Emotional engagement, a leading-indicator of consumer behavior, sales, and corporate profitability, is now more difficult for technology based brands to achieve as the key drivers of brand engagement have shifted dramatically toward emotional values in the majority of the 72 categories surveying 635 brands in Brand Keys' 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. This is the 21st annual survey conducted by Brand Keys, the New York-based brand engagement and customer loyalty research consultancy.
There were 12 tech categories included in Brand Keys' 2016 assessments. The brands seen to best meet consumers' expectations for emotional category engagement values (in parentheses) were seen to be:
- App-Base Rideshare: Lyft (A Ride In My Pocket I Can Trust)
- Computers (Laptops): Apple (Innovative Customer Intimacy)
- E-Readers Kindle (It's My Connected & Curated Library)
- File Hosting Dropbox (A Lot Always Rides On This)
- Flat Screen Smart TVs: Samsung (My Own Ultimate Viewing Experience)
- Headphones: Beats (How I Add To My Connection With The World)
- Instant Messaging: WhatsApp (I Can Always Be Cool)
- MFP Copiers: Konica Minolta (Whatever Helps Me Make My Goals)
- Printers: HP (What I Do Is Always Better)
- Search Engine: Google (Part of My Emotional Landscape)
- Smartphone: Apple (I Can Do Anything [From My Phone])
- Social Networking: Facebook (Always, Always In The Know)
For the 2016 survey, 42,792 consumers, 18 to 65 years of age from the nine US Census Regions, self-selected the categories in which they are consumers, and the brands for which they are top-20% customers. Seventy (70%) percent were interviewed by phone, 25% percent via face-to-face interviews (to identify and include cellphone-only households), and 5% online. Brand Keys uses an independently validated research approach that fuses emotional and rational aspects of the categories. The research technique is a combination of psychological inquiry and statistical analyses, has a test/re-test reliability of 0.93, and provides results generalizable at the 95% confidence level. It has been successfully used in B2B and B2C categories in 35 countries.