it all comes down to is “engagement.” When brand engagement deteriorates, behavior declines, and when consumers don’t act positively toward your brand, well, you get the point.

As always, we hope these real-world examples and our annual recordings encourage you to ask the ultimate question about your own market and brand initiatives – “What happened?

Brand Keys is always available to help provide some predictive answers to that question for your brand.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Economics of Branding

At Brand Keys we specialize in predictive loyalty and emotional brand engagement metrics.

Real loyalty is more than satisfaction or awareness or a willingness to recommend. It’s more than tweets, likes, or shares. Real loyalty is much more, and much more valuable. Loyalty and brand engagement all link to positive consumer behavior toward a brand.

Axiomatically, the better the behavior, the better a brand does in the marketplace and the better the brand’s bottom line. Increase engagement and you increase loyalty. Our findings correlate with positive consumer behavior at levels of 0.85 or higher. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe some hard economic facts of brand life will:
  • It costs 10 to 12 times more to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing one.
  • An increase in customer loyalty of only 7% can lift lifetime profits per customer by as much as 90% depending upon the sector, an increase in loyalty of just 3% can be the equivalent of a 10% across-the-board cost reduction program.

Our approach has been independently validated, with a basic survey identifying the following 12 to 18 months ahead of traditional research:
  • What drives loyalty and engagement in your category,
  • Which category and consumer values make the greatest contributions to consumer behavior,
  • What consumers really expect from your brand, and, perhaps most importantly,
  • A precise identification of how well your brand is seen to meet those expectations. 


For more information about our correlated-to-behavior, emotionally-based, and independently-validated brand insights, and to find out if your brand is or can be included in Brand Keys 2018 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, give Leigh Benatar a call (212-532-6028) or send him an email (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can answer any questions about how you can increase your brand’s bottom line in 2018.    

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Getting Your Brand Chosen

“You Are Not In Business To Be Noticed, You Are In Business To Be Chosen.”

As good researchers we always give attribution. It was Sam Walton who said that and it is as true today as it was when he said it nearly 50 years ago.

If you want to be chosen in this consumer-driven digital world, you need to know what consumers really want before they articulate it in focus groups and well before it shows up in your tracking research. That’s why we specialize in predictive, emotional engagement research.

An emotionally engaged consumer is a loyal consumer, and that’s what you want – loyal consumers that choose you over the competition again and again. So here’s an opportunity for your brand to possess emotionally-based insights that no traditional, digital, or social research can match. Real insights that determine real choices real people make in the real marketplace.

Our 22nd annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) will be fielded again this January.

The research – based on interviews with more than 50,000 consumers – is a combination of validated psychological research and some very smart higher-order statistical analyses. Our approach has been independently validated and our findings correlate with positive consumer behavior, sales, and brand profits at levels of 0.85 or higher.

Customers of your brand, are asked a series of questions using Brand Keys’ questionnaire (test/re-test reliability of 0.93) to quantitatively identify and assess category-specific loyalty and engagement drivers, levels of contribution delivered by each driver, measures of unconstrained-by-reality expectations consumers hold for each of the drivers as regards to their perception of a Category Ideal, and how well you and the competition measure up to those expectations.

All this provides cost-effective, actionable insights (as opposed to just data) to help build, maintain, and reinforce loyalty among your current customer base, and promote engagement and consideration of your brand among non-customers, but most critically, choice.

For more information about our correlated-to-behavior, emotionally-based, and independently-validated brand insights, and to find out if your brand is or can be included in the 2018 CLEI, give Leigh Benatar a call (212-532-6028) or send him an email (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can answer any questions about how you can get your brand chosen by more consumers more often in the coming year.




Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Brand New View of Your Brand

All you have to do is to look at the marketplace to see that the velocity of brand growth has slowed in virtually every category you’d care to name. We predicted this trend back in 2010.

At the same time we also predicted the appearance of a customer-led, digitally-centric marketplace paradigm that would require brands to get closer to their customers. We got that one right, too.

You and your brand are living that prediction right now! But when we said that, we weren’t referring to targeting or outreach. The digitally-driven marketplace has made targeting easier, and with a little effort and a database any brand can find anyone on any platform.

But reaching out to a potential customer and actually touching one are two distinctly different things. Today, when it comes to how brands “look” at the consumer, much of what’s done remains relatively unchanged from the last century. We’d like to offer you a better, independently validated approach.

Brand Keys specializes in brand loyalty and emotional brand engagement research. We’ve perfected a predictive model that has been independently validated to correlate very highly (.85+) with positive consumer behavior in both the B2C and B2B marketplaces. Our emotional engagement model delivers correlated-to-behavior, 100% consumer-driven brand insights and loyalty metrics so clients can more accurately and profitably look at their 21st century consumers. We are able to identify all the values that contribute to real brand growth, all generalizable at the 95% confidence level.

So here’s an opportunity for you and your brand to take a better look at your category and your customers to help develop real brand insights that determine real choices real people make in the real marketplace:

Our 22nd annual Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) will be fielded again this January. We’ll be talking to over 50,000 consumers, men and women, 16 to 65 years of age, drawn from the 9 U.S. Census Regions. We’ll be examining 1,000 B2C and B2B brands in over 100 categories. You (and your competitors) are probably already there.

Changing the way you look at your customer and brand will provide your brand with a new perspective that will fuel growth. The CLEI will tell you how customers see your brand, and what customers want to see.

For more information about our correlated-to-behavior, emotionally-based, and independently-validated brand insights, and to find out if your brand is or can be included in the 2018 CLEI, give Leigh Benatar a call (212-532-6028) or send him an email (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can answer any questions you may have about how consumers are really looking at your category and your brand.




Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

11 Brand Marketing Trends for 2018

“Legends of prediction are common throughout the spectrum of mankind. Gods speak, spirits speak, and computers speak,” author Ursula Le Guin wrote. What she missed, however, were consumers. Consumers speak too. Volumes if you know how to listen.

Predictive brand loyalty and engagement metrics allow marketers to more accurately decipher consumers’ words, emotions and expectations, aspirations and inclinations, propensities and passions. Happily all those allow us to predict behaviors in the marketplace, which Brand Keys (brandkeys.com) has been doing for over three decades.

This year’s insights are based on over 100,000 psychological assessments that measure the direction and velocity of category and consumer values – 12 to 18 months in advance of the marketplace. That permits us to also identify future trends, and have done so with uncanny accuracy.

This year we’ve identified 11 trends that will have direct consequences to the success – or failure – of 2018 branding and marketing initiatives. To view them, click here.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.