February 11, 2014
Whole Foods Market wins supernatural customer loyalty, but demanding shoppers may still want more, according to the 2014 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.
For 18 years the New York-based Brand Keys has measured customer satisfaction of thousands of brands, including 92 in CPG and grocery categories. Its trademark Customer Loyalty Engagement Index first finds true customers (the top 20 percent of buyers) then measures what ultimately drives purchases.
“We want to measure what they think, not what they say they think,” Brand Keys founder and president Robert Passikoff said.
Of major natural foods stores, Brand Keys identified Whole Foods as the leader in its index released this week. The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market followed.
4 things customers want
Brand Keys found four drivers of satisfaction for health food shoppers.
Above all, natural foods consumers seek healthy, organic and sustainable foods.
Then brands and retailers earn a vote of confidence for being environmentally friendly and socially responsible. For organic shoppers, emotions leverage more than the rational, Passikoff said.
The third factor moves into the practical: shopping experience and customer service.
Lastly, natural shoppers consider the value and value add—things such as online ordering, in-store pickup and store location. “Ultimately, customers do think about what they are going to pay, not just dollar but what else can be done,” Passikoff said.
And they want super satisfaction
Customers have very high expectations, even of their lowest concerns, Passikoff warned. “If you’re not monitoring expectations, you end up playing catch up with your competitors.”
And that’s where many brands and retailers are today. Brand Keys has found customer expectations have grown by 30 percent yet brands meeting those have increased a mere 6 percent.
In today’s market, desires defy reality and homogenous brand offerings are interchangeable.
Passikoff suggests retailers really watch how customers shop and what happens when they lose a shopper. And respond quickly.
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