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How to build sustainable loyalty

I was talking to someone about launching a new retail business and asked him about having a loyalty program. He said, "oh, yes, it's part of the point-of-sale system we'll be using."

Unfortunately, the built-in discount for frequent purchase represents a PRICING strategy, not a loyalty system. It may well be a sound way to operate, to show that we appreciate return business, but it doesn't help us learn about our customers.

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Sustainability is built of a learning cycle where we're always gathering information about our customers and they're learning about us, and we're adapting our business based on what we learned. A well-conceived loyalty program increases frequency AND deepens understanding.

Fast Company: Why building your brand is all out sharing your values, 2014-Aug-8 by Dave Hawley

As a brand manager, it is your responsibility to make people of different demographics, geographical locations, and socioeconomic statuses feel like members of one collective whole--your brand tribe.

Brands need values that hold their community together, and as a smart tribe builder, you must show these values through both words and actions.

By identifying the interests and values that your ideal customers share and demonstrating that your brand shares those values through the conversations you start, join, and share, you bring about stability and growth for your brand....

It’s up to marketers to align themselves with consumers, not the other way around. When we identify and claim values to help people distinguish themselves as a community distinct from others--when we listen and help that community strengthen its bonds--members talk to each other.

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