March 26th, 2012Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or a better price and continue doing business with you. Repeat business is easily won, loyalty is not. Manipulations like sales, discounts, rebates and limited time offers cause repeat business, not loyalty, and are an addiction. There is no question that these manipulations work. Over the course of time they cost more and more and the gains are only short term. Like any addiction, the drive is not to get sober, but to find the next fix faster and more frequently. The internet is pushing that fix faster and more frequently than any medium ever.
Advances in technology are creating very innovative, and I’ll admit very cool, ways to get promotions, sales, deals and offers into the hands of customers. Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing and sharing offers and deals in never ending ways. I get the feeling that some brands think that since their discount is delivered via a cutting edge method it won’t have the same negative affects that normal discounts have. Discounts on top of exciting new mediums are still just discounts and still have the same negative addictive effect on brands.
The trend of sophisticated discounting is only gaining momentum, moving towards localization, personalization and real time deals that will be triggered by ever more curated and more targeted offers to consumers based on known profiles and preferences. These offers will ‘find consumers’, not the other way around. Any product that can be compared to others on price will be and those companies that compete with discounts will continue to loose loyalty until becoming irrelevant.
The brands that invest in loyalty rather than discounting will be the ones the succeed in the future. They are the ones built on purpose and that are of such high quality, so unique, so authentic or so personalized that consumers don’t even want to look for reviews, price comparisons, discounts or deals.
Entry Filed under: Marketing