The Language of Loyalty

 Michael Bali

Michael Bali / Copywriter

In the Age of Now, brands have to exist as relationships. More than a promise, more than superior performance, more than a “lovemark,” brands need to belong to their customers.

One way to create these relationships is for brands to reframe roles so that the producer and the consumer feel equal. Harvard Business Review points to Uber and Lyft’s transition from a driver/passenger relationship to one of friend/friend. Starbucks started with servers like a coffee shop, but now it employs baristas in a community hub.

A recent Accenture report showed that consumers are 78% more likely to retract their loyalty than three years ago, in part because Millennials expect very different relationships with brands. Millennials want flawless positive experiences that they can share with friends and family; yet they are still quicker to switch brands, all the same.

But building loyalty has become harder than ever. In the Internet Age, consumers have usurped brand ownership, since overwhelming choice and instant gratification have handed them the power to ask brands, “how will you improve my life?” (Have you ever wondered why marketers are called brand ‘managers’ and not brand ‘owners’?)

Learning these new expectations, the new “loyalty language”, will transfer focus from traditional loyalty programs towards newer strategies. If consumers are finding it easier than ever to leave, brands must find more human reasons for them to stay.

 

Which brands are you loyal to? And why? Leave a comment below.


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