Can’t Buy Me Love?

Apparently the Beatles had it right all the way back in 1964.  (That’s right, baby boomers, it’s been forty-seven years since "Can’t Buy Me Love" was released.)  "Money can’t buy me love."

Mark Ramsey writes about radio programming and strategy on the Hear 2.0 blog.  The message is directed to radio stations, but the message applies to any of us in business. 

"Loyalty is earned.  It’s not solicited."
"Loyalty is a two-way street.  To get it you have to give it."
"And giving loyalty means delivering what listeners (customers) want the way they want it."

This doesn’t mean that loyalty programs, or frequent buyer clubs, or other promotions are wrong.  On the contrary, they’re important and valid ways to build business.  But, in spite of the name, a loyalty program won’t build loyalty.  Repeat business….yes.  Loyalty….no. 

I may come into your store to get my card punched, or to enter your contest.  That’s not loyalty.  Loyalty  means that I won’t go to your competitor’s store to get a card punched or to enter a contest.  Big difference.

Analogies are usually flawed, but Ramsey uses a great one to make his point.  Your dog isn’t loyal because you ask her to be or because you enter her into a contest where she has a slim chance of winning a doggie treat.  Dogs are loyal to you because they love you.

Can you say the same about your customers?

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