In my last post, I discussed the Disney Effect and your business culture. Let’s continue on this topic and why it is so important to your success.
Why was this topic so important?
Because ‘customer loyalty’ is long ago dead. As it was known. Brand loyalty for example. If your Dad was a Ford man, by gum, he stayed a Ford man. Local restaurant patronage. I remember going to the same restaurant with my parents every week for years. Missed, they’d call to see if you were ill. Well, those days are gone.
But there are companies who do form a real bond with their customers. Disney is one. One to admire, envy, study.
The strongest bond is behavioral and attitudinal transformation. If your business and your relationship with and influence on your customers leads to them feeling differently (better) about themselves, thinking differently (more optimistically or creatively) about themselves and their world, behaving differently (more successfully), something greater than old-fashioned loyalty or allegiance forms. I don’t know that anybody has defined it well or assigned a useful terminology to it. But it occurs.
Can some ‘ordinary’ business — a clothing store, a dental practice, a bookstore, a home cleaning service – have such an influence? No. An ordinary business cannot.
But, as I discuss in my NO B.S. BUSINESS SUCCESS IN THE NEW ECONOMY book, it is the job of the entrepreneur to turn the ordinary business into the extraordinary business.
The next strongest bond is relationship. Where the customer genuinely feels – power word: feels – a real, non-superficial, personal connection, friendship, relationship. That something more than transactions is involved.
The next strongest bond is common culture. The proprietary language, the secret handshake, the school colors, the shared understanding, agreed upon ideas and philosophy. Being part of something, accepted by a group, being an ‘insider’. Think about how Hefner launched and developed Playboy around a philosophy, a viewpoint.
Maybe ironically, Disney and Playboy have much in common — evidenced by the fact that their customers eagerly wear and display their logos, collect their symbols. I think this may be the toughest marketing strategy or collection of strategies to wrap the mind around, to figure out, to find ways to apply. But what a breakthrough it can provide! What wealth it can create!