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Football imitating marketing – is loyalty dying?

As an avid Everton fan the ongoing saga surrounding Joleon Lescott’s transfer from Everton to Man City has consumed more than a little bit of my time this summer. When I think about it the saga is a similar to loyalty issues facing a number of marketers.

Lescott joined Everton a few seasons ago and has been a star performer. The performances resulted in an improved contract and call up to the England squad. He has four years left on his contract.

This summer, Man City a team who have finished below Everton for the last number of seasons but have an extremely rich new owner made a few bids for Lescott. All turned down by Everton. Over a few weeks it all blew up. The player sulked and was dropped, fans booed his lack of loyalty to the club and his contract and both managers clashed in the press. The move finally happen yesterday.

Most marketers strive for loyalty. A loyal and repeat customer means a continous flow of sales and can become an ambassador for your brand which leads to more sales. However since most brands want loyalty you have a continous fight on your hands. You can’t afford to take your eye off the ball, loyal customers are valuable and need to be treated as such. Other brands will always promise more and will make your customers tempting offers to switch products or services. Find out who your loyalty customers are if you don’t know. Get close to them, ask for their feedback, reward their loyalty and make sure swithing isn’t a profitable or worthwhile option for them.

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