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. 



Monday, November 27, 2017

What 60,000 Consumers Said About Your Brand

Here’s an opportunity for you to know precisely what consumers are saying about your brand: the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI).

In January, Brand Keys conducts its annual the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index and interviews a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 16-65 years of age, drawn from the 9 US Census regions. Results of nearly 60,000 interviews (a deep-dive into B2C and B2B brands in 100 categories, nearly 1,000 brands) are available before the first kickoff at the Super Bowl.

Screening standards vary from category-to-category (just like the real world) with respondents self-selecting which category and brands they assess. Each category has tailored criteria engineered to identify “top-20% users,” which means the consumers who not only talk about you, but buy you as well.

For each category (and each brand in the category), Brand Keys collects assessments of customers’ needs, values, and brand perceptions, measures the ‘Ideal’ brand, as well as the brand for which they are customers. We capture emotional and rational aspects of loyalty and engagement that are statistically fused to identify the top four drivers of customer engagement and loyalty.

These drivers describe precisely how a customer will view a category, compare offerings within it, and, ultimately how they buy – and buy again. Independent validations have proven these assessments correlate very, very highly with consumer behavior, sales, and corporate profitability.

The metrics generated by Brand Keys not only paints a detailed picture of what engages customers, but also identifies the level of expectations customers have for the category and the brands they use.  Brands that come closest to meeting the category Ideal are the always the ones whose customers will demonstrate the greatest engagement and loyalty over the coming months and years. This has been proven in the marketplace time and time again.

It’s predictive, too. Traditional consumer and satisfaction studies report what people say about previous purchases. Brand Keys loyalty and engagement metrics forecast future behavior, predicting which products and services people will buy over the next 18 to 24 months.

The questionnaire has a test/re-test reliability of 93% and has been successfully used in B2C and B2B product and service categories in 35 countries around the world. It provides statistically reliable information at the 95% confidence level.

Perhaps more importantly, our findings correlate with consumer behavior and brand profitability at levels of 0.85 or higher. We are able to identify what drives loyalty and engagement in your category, what category and consumer values make the greatest contributions, what consumers really expect, and how well your brand is seen to meet those expectations.

In short, the CLEI delivers insightful, cost-effective, effectual, and powerfully accurate brand insights, which will have your colleagues and competitors asking precisely how you did it!

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 find out what all those consumers are really saying about 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. 

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.