Harris Interactive Accurately Predicts Customer Behavior With New Customer Loyalty Model


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Rochester, NY – April 10, 2007– Harris Interactive(r), the fastest growing market research company in the world, today unveiled the Harris Interactive Commitment Model, the first research framework that allows businesses to accurately understand and measure the drivers of customer loyalty. Harris Interactive uses the Commitment Model to strengthen the bonds between customers and brands to create committed, loyal and profitable customers. Harris Interactive also uses the Commitment Model to create loyalty simulators that allow businesses to accurately see how changes in service delivery, facilities or any other aspect of business will affect their bottom line.

Harris Interactive clients will highlight the use of the Commitment Model at the Fifteenth Annual Customer Loyalty Conference April 30 – May 1 in New York.

“The Commitment Model is the culmination of decades of research and practice,” said Stephan Sigaud, Group President of Harris Interactive Loyalty. “Unlike earlier loyalty models, the Commitment Model is not built on widely used satisfaction metrics alone, which is really challenging the way that other research firms look at loyalty. Instead, we look at the rational and emotional dimensions of commitment. These are two concepts that allow us to model customer behavior more precisely than any previous model and they allow us to demonstrate how committed customers are to a brand.”

Committed Customers Are Profitable Customers
Harris Interactive Loyalty’s research has found that the relationship between brands and customers resembles human relationships. The relationship evolves over time as customers bond to brands. The Commitment Model represents these bonds in a two dimensional format, using the rational and emotional dimensions of commitment. This representation of commitment reveals four relationship states:

* Acquaintance – the customer is not connected to the brand
* Partnership – the customer is rationally connected to the brand
* Romance – the customer is emotionally connected to the brand
* Commitment – the customer is both rationally and emotionally committed to the brand

The Commitment Model shows that committed customers, those that are both rationally and emotionally committed to a brand, behave in ways that are beneficial to business. For example, committed customers:

* Are more likely to forgive failure
* Are willing to try brand or line extensions
* Buy more or give greater share-of-wallet and they are less price sensitive
* Place frequent, consistent orders and usually cost less to service
* Spread positive word-of-mouth

Using this model, brands can improve customer commitment, and in turn drive financial performance, by strengthening rational and emotional bonds with their customers.

Pilot Program and Customer Results

Harris Interactive Loyalty has initially tested the model in two separate trial projects in the United States: one with fast food restaurants and another with retail companies. Close to 4000 customers of 20 fast food restaurant brands and 21 retail brands completed online surveys, answering questions on a wide range of topics including behavior, attitudes, and demographics.

“In each of these studies, the Commitment Model proved to be a reliable predictor of customer behavior,” said Joan Fredericks, Senior Vice President and Director of Advanced Methodology. “The studies also proved other aspects of commitment, such as the likelihood that committed customers will spend more than the average customer. For example, in the retail study, we found that the future spending of committed customers was more than three times that of other customers.”

Since the completion of the pilot programs, the company has used the commitment model with a number of clients in a variety of industries and geographies in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer situations. Each time, the Commitment Model has produced reliable, accurate results.

Later this month, Harris will unveil several Commitment Model case studies at the annual Harris Interactive Loyalty seminar in New York, April 30 – May 1. Leading brands from a variety of industries will share case studies on a number of topics related to customer commitment and loyalty. For more information about the seminar, visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/loyalty.

About Harris Interactive Loyalty
Harris Interactive Loyalty provides innovative research and strategic insights to help clients make more confident decisions, strengthen their bonds with key stakeholders, and realize measurable and enduring improvements in business performance. As one of the largest and most respected names in loyalty research, Harris Interactive Loyalty serves 175 of the Fortune 500 companies and employs a global team of more than 100 expert researchers, methodologists and consultants.

Founded in 1985, Harris Interactive Loyalty is a practice within market-research leader Harris Interactive and is supported by the company’s proprietary technology platform, global data collection and project management capabilities, online reporting tools, and a dedicated marketing science team.

For more information on Harris Interactive Loyalty, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/loyalty.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiaries Novatris in France and MediaTransfer AG in Germany, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at www.harrispollonline.com.

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