To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
Marketing, as in life, is full of cycles. Led by explosive growth in the tech sector, the CMO mantra has been “demand generation” for about a decade. But to every season there is a turn, and loyalty is ascending again. While the need to acquire new customers is still a pressing concern for every marketer, smart marketers are once again coveting the benefits of a repeat customer, a loyal customer. Loyal customers are less expensive to service and more likely to promote your brand to their network—effectively, free marketing support.
As loyalty comes back into focus, many marketers are bemoaning its premature demise, and they are blaming Millennials. As we explored in our recent podcast, the blame is misplaced. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that Millennials are as capable of loyalty as their parents and grandparents. A 2015 study by IRI found that 44% of Millennials say they are loyal to brands. While they are often value-seekers and price conscious, 52% of those surveyed said they choose quality over price.
We have learned a lot about loyalty in our research on consumer attachment. In study after study, both in the academic community and in our own proprietary field work, attachment has reliably proved itself to be one of the strongest predictors of customer loyalty. Not surprisingly, the forces that weaken attachment also prove to be destructive to loyalty.