We’re entrenched in the experience economy – consumers expect experiences that meet them wherever they are.
Chuck Christianson, Senior Vice President of Sales, Account Management & Client Solutions at Connexions Loyalty, recently spoke about this topic at the SIFMA Asset Management Account Roundtable. SIFMA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, represents hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers.
For marketers, there are four critical elements inherent in any good customer experience: people, products, purpose and passion. And now, for the conclusion of our four-part series…
Finally, how do you create mutual ambassadorship with your customers, resulting in their lasting loyalty? Customers care about giving back. According to the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose Study, “72 percent say they’d recommend a brand that supports a good cause—an astounding 39 percent increase since 2008.” There’s a dramatic acceptance of companies doing well while doing good.
USA Today coined the phrase, “Kindness is becoming the nation’s newest currency” and you can see why. That same Edelman study noted that 47 percent of consumers say they buy, every month, at least one brand that supports a good cause. That’s a 47 percent increase from 2010.
A growing number of companies have experienced success related to their kindness. For example, with every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives a pair to a child in need. The name TOMS is derived from the word “tomorrow,” a reference to their mantra of “shoes for a better tomorrow.” Shoes positively impact health, which facilitates education and opportunity for children. As founder and chief shoe giver, Blake Mycoskie, notes, “Giving is what fuels us. Giving is our future. It’s the core of our business and it’s time we celebrate it.” Thanks to their customers, TOMS has given more than 2 million pairs of shoes to children in need around the world.
In similar fashion, Warby Parker provides “eyewear with a purpose.” Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses. Without glasses, people can’t learn or work as well. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker plans to distribute a pair to someone in need, and has given more than 250,000 pairs to date.
What about some of the largest retailers? How are they fueling passion through doing good? Despite the controversy and mixed opinions about Wal-Mart, the retailer has made strides to lessen their energy footprint. Wal-mart reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from a 2005 baseline, meeting its target one year ahead of schedule. And, the EPA ranked them as the 3rd largest U.S. corporate consumer of green power—renewable sources with high environmental benefits. In 2011, the company kept 80.9 percent of waste out of landfills and increased its locally grown produce by 97 percent.
Along these same lines, The Wall Street Journal recently ran “The Business Case for Healthier Food Options” by Michelle Obama. The first lady contends that in the past 2 years, Wal-Mart reports that it has cut the costs to its consumers for fruits and vegetables by $2.3 billion and reduced the amount of sugar in its products by 10 percent. Wal-Mart has opened 86 stores in underserved communities and launched a labeling program to help customers spot healthy items on the shelves. And remember, they do all of this while serving more than 200 million customers weekly worldwide.
Many asset management firms target the current leaders in the global spending market, Baby Boomers. But are they thinking of the up-and-coming group—those who will emerge as spending leaders?
The 95 million Americans categorized as Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004) are tech savvy as well as socially and politically progressive. As USA Today notes, they “live and breathe social media and are broadly convinced that doing the right thing isn’t just vogue, but mandatory—it has to come from within.”
Because the job market is soft, more college graduates have chosen to pursue higher education. In fact, the number of people enrolled in higher education increased by 26 percent from 2007-2012. That’s 193 million people. Once they acquire these higher degrees, Millennials will emerge as the new leaders in global spending.
Is your company positioned to do well by doing good as you align with the next generation of spending leaders?
The Incenter of Loyalty: Bringing it all together
You may remember from high school geometry the incenter, the point where the angles of a triangle intersect at the center of the inscribed circle. For Connexions Loyalty, that circle and that point are the center of loyalty – it’s where it all comes together: people, products, purpose and passion. Bringing these elements together to incentivize customers creates memorable experience for them, which become the “incentivizer,” or better yet, the “incenter” of loyalty.