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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Americans are more loyal to their favorite soft drink, television show or car brand than they are to their employer, according to a joint Reuters/Ipsos poll.
But they are most committed to their country, followed by their family and their doctor.
"The most surprising thing was that country, which is more abstract, was No. 1, ahead of your family or spouse," said Timothy Keininghan, the author of the poll and a co-author of the book, "Why Loyalty Matters."
"There's a general belief that the government is broken, and people want to fix it," he said.
Seventy percent of Americans questioned in the survey said they are more loyal to their country now than they were two years ago.
Companies did not fare well when it comes to allegiance. Most Americans said they are more committed to their favorite soft drink than the company they work for.
Keiningham said the findings may reflect the impact the U.S. recession and Wall Street banking crisis has had on broader U.S. sentiment.
The poll by market research company Ipsos showed that the majority of Americans do not believe that companies are doing a good job rewarding loyal employees or customers.
Only 55 percent of employees said they would stay at their job and turn down higher pay elsewhere, which suggests that 45 percent of workers would leave their job if offered a 10 percent hike in pay.
"Employers have real issues," Keiningham said. "This should be a wake-up call. The only way to grow your way out of a bad economy is to hold on to your customers and encourage both employee and customer loyalty."
When asked how companies could improve loyalty the top answers included offering cash awards to consumers, replacing automatic answering machines with real people, making good products and not raising prices.
Reporting by Walden Siew; Editing by Patricia Reaney