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Brand Keys, the brand and customer loyalty consultancy, is out with its annual survey of top 50 branded loyalty leaders, and notes that retailers make up 16 percent of the list - with Walmart coming in at number three, exceeded only by the Apple iPhone and Samsung cell phones (#1 and #2 respectively for the second consecutive year). came in at number seven, with Target at number 26, Sam’s Club at number 29, and BJ’s at number 42.
KC's View:
No matter how they quantify and qualify these kinds of surveys and studies, the results are subjective and reflect the biases and priorities of the organizations conducting them. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we had a global branding survey that didn’t even mention Walmart in the top 100?

I mention this because last night after I finished speaking to a business class at Cornell University, I was approached by a young woman from India who wondered why I had challenged the notion that Walmart is not a powerful global brand. (She isn’t alone; a number of you felt much the same way.) She said that in her country, where Walmart has just begun doing business in a joint venture, most people don’t know what Walmart is, which undermines my contention that Walmart is a global brand.

The point I made to her is that I’m actually speaking more philosophically than anything else. Whether Walmart is number three in one survey or doesn’t even make the top 100 in another is beside the point.

What I think is more important than ever is for retailers to exploit their own brand potential, both in terms of the products they carry and the image and services that they present to the consuming public. It isn’t enough to simply market other people’s brands.

The good news is that more than ever, retailers get this.

I also think, however, that people who do not believe that Walmart is a powerful global brand may be kidding themselves.