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Last March we released our 2017 Sports Loyalty Index. According to nearly 18,000 fans, Major League Baseball was rated #1 for fan loyalty and brand engagement for the first time in a decade. They beat out the NFL, perennially Major League’s Sports’ loyalty leader. The NFL ended up being ranked #3.

Brand pride and league-denial notwithstanding, those rankings are precursors of consumer behavior, are always highly predictive, and for Major League Sports, are leading-indicators of TV viewership.

Because that’s the case, we thought you might be interested to know that the Brand Keys 9th annual audio series, “What Happened? Successful Strategies, Marketing Misdeeds, and the Brands That Loved Them!” – predictions of brand, marketing, and advertising successes and failures – has just been posted at

We launched this series almost a decade ago when it became clear that brand engagement was a powerful planning tool and that making predictions had become more popular pastime than providing actual proof of their accuracy. Very few researchers put their predictions to a test – then or now – until they turn out to be wrong. Then the post mortems, finger pointing, and rationalizations begin.

So again, as a cautionary tale, we’ve posted stories about what we publicly predicted and published – and what really happened. Independently validated, emotionally-based measures that showed what was going to happen to brands in the real marketplace!

This year, in addition to that, we pose two questions: 1) If traditional survey-based research predictions are so good, why are brands unable to avoid messy marketing failures? And 2) Why doesn’t the research match up with actual market results?” Give those two questions a ‘think.’

While you do, you might be interested in listening to brand storytelling about:

  1. The Marketplace of Everything (Amazon)
  2. Brewed Awakenings (Beer)
  3. Brand Trump (Ivanka, this year)
  4. Building the Perfect Burger
  5. Driving Profitability (Lyft vs. Uber)
  6. Is it Love, or Food Poisoning? (Chipotle)
  7. Who Killed Retail?
  8. #Millennialslovebrands
  9. America’s Most Patriotic Brands
  10. Making A Splash in the Video Stream. (Netflix)
  11. A Big Slice of Heaven (Pizza!)
  12. Trends for 2018

Feel free to pass this link along to your colleagues because, while we hope these recordings will entertain, we also hope they just might change your perspective about what predictive research metrics should deliver. And if nothing else, we hope they’ll inspire you to demand a bit more prediction from your brand research.

Oh, and what happened to the NFL?

The decline in their TV ratings accelerated in the regular 2017 schedule. Their average audience down nearly 10% a steeper decline than the 8% viewership erosion in the 2016 season.

Lots of League, TV, and research executives have offered up explanations for the NFL’s continued decline. But what it all comes down to is “engagement.” When brand engagement deteriorates, behavior declines, and when consumers don’t act positively toward your brand, well, you get the point.

As always, we hope these real-world examples and our annual recordings encourage you to ask the ultimate question about your own market and brand initiatives – “What happened?

Brand Keys is always available to help provide some predictive answers to that question for your brand.


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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