A long time ago, at the birth of the ageing business, there was a set of arguments that were always rolled out to justify why brands focus on the young. In those days young was 18-34, for many it still is but it has gone up a decade or two.
Over a third of customers say they would not be loyal to a brand if it weren’t for the brand’s loyalty program, according to Bond Brand Loyalty. Bond also reports 68% of Millennials wouldn’t be loyal to a brand without a strong loyalty program.
Marketing is often confused with promotion, but it’s more than that. As Peter Drucker put it, “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” In truth, marketing is about insights more than anything else.
The unicorn is perhaps unique among myths in that the creature doesn’t appear in the mythology of any culture. The ancient Greeks, for all of their centaurs, hydras and medusas, never had any stories of unicorns, they simply believed that some existed somewhere.
Ask any marketer what she does and you’ll get a different answer. That’s because marketing is a hard discipline to define. We don’t cure people like doctors or build things like architects or even blow up the economy like those slick Wall Street guys.
Loyalty and rewards programs can be great motivators. When a business rewards the behavior they want from their customers – say, giving them a free coffee after they consume nine – they encourage that behavior. The most potent loyalty programs go beyond mere periodic freebies and confer status.
It was my birthday recently and during the course of it I got birthday cards. I want to share one that I got from one of my sons:
To Papa, I wish you a happy birthday. Love you lots and thank you for all the things you have done for me over hte years especially taking me back and forward to college. Thank you for being a great, caring and loving papa.
There are certain marketing tactics that drive me nuts, and one of them is using any excuse to capture attention. So I regularly rail against stunts like Old Spice’s viral videos, which I liken to purposeful car wrecks on the side of the purchase funnel road. Its latest — Muscle Music, which features a guy getting his muscles shocked as if his body were playing a song — has accrued 7 million views on Vimeo and almost a million on Facebook.
Starbucks knows a thing or two about loyalty. I’m a Gold Card member, and enjoy the free refills as well as the periodic free drinks I accrue by using it. (Green Card members get the refill benefit, but not the free beverage after every 15 purchases. In addition, Gold Card members get a personalized card in that color and, theoretically, are addressed by name by the baristas.)