Building brand loyalty is one thing. Marketing smartly through digital platforms is another. And strangely, the two don't always walk hand in hand. Some of the brands with the most loyal customers are notoriously traditional when it comes to their marketing efforts. And some of the most digitally savvy brands out there still have to contend with relatively flaky customer bases.
But digital marketing and fostering loyalty aren't mutually exclusive -- far from it. The best digital marketing is designed to do just that. So which brands are best leveraging digital platforms to really drive loyalty? Until recently, it's been hard to know.
Recognizing this knowledge gap, research consultancy Brand Keys debuted its Digital Platform GPS earlier this year. The platform is designed to help brands match marketing strategy and digital communication in their categories and -- most critically -- to build loyalty.
"It's clear that brands are struggling to identify the intersection of consumer engagement with digital and what drives loyalty with their brands," said Amy Shea, EVP for global brand development at Brand Keys. "As pervasive as digital media is, surprisingly there was no single source that identified how various digital platforms engage -- and nothing that connected it to how consumers engage specifically with a brand's category."
To shed light on this issue, iMedia Connection partnered with Brand Keys to leverage its new tool to identify the brands that are best leveraging digital platforms to build customer loyalty. To do so, Brand Keys examined 598 brands and 14 digital platforms. Here are the top 20 brands on the resulting list. If you're looking to jumpstart or improve own online engagements with customers, you'd do well to take a page from these brands' playbooks.