Customer Leadership Index 2023

Mighty Ape climbs to top spot in Kantar’s Customer Leadership Index

Kiwi online retailer Mighty Ape has moved up from 10th position last year to reach top spot in the annual Kantar Customer Leadership Index, New Zealand’s leading ranking of the best brands for customer experience, released today by data, insights and consulting company Kantar.

Skinny and Toyota came in second and third, with AA Insurance and Mitsubishi rounding out the top 5.

To create the index, Kantar surveyed 2,500 New Zealanders about their opinions of over 60 of New Zealand’s top brands in banking and insurance, online shopping, retail and grocery, media and entertainment, travel, telecommunications, energy and car repair.

This is the fifth year the Kantar Customer Leadership index has been calculated.  It covers all aspects of the customer experience including service delivery, customer centricity, brand clarity and offer excellence.

Mighty Ape’s success is built on its mastery of the purchase and delivery experience, where Mighty Ape is top across all brands in any sector. Making it easy to choose and buy via their digital platform, and the superior delivery experience provided since the launch of in-house courier service ‘Jungle Express’ are clear strengths for Mighty Ape.

The brands in the top 10 do though tend to be strong at more than just one thing. In Mighty Ape’s case, its strength in channel is also linked to being responsiveness and customer-focused, and allows its brand to stand out versus other online retailers.

Kantar New Zealand’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Thomas, notes that Mighty Ape is an inspiring example of a local brand with an absolute focus on delivering excellent customer experiences.

“I find the story about Jungle Express both inspiring, and emblematic, of their success. Jungle Express came about in late 2021 during the Delta outbreak and subsequent lockdown in Auckland, when Mighty Ape decided to invest in a delivery service that mitigated the growing risk of their usual courier partners being unable to collect and deliver orders to customers. In other words, Mighty Ape anticipated a client problem and worked proactively to not only mitigate it but turn it into a competitive advantage that helps them deliver meaningfully different experiences to their customers.”

Cost of living concerns still impact customer experience

The 2023 Customer Leadership Index demonstrates that the cost of living crisis is still impacting how customers see brands, and putting customer retention at risk. This means that price, and the cost-benefit equation, remains highly important – 6 of the top 10 brands on the Kantar value measure also appear in the top 10 in the index overall.

Thomas notes “If customers don’t feel they are getting value from a brand, in times like these there’s an increasing risk that some of them will decide that a change is worth the effort. But if they feel happy about the value delivered by their choice, this risk diminishes substantially. In this environment brands have to continue to demonstrate and communicate value to customers – which may be about low price, but also may be the overall value proposition.”

The power of people to build customer loyalty

In an environment in which technology and automation is often front and centre, the Index also shows the benefit of human interactions as part of customer experiences.

Thomas says “It’s clear looking at our data that brands that bring elements of humanity to their CX really do benefit – that is, empathy, respect, listening, and communicating clearly.”

“And further, it’s noticeable that some brands in sectors that don’t naturally have people as part of their core offer, such as Mighty Ape in online retail, still stand out on aspects of humanity because they’ve worked out how to build those universal human values into their offer.”


David.Thomas B&W

David Thomas
Chief Commercial Director
[email protected]