Brand loyalty will diminish as the defining metric of success. Marketing strategies will become more varied.
Brand loyalty reduces customer loss, which improves business growth. You are not replacing lost customers to stay at the same sales volume. Customers must have a favorable attitude toward the product to develop loyalty.
Looking at the future of [tag]loyalty[/tag]-[tag]marketing[/tag] [tag]innovation[/tag], three major trends will emerge.
Trend #1: the power of the network
Marketers have long known the power of engaging in dialogue with customers. But those who push the boundaries of customer dialogue also understand the power of communities of consumers united in affinity for a brand, bound by geography, or engaged in similar lifestyles.
In the loyalty game, helping to create customer groups bound by shared interests is a way to develop a sense of community around your brand. The better your ability to grow dialogue between you and your customers and among your customers themselves, the stronger your brand will become.
Trend #2: the power of data
It’s a hoary truism: Information is power. Simply put, you can’t manage a relationship or enhance the in-store experience without knowing whom your customers are. And indeed, before you can really leverage loyalty-program information to enhance your company’s core product, you need to understand what insights you can glean from the data you’ve already collected. Basic ROI analysis is no longer the end game. It’s just the starting point.
Trend #3: the power of convergence
An epic confluence of events and factors outside the loyalty space will form the third seismic shift that will influence your loyalty strategy. In the global marketplace, three major areas of convergence are giving rise to a second generation of multimerchant loyalty coalitions: corporate convergence, in which mega-corporations continue to gobble one another up, with the corresponding size of their customer bases growing more astounding every day; CRM convergence, in which the next generation of CRM technology helps these same companies organize every aspect of their businesses around customer segments; and point-of-sale (POS) technology convergence, in which the next wave of payment and identification innovations will eventually collide in their ability to enable sustainable brand-customer relationships.
As consumers pull out their coalition cards several times a week while shopping at top brands, coalitions will win the battle for share of mind. And the first companies in each sector to align their brands with a top-tier loyalty coalition will enjoy a formidable first-mover advantage. The bottom line: You’ll need a strategy to evaluate whether an emerging coalition is the right one for you.