NEW YORK (TheStreet) - It should go without saying that the better a company engages its brand with consumers, the better the sales will be. Of course, the opposite is also true - companies that have poor brand engagement are likely suffering from sales declines and probably larger strategic and financial issues.
Brand engagement is defined as the degree to which a brand is seen to meet the expectations consumers hold for the 'ideal' company in a particular industry as measured by positive consumer behavior towards the company and brand loyalty.
"A brand can't do well in today's marketplace if it can't engagement consumers, no matter how many ads are run and no matter how much social networking one does," says Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, a New York-based loyalty and emotional engagement research consultant. "Brand engagement correlates very highly with positive consumer behavior, sales and profits."
The 2014 Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Engagement Index ranks brands according to consumer engagement, with the ideal company scoring 100%. The annual ranking surveys approximately 32,000 consumers, ages 18 to 65, who self-selected categories and brands in which they shop at and participate with. The interviews were conducted via telephone, face-to-face and a small portion online over the month of January.
Top category performers in the index include: Jet Blue (JBLU) for airlines, Dunkin' Donuts for coffee, UPS (UPS) for parcel delivery, Domino's (DPZ) for pizza, Apple (AAPL) for smartphones, L Brand's (LB) Victoria's Secret for apparel and Amazon (AMZN) for online retailers, among others.
"Where engagement is high consumers behave better toward a brand and the brand sees more sales and, along with that, should also see increased share and profits," Passikoff says in a release. "Where engagement is low, the reverse happens. Always."
Brand Keys says that a benchmark for brand success is a score that is higher than 85%. Here are the 10 least engaged brands in descending order: