Understanding loyalty

Has loyalty really evaporated? In many areas of our lives, we do have some brand loyalties. Items like the supermarket we choose or the brand of vehicle we lease or own. Do we make these choices because of convenience, price, value and in many cases brand? My guess if your like most of us it’s a combination of the four.

In this day and age of advertising that comes at us from every platform imaginable, the pitch is almost always around price. This morning while surfing Facebook there is a sponsored post advising me of the best 7 least expensive places to retire in the World. I must be targeted because of my age and google reader who knows everything from what my emails contain to the websites I frequent. So would you stop for one moment and think. I am going to move there so I can retire in a fashion better than I could back home in Canada or America. Undisclosed are the costs of maintaining health care. Flying your family down for Christmas. The network of friends built over the years will evaporate. I say this asking what really is in the number? This is where value and loyalty enter the equation.

There are two words that I always associate with Loyalty. Credibility and Trust. Loyalty runs in the background of everything we think from our friendships, the companies we choose to do business with and the airline we choose. Southwest Airlines and WestJet, for example, built their businesses on price. The key here was value associated with a number. Smaller seats packed closer together at a lower price. Southwest Airlines created a Blue Ocean turning the industry on its ear. They brought new travelers to flight travel who would otherwise not been able to travel as often, if not at all. They created brand loyalty based on price. Until now! In today’s world, there are many competitors in air travel and they are under price threat from Websites boasting of the lowest fairs on any airline. Huge search engines trolling airline sites for flights and availability. Gone is loyalty. Just try getting free parking at a hotel you purchased from an online discounter. It’s not going to happen. To combat these airlines, supermarkets and hotels have added in loyalty building measures for free flights, free food and free hotel night stays if your purchase direct from them. All in an effort to maintain loyalty.

The next time you make that all important purchasing decision ensure you have considered the value component before you hit submit. Just like trust and credibility, loyalty is earned. There is nothing worse than the sweet taste of a low price soured by poor quality and service.