Loyalty models

Prime issues with Amazon

Amazon Prime is one of the most popular loyalty programs in the country, and Amazon customers enjoy very high satisfaction levels. However, it seems that people are sorting themselves out into pro- and against-Amazon, as they are in so many other areas. (The 'against' group is definitely the minority.)

Amazon prides itself in operating on the edge of innovation, and that means breaking lots of rules. I don't object to that behavior in general, but Amazon often ignores human values which are core to me, such as fairness and protecting the vulnerable. That's why I don't buy from them if I can avoid it. 

The Verge: Why I'm never signing up for Amazon Prime, 2017-Jul-11 by Vlad Savov 

I don’t expect anyone to follow or join me in resisting Amazon’s primal pull toward Prime. You’ve got your own priorities in life and, in all honesty, nobody’s going to fix global injustice by disregarding Prime Day and taking a nice walk outside instead. But it makes me feel good to do exactly that, and so — in the ultimate expression of consumer choice — I’m opting not to consume Amazon’s enchanting deals elixir.

(By the way, this article has one of the best comment threads I've ever seen.)

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Managing through role models at Starbucks

The right culture is driven by the company's strategy and is communicated by role models. 

HBR Blog: How Starbucks's Culture Brings Its Strategy to Life, 2016-Dec-30 by Paul Leinwand and Varya Davidson

You should identify a few positive attributes within your culture that are connected directly to your identity and the specific capabilities that are driving success in your business, double down on them and find ways to accelerate and extend them throughout the organization. Empower the critical few managers and employees who personify the best behaviors and can help you bring them to the forefront. ...

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At SunGard, CX leadership is about modeling and reinforcing customer focus everywhere

As CX leader Milista Anderson sees it, having a Customer Experience department is a disadvantage. Unless everyone in the company understands they are responsible for the customer experience, the customer's experience is in jeopardy. 

Loyalty360: SunGard Encourages Adaptability, 2015-Nov-20 by Steve Taggart

Anderson explained that assuming a dedicated CX role means taking on three personas: A teacher, a preacher, and a screecher. In other words, creating better CX requires a leader to teach others about what great customer experience looks like, preach the message over and over in order to begin the companywide shift, and “screech” loudly enough to create change.

“I don’t have a customer experience team behind me, and I don’t want one,” Anderson said. “I would rather create evangelists out of everyone else in the organization than to have a full customer experience department.”

In pursuing better customer experience as a company leader, Anderson stressed the importance of forming relationships throughout every part of the company.


Gamestop follows its customers, not the critics

GameStop is always getting grief from market analysts who say they will fail as did Radio Shack with their mall stores and their focus on selling games in boxes. IStock_000021700803XSmallBut the 32 million people participating in "PowerUp Rewards" provide GameStop with up-to-the-minute data about customers. Over the last year, GameStop has followed these customers into mobile: 

VentureBeat: CMO Roundtable: Turning one-time app installs into loyal users, 2015-Nov-13

GameStop first launched its mobile app in 2014. But as [VP, Multichannel Jason] Allen says in the webinar, GameStop listened to its customers and then delivered what they really wanted — not what GameStop believed they wanted.

“Our customers were asking for three to five things they wanted to do on the app,” he says.

These included the ability to look up trade-in value for games and consoles, finding the nearest store, and other simple capabilities that allowed GameStop to develop one-on-one relationships with some of its most loyal customers, says Allen.

Says GameStop CMO Frank Hamlin... 

Loyalty 360: GameStop is Thriving in Brand Loyalty, 2015-Nov-11 interview by Jim Tierney:

“There is an organization-wide level of attentiveness to the attitudes of our core customers, particularly as it relates to console gaming,” he said. “So as a result, we have to keep our ear to the ground. Through the power of our rewards program, we are tracking 75% of our sales and, through that, we have a strong electronic relationship with most customers...."

And GameStop continues to build customer engagement:

Mobile Strategies 360: GameStop Refreshes its mobile assets, 2015-Oct-28 by April Berthene:

Also new in the GameStop app is the onboarding process. GameStop asks a consumer when he creates his profile in the app to choose his favorite gaming platforms. GameStop then personalizes the app for him with those games’ theme colors and backgrounds, and suggests new games for him based on what he likes.

Recently, GameStop integrated content from Gamer Informer magazine into its iOS and Android apps, which has boosted daily return uses to the GameStop app, the spokeswoman says. The video game magazine features news articles on the gaming industry, reviews of video games and consoles, and gaming strategy articles.

All of these app initiatives combined have resulted in an increase of daily unique visitors to the iOS and Android apps to twice what they were last year, the spokeswoman says.

The critics may be right in that gamers may stop using the GameStop stores, but I have a feeling that this company will be the first to know where they're going and how to keep them satisfied. 


Loyalty to suppliers and supporters: Ina Garten

Otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten has built a sustainable empire from a food shop to media brand. Strategically, she knows exactly where she wants her business centered: writing cookbooks. She builds a broad variety of relationships, and not everyone survives, but she clearly makes it a goal to find a partner around whom she can stabilize her business and her personal life.  IStock_000021085297XSmall

Loyalty appears to be instinctive for Garten, but we can all learn from her approach: find someone who fits your values and grow together. When our partner changes, look to growing with them. When we have to change, be sure and try to bring them along. 

Eater: Ina Garten Does It Herself, 2015-Sep-30 by Choire Sicha

This endless parade of friends and visitors only highlights her strange and extreme loyalty. Barbara has been with her in the kitchen since 1999; her marriage to Jeffrey is almost half a century long. She has been with her agent Esther Newberg at ICM since ages. Ina has never changed cookbook publishers; in fourteen years, she also has not changed producers of the show....

She is ready to crush this next cookbook. "I'm actually more interested in writing cookbooks now than I was when I started," Ina said. "I think I was really nervous about it then. But I could just do this forever — and hopefully I can, until they drag me out by my feet."