Member Loyalty Index

A Missing Metric

Co-ops are committed to increasing member engagement and loyalty, a key function of the communications department. While most co-op departments use industry-standard metrics to set goals and monitor performance, historically there hasn’t been a reliable metric for member engagement and loyalty.

Meet the Member Loyalty Index

What it Measures
The Member Loyalty Index (MLI) is a statistically significant and reliable measure of member engagement and loyalty. It measures a member’s emotional attachment to his/her co-op. Increasing emotional attachment is the key to increasing member trust in the cooperative, member-owner identity, and willingness to take grassroots action on the co-op’s behalf.

How It Works
The Member Loyalty Index consists of four measures which survey participants are asked on a likert-type scale. These four measures are then collated into one index on a 0 to 100 scale.

The Measures
  1. Perception of co-op as a partner
  2. Alignment with co-op policies and procedures
  3. Personal relationship with co-op
  4. Pride in association with co-op

The index survey is designed to not only benchmark member engagement and loyalty, but also to provide insight into what programs and services have the most impact on it. Factor and regression analyses are used to determine which areas of your co-op’s service are the key drivers of emotional attachment. The results of this analysis can be used in your cooperative’s strategic planning, helping to prioritize improvement efforts and determine where best to apply communications resources.

Beyond the Index

The Member Loyalty Index was developed by two Michigan cooperative communicators, Casey Clark and Rachel Johnson. Casey and Rachel proved the index to be statistically significant and reliable with a study at Cherryland Electric Cooperative in 2015. Now, NRECA Market Research is making this survey tool available to other co-ops. Together, we’ve teamed-up to help cooperative communicators increase member engagement and loyalty from a research-based perspective.

NRECA Market Research focuses on survey design and analysis, while Casey and Rachel blog about communication ideas and insights gleamed from the research on We invite you to join the conversation!


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