Brands breeding loyalty through digital

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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.

Brands breeding loyalty through digital

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.



Denyse Drummond-Dunn
Denyse Drummond-Dunn August 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Thanks Kyle for all the time it must have done to collect such an inspiring collection of examples.
Following on from Brant's comment about being more than "digital minded" I agree, but for slightly different reasons.
What all these brands have understood is that digital is so much more emotional than other media. It is intimate and direct, which in my books anyway is the best way to get a message into the heart of a customer.
All these brands also seem to have a passion for customer centricity that comes through what they do, how they do it and the words and sentiments they use in their connections.
Be warned I will steal with pride a few of your great examples - but will of course give you the credit!

Brant Emery
Brant Emery August 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Looking through these cases, which are great examples of brand based CRM initiatives - I'd say it's much more than being ''digital minded''. At the heart of most of these are strong value-add services. It's like saying "shops build sales through bricks". Digital is merely a facilitator, a building material, for developing compelling, customer driven, elements. Digital media does enable faster, more iterative, development of customer value-adds, but don't forget the basics too. Also, would be nice to see actual results - but I know details like that are rarely made available.