Would it surprise you to learn that Apple is the company customers feel most loyal to? A new survey points to electronic gadgets being the one thing people are most loyal to for certain brands, second only to the kinds of food and drinks people choose.

Over 80% of respondents singled out quality as the most important key to their loyalty, a new survey from analytics company ClickFox revealed April 11. Second to quality was customer service, with 72% of the 427 people surveyed in early March saying it was key to staying with one company over another.

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2012 Brand Loyalty Survey by ClickFox. Image credit: ClickFox

Companies will be asking themselves what other strategies they can use to maintain loyal customer relationships, because it’s no surprise the two above mentioned factors scored so high. ClickFox found loyalty rewards to be one important ways to remind customers they are valued. The survey asked people if they would do more business with a company if there was a loyalty reward, and 54% said they would.

That is a powerful incentive, and it’s only reinforced by the number of people who said they thought companies they did business with weren’t doing enough to reward loyalty. Sixty two percent of people surveyed felt this way, and 46% said they’ve already increased the amount of business they’ve done with a company because of loyalty rewards.

Loyalty Builds on Itself

Twenty percent of those surveyed said they couldn’t live without their Apple products, with Coca-Cola, Google and Amazon also ranking high in the must-have category. Price and convenience were factors in driving loyalty, and those who were most loyal did spread the word about their favorites. In fact, 78% of those surveyed indicated as much, with 49% saying the best way to gain loyalty in the first place was at the beginning of service or at the time of a first purchase.

For proof of how important customer loyalty is, look no further than floral retailer 1-800-flowers.com, who is looking to hire a Director of Loyalty, according to its website. The job listing is looking for marketers who have experience in email marketing and product promotions. Additionally, a company called Satmatrix released a large customer loyalty survey back in March that found the highest rated brands also scored high in frequency of customer recommendations. Apple and Amazon scored high in that survey as well, as did Virgin America and Costco.

Tell us in the comments if you’ve had success in keeping customers coming back or what kinds of things encouraged you to stay loyal to a brand.