June 24, 2020

Patterns Repeat

That's why we refer to them as patterns.

Have you ever noticed how feckless most loyalty programs are?

It's not the fault of the loyalty program, that's for certain. Or the marketer. The marketer is paid to figure out a way to increase loyalty.

No, customers aren't loyal because the brand offers merchandise that is purchased at infrequent cycles.

As a consultant, you see this pattern repeat constantly. You measure annual repurchase rates, and they're about 22%. Only 11 in 50 customers who bought in 2019 will buy again in 2020. That's not a high rate. The rate is usually a "merchandise-driven" rate. Maybe you sell gifts. How often does the customer need a Christmas gift? Once a year? Yeah, well, that right there precludes loyalty. The customer isn't going to buy in August.

These same patterns repeat in the majority of my project work. The brand I'm analyzing offers merchandise that is only "needed" once or maybe twice a year. The customer won't ever become loyal because the brand doesn't sell "repeatables" ... merchandise that the customer must buy over and over and over again.

If we want to increase customer loyalty, maybe we bypass the traditional loyalty program and instead focus on what we sell? I mean, these patterns just keep repeating ... over and over again, right?

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