Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 Holiday Spend Survey and the Best Gift For Marketing, Advertising, & Brand Folks on Your List (Naughty or Nice)

According to 11,625 consumers, this year’s average holiday spend will be $936. That’s up 4% from last year.

According to a smaller sample, here’s the best holiday gift for the marketing, advertising, and branding folks on your lists. The book The Writing on the Wall: Rediscovering New York City’s “Ghost Signs.”


As marketing & branding marched digitally into the 21st century, NYC’s “ghost signs” – advertisements actually painted on the sides of buildings, some dating back to the 19th century – have remained defiantly resolute, continuing to quietly advertise & market goods and services of all kinds, albeit some more useful in past centuries! Thanks to time, the environment, and gentrification these faded emblems of our rich advertising, economic, & social history are slowly disappearing before our eyes. But happily not before they were captured by a photographer’s lens.

Full Disclosure: The author’s name is not a coincidence. Ben is my son.

At the age of 16, he started roaming Manhattan with his camera to document these fascinating signs – hand-painted advertising and marketing messages that still adorned many buildings in New York City.

This updated photographic collection features signs painted in the 1800s as well as 21st century versions, and provides a rich and insightful commentary on modern advertising and marketing, and a visual roadmap of how brands got to where they are today.

This collection of vanishing ghost signs is now preserved in a photographic record that belongs in every marketers’, adman/women’s, and branding experts’ personal libraries. You can order it ­– in old-school hardcover or new-school digital – in time for the holidays at these retailers:


Happy Holidays from Brand Keys (and one proud Papa)!



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, November 05, 2017

Speed Defines The Best Of Everything

Speed does define the best in the marketplace, where expectations regarding what brands deliver move at the speed of the consumer.

In the past five years consumer expectations have grown by 30%. More if you’re talking about the tech or social categories, with all those expectations driven by the consumer. Brands, on average, have only been able to keep up by 7%, which leaves a really big gap between what consumers expect and what brands are seen to deliver.

A brand that is best able to meet those high consumer expectations is always the brand that best engages consumers. Not sometimes, always. The brand that best engages is always the brand that does best in its category. Again, always. Best profits. Best share-of-market. Best ROI. Best ROMI. Best reviews. Pretty much the best of all the things that count!

Being the best brand possible is a pretty good goal. But it isn’t easy. But we can help with some predictive insights regarding consumer expectations 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 will examine 1,000 B2C and B2B brands in over 100 categories. You (and your competitors) are probably already there!

The research – a combination of validated psychological research and some very smart higher-order statistical analyses – has been independently validated by organizations like the ARF, the ANA, the AMA, and ESOMAR.

More importantly, our findings have been shown to correlate with consumer behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85 or higher to identify what drives loyalty and engagement in your category, what category and consumer values make the greatest contributions to your efforts, what consumers really expect, and how well your brand meets 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 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 to help speed up your brand’s consumer engagement 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, October 29, 2017

Millennials Share and Boomers Buy!

For those of you looking to optimize brand share and sales, here’s an easy answer: Market to Boomers.

Why? Well, Americans aged 55 and older account for a major portion of consumer spending – nearly half (45%).

Yes, yes, there are other demographic groups. But Gen X and Gen Y each spend about half that (22% and 20%, respectively). Millennials – marketers’ objects of worship – only account for 14%. Take a look at Janet Morrissey’s The New York Times story. “Baby Boomers to Advertisers: Don’tForget About Us.

Besides having more money to spend, you’re looking at one of the most influential generations in modern times. Boomers were responsible for advancing Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and the Anti-War movement. For those of you upset at the most recent revelations regarding sexual abuse, Boomers were also responsible for the rebirth of Feminism. Oh, and the creation of Earth Day back in 1970.  Why not market electric cars to Boomers now? Not any of those cultural paradigms were imagined by Millennials, Gen X, or Gen Y. Just saying.

Historian Julieanna Richardson noted, “The turbulence of the 1960s set the ground for the Baby Boomer generation to really soar. There’s no doubt that we are the beneficiaries of those who came before us. We are the affirmative action babies.”

Here’s a thought: it would be a shame for marketers to forget that all that “history” provides a foundation for the creation of powerfully meaningful strategies – for brands smart enough to capitalize on them.



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, October 23, 2017

An Engaged Consumer Is The Best Brand Strategy Of All

If you’re tired of having “loyalty” and “engagement” defined as something you’ll recognize when it visits itself upon your brand or some sort of point promotion, or new levels of awareness, or time-spent measures, or just counting tweets, take heart. Even having all those things in copious amounts isn’t enough to guarantee real emotional brand engagement.

Real, in-market loyalty results from an emotional bond between consumer and brand that ensures future purchases. It’s the degree to which a brand is seen to meet consumer expectations held for the Ideal in your category. The better you measure up, the higher engagement with your brand.

The real bottom-line? More positive consumer behavior, more sales, greater share of market, and more profits.

How much more?

How does six times more sound to you? Six times better at things that add to your brand’s bottom line. What things?  Loyal and engaged consumers are six times more likely to:
  • Buy your products
  • Buy more of your products more often
  • Recommend your products to friends and family
  • Invest in publicly traded companies
  • Rebuff competitive offers, especially price-based offers
  • Give your brand the benefit of the doubt in tough circumstances.
So if you’d like some brand engagement and loyalty metrics that can help you build your brand, make good strategic initiatives better, and actually correlate with sales, we can offer up something more concrete. An opportunity for you to develop strategic insights for your brand that determine real choices real people make in the real marketplace.

Our 22nd annual Brand Keys CustomerLoyalty 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 will examine 1,000 B2C and B2B brands in 100 categories. You (and your competitors) are probably already there!

The research is a combination of validated psychological research and some very, very smart higher-order statistical analyses, an approach that’s been independently validated, but more importantly have been shown to correlate with consumer behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85 or higher.

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 this research can help you engage more customers with your brand in 2018.


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, October 15, 2017

Which Brand Has The Most Loyal Customers?



Brand Keys just released its 2017 Loyalty Leaders List, an extraordinarily comprehensive and insightful, cross-category perspective of today’s loyalty brandscape.

So here’s a question for you. Which brand do you think was #1?


  • Customers named one brand in three different categories that ended up in the top-10.
  • Another brand showed up four times in the top-25.
  • Only two beverage brands made the top-20, which was also true of two automotive brands.
  • Seven new brands showed up in this year’s top-100.

Check out how well you know your brands and customers, and view the complete 2017 Top 100 Loyalty leaders list here.

For those of you planning for 2018, our 22nd annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) will be fielded again this January, with results available before the Super Bowl.

More than 50,000 consumers (M/W, 16-65) will assess 1,000 B2C and B2B brands in over 100 categories. The metrics correlate with consumer behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85+. You (and your competitors) are probably already included, but your absence is easily remedied!

For more information about signing your brand up for our independently-validated, emotionally-based insights, and to include your brand in the 2018 CLEI, give Leigh Benatar a call (212-532-6028) or send him an email (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can answer any of your questions.

Particularly the ones related to making your brand #1 in your category.



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, October 09, 2017

Branding’s Golden Rule: Listen To The Voice-Of-The-Consumer. That’s All We Do.

Sure, every brand says it does this; that it’s customer-focused and its research always represents the “voice of the customer.” It’s a nice thought but, unfortunately, today most traditional research doesn’t even come close to capturing customer whispers, let alone actual voices!

Studies conducted via traditional techniques provide a fine net for capturing a historical portrait of what people have already done, but they can’t tell you what's down the road. And most don’t correlate highly with customer behavior or sales in the real-world marketplace.

But here’s an opportunity for your brand to possess 100% consumer-driven voices.  Research designed to provide emotionally-based insights generalizable at the 95% confidence level, with findings that correlate with in-market behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85 or higher, and illuminate how people truly make choices in the real marketplace.

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

The research, a combination of validated psychological research and some very, very smart higher-order statistical analyses, has been independently validated by organizations like the ARF, the ANA, and ESOMAR.

Listening to over 50,000 consumer voices each wave provides brands and marketers with insightful, cost-effective, effectual, and powerfully accurate brand insights that can help you and your brand “hear” the real voice of your customer.

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 email him (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can show you how to turn up the volume on your target consumers’ voices.


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.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Brand Success Is Right Around The Corner


2018 is right around the corner and you never know what’s coming unless you can see around that corner. It could be something critical to your brand’s success but, regrettably, not many brands can see around those corners.

Why? Well, structure of the marketplace has changed – but more powerfully, changing consumers are the ones making all those corners more difficult for brands to see, let alone see around.

All this means is now’s a good time for brands to adopt an engagement and loyalty-based measurement approach that is predictive of how consumers will behave in the future and what values brands should attend to. The one hiding just around the next corner.

We can help with that. We’re Brand Keys and we’ve spent more than three decades developing and honing emotionally-based, predictive brand metrics, that provide marketers with an opportunity to possess emotionally-based insights that no traditional, digital, or social research ever matches. Insights that predictively identify real choices real people make in the real marketplace.

The 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 nine U.S. Census Regions. We will examine 1,000 B2C and B2B brands in over 100 categories. We may already be measuring you – and your competitors.

The research, a combination of validated psychological measures and some very smart higher-order statistical analyses, has been independently validated by organizations like the ARF, the ANA, and ESOMAR. More importantly, the findings correlate with consumer behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85 or higher. So insightful, cost-effective, effectual, and powerfully accurate brand insights will help you and your brand see around next year’s corners.

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 email him (leighb@brandkeys.com). He can answer any questions about how helping you see around those tricky category corners will help to grow 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.