The holy grail of marketing is loyalty. Every marketing plan includes a flow chart on how to migrate consumers from awareness to trial to repeat to loyalty. Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts even defines a brand as “loyalty beyond reason”.
Yet many brands approach loyalty primarily through loyalty programs and loyalty cards that bear little relationship to true loyalty. It’s “loyalty for hire”, not “loyalty beyond reason”. When nearly every retailer has a loyalty program, loyalty cards lose their meaning.
My wife has so many loyalty cards, she can’t keep them all in her wallet. She stores them in a ziplock bag in her purse. Yet Trader Joe’s, the grocery store where she is most loyal, has no loyalty card at all. Last year, Satmetrix named Trader Joe’s the retailer with the highest customer loyalty scores in the US. Trader Joe’s generates that loyalty simply through the merits of being a remarkable retailer.
Loyalty doesn’t look like a card. Loyalty looks like this tribute video a Trader Joe’s fan created for fun. It’s already been seen 830,000 times by other Trader Joe’s fans.
What examples have you seen of brands that generate true loyalty with customers?
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
This loyalty topic reminded me of this Brand Loyalty cartoon I drew in 2005.