The 2012 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI) revealed that brand loyalty is based more on emotional rather than rational desires, MarketingDaily reports.
"Across most of the 83 product categories, we found that consumers' loyalty now hinges more than ever before on the degree to which a brand has established a clear core value proposition - a differentiator that goes beyond the basic utility of a product or service," said founder and president, Robert Passikoff, as quoted by the news source "Today, delivering on the 'rational' reasons to buy a brand - good or superior quality and value for the price - is just the 'door-opener.' If that's all a brand is doing, it's in grave danger of being commoditized. In fact, it's not a brand; it's a category placeholder."
The CLEI Index measured top performers among a variety of categories, including fast food, casual dining and pizza restaurants, as well as top brands for coffee, beer, vodka, cereal and ice cream, to name a few.
When it came to soft drinks, Coca-Cola was the No. 1 brand, beating out Pepsi, which held the spot last year. Mountain Dew, 7-Up/Sprite, Dr. Pepper and Fanta followed. In the diet soft drinks category, Coke's diet iteration again took the top spot, followed by Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper and 7-Up.
Passikoff told the media outlet that this is the first year since the CLEI was launched in 1996 that Coke and Diet Coke have displaced both Pepsi and Diet Pepsi for the No. 1 ranking.
Rankings were based on "refreshing taste" and if the brand was "appropriate for the whole family." Drivers for diet drinkers included the family component as well as having a good taste and no aftertaste.
Passikoff adds that Coke's most recent marketing campaign - "Open Happiness," which ties its iconic polar bear to concerns about the arctic environment - resonated more emotionally with consumers than any campaign from Pepsi.
A similar report on global brands from Interbrand revealed that Coke creates the greatest customer satisfaction and loyalty across the world. It was ranked as the No. 1 most valuable and recognized brand worldwide, beating out other popular companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Google and GE.
Retail Customer Experience reports that brands in the "ideal position to keep generating demand" perform positively across 10 categories - clarity, commitment, responsiveness, protection, relevance, authenticity, differentiation, consistency, presence and understanding.