Apple & Amazon Top This Year’s Brand Loyalty Survey, Blackberry Hangs On In Last Place

If there’s anything we want from our products and the brands that provide them, it’s love, true love. Well, maybe not quite that level, but according to the most recent Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders List, we consumers are craving an emotional connection to brands. And when they fill that special place in our hearts, they earn our loyalty.

Apple, Amazon, Samsung, YouTube and Twitter all connect, which is why they’re in the top spots for 2012. And although BlackBerry is all but a shadowy specter whispering “Ooh, CrackBerry…. remember when you cared?” it’s still hanging on at the very last spot on the Top 100 list.

The New York-based brand and customer loyalty and engagement research consultancy (say that three times fast, I dare ya) says how we feel about our products is what drives our loyalty.

“In 16 years aggregating brand loyalty leaders, this is the first time we’ve seen such a seismic shift in loyalty leadership in terms of new categories and brands making their appearance in the top-100,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. “Brand loyalty has always been primarily driven by emotional engagement, and the rankings this year make it crystal clear that connection is everything.”

It’s not an easy feat to land a spot on the list — there are 598 brands in 83 categories for consumers to rate. And in the age of smartphone/tablet/e-reader dominance, it’s no surprise that the top brands are all technology-driven.

Here are your top-10 brands, ladies and germs:

1. Apple: tablets (new to list since 2011)
2. Amazon: tablets (new to list since 2011)
3. Apple: smartphone (#2 in 2011)
4. Amazon: online retail (#1 in 2011)
5. Apple: computer (#5 in 2011)
6. Samsung: tablet (new to list since 2011)
7. Call of Duty: major league gaming (new to list since 2011)
8. Samsung: cellphone (#4 in 2011)
9. Halo: major league gaming (new to list since 2011)
10. Twitter: social networks (#20 in 2011)

Floating around somewhere in the middle are brands like Ford, Nook, J. Crew, Starbucks, Toyota and Cover Girl, so you can see these categories really cover just about everything in life. It’s worth noting that Starbucks clawed its way up from the No. 100 spot on the list last year to spot 45 in 2012, which means it must be doing something right (ahem, Pumpkin Spiced Latte).

And then there are those brands that are slowly sinking to the bottom. But hey, again, they made the list in the first place, so that ain’t bad. The brands that had the greatest erosion of loyalty were:  Netflix (-69 spots on the list from 2011); Bing (-60); Blackberry (-40) B.J.’s Price Club (-31) and Flickr (-29).

Now, pardon me while I go snuggle my phone because I love it (and I’m nomophobic, to boot).