The Quest

Eighty years ago, we turned the lights on and earned the trust and loyalty of an entire generation of electric cooperative members. Today, rapidly evolving technology and shifting value systems are changing our members’ expectations and relationship to their co-ops.

This project started as a response to that shift. Two co-op communicators in Michigan (meet Rachel and Casey below), realized that in order to earn the trust and loyalty of the current generation of electric cooperative members, we needed a way to measure co-op loyalty.


We developed the Member Loyalty Index (MLI) in 2015 after digging into research from across the world on consumer loyalty and what differentiates loyalty from customer satisfaction. Put simply, the MLI is a 5-question index that measures a member’s positive emotional attachment to their cooperative.

You won’t be surprised to hear that Michigan’s electric cooperatives aren’t alone in wanting to effectively engage and empower our membership and earn their loyalty. That’s why NRECA Market Research Services was the perfect partner to help take the MLI to the next level.

Through NRECA Market Research Services, cooperatives across the country have begun measuring the loyalty of their members allowing us to create national benchmarking of cooperative member loyalty.

Since 2015, we’ve used the MLI, to identify the key drivers of loyalty and to deepen our understanding of what today’s members value. We look forward to sharing best practices and ideas from across the country as more cooperatives participate in the MLI.

“The MLI is a 5-question index that measures a member’s positive emotional attachment to their cooperative.”

A Little More About Us

RACHEL JOHNSONMBA & MA, Communications Studies
Rachel has a knack for building and sustaining member and community engagement. She is passionate about giving electric cooperatives the tools they need to modernize their engagement efforts and promote the cooperative difference. Rachel is currently the member relations manager at Cherryland Electric Cooperative and has been selected to step into the role of CEO at Cherryland this June.
CASEY CLARKMA, Organizational Communication
Casey specializes in aligning communication strategy with organizational goals to achieve business results. She is passionate about the power of data and creating strategic, measurably effective communications programs. She is the VP of communications and member service at Wolverine and director of communications and marketing at the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association.