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Recommendations have nothing to do with loyalty!

Just saying that out loud sounds crazy but check this out.

So let’s get this straight. If a brand hooks it’s customers up with coupons, and a customer takes them, because that’s what they are demanding, does that mean they are telling you or us that you can have their business? I think so.  It means so long as you keep rewarding the customer- they will be your customer for life. Or at least until a better offer comes along. What does that have to do with loyalty and recommendations? It means as a consumer I will recommend your product as long as you reward me. It means I will be loyal to you as long as you give me free stuff, or coupons, or a deal. It means that I may recommend you solely on the basis of how much you give me and not necessarily on how good the brand experience was. I may recommend you because of customer service, but loyalty has nothing to do with it. It means and it has meant for quite some time, that loyalty can be bought and our “likes’, our follows and “friendships” can go to the highest bidder.

Social will give you the opportunity to nurture and marinate the customer experience but if you don’t give today’s consumer something, then they will walk. And you thought people on Facebook just “liked” your brand because they liked your brand? Please.

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7 Responses to “Recommendations have nothing to do with loyalty!”


  1. 1 Paul Soldera May 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I think this is kind of a cynical view of that data. If you give any customer the chance to say they want coupons or special offers online, they are going to say yes (who wouldn’t?). That doesn’t mean their loyalty is tied to getting coupons or offers though. The phrase ‘loyal as long as you give me free stuff’ is not a definition of loyalty at all. It’s perhaps the opposite. Loyal customers want coupons, sure, but if they are really loyal, they’re not using the lack of free stuff to blackmail you with. You don’t want those kind of customers, they’re probably not worth much.

    All this data says is that coupons are popular. It’s not really a testament to the relationship between recommendations and loyalty.

    I agree that in Social you need to concentrate on giving customers something though. But it doesn’t have to be a coupon 🙂

  2. 2 chiropracticmarketingtools May 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I read a forum thread about buying fans. Why would anyone do that? and why would they want someone to “like” them if they are just being bought to be a number on a page. I prefer to interact with my fans and…gee I don’t know, is it crazy to want them to interact with me? I prefer fans who want to be there because they find the content interesting, enough to tell a friend or share the content with others. And please don’t get me started on the “you like me and I’ll like you” craze. Again I ask; why?

  3. 3 marc meyer June 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    @Chiro There is an underlying aspect of Quid Pro Quo in social. Just look at the recommendations aspect of Linkedin.

  4. 4 marc meyer June 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    @Paul, What is the definition of loyalty in today’s world then? What does that really mean?

  5. 5 Todd D June 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    This is an interesting thought that we as consumers simply want coupons from brands online. I do not have data or insight to refute this notion, but I have to think that we all want some nugget from brands online. Given this, the easiest piece is a coupon since better customer service is hard to quantify and takes time + effort from the customer to get, which is fine with some and just another sore spot for others.

    Alas, it would be interesting, albeit difficult, to find out how many of the respondents (or people in general) who say they want coupons, are asking for coupons to brands they are loyal to. Or to know if these people have loyalty to any brands and what consumers want from brands to which they are loyal.

    In the end though, your thoughts are interesting ones that certainly raise questions about people’s motives with connecting with brands online.

    @ctodddavis

  6. 6 marc meyer June 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    @Todd The bottom line is that we don’t follow brands for the quality of the conversation. We’re loyal up to a point but would like to get something out of the relationship.


  1. 1 Brand Loyalty « Medmond Tech Trackback on August 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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