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Marketing Daily reports on the 2012 edition of the Brand Keys 2012 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, noting that “more than ever, the core drivers of brand loyalty are emotional rather than rational ... While emotional engagement factors have become more critical each year, the influence of two core, overarching components rose markedly in 2012: the brand’s ‘values’ and the consumer’s brand ‘experience.’”

“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,” says Robert Passikoff, president and founder of Brand Keys. “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.”

Among the notable findings:

• Coke and Diet Coke displaced Pepsi and Diet Pepsi and the number one soft drink and diet soft drink for the first time in more than a decade.

• As a reflection of the national interest in craft beers, Samuel Adams tied Coors for the top position in the beer category for the second year in a row and Sam Adams Light - which was not even in the rankings last year - leapt into the number one spot in the light beer category.

• Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts tied for first place in the packaged coffee category, though Dunkin’ Donuts edged Starbucks to take first place in the coffee shop category.

• Häagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s tied for the top spot in the packaged ice cream category.
KC's View:
This continues to reinforce a point that we’ve been making around here for a long time...that having a product of appropriate quality at an acceptable price point is just the cost of entry for any brand, whether it be a retailer or a CPG company. After that, it is the other stuff that you bring to the table that will make the difference.