I was reading a discussion in one of the LinkedIn Groups that I belong to, and a question posed by John Moore, “Does Loyalty Exist in Business? Should It?”, piqued my interest.
My thoughts are that it depends on how you define loyalty as it can have several implications:
There is the negative implication of “blind” loyalty that has gotten many people into trouble. Blind loyalty would mean continuing to support a business, even when its product or services may have seen better days. People who look at Ford the same way today, as they did 25 years ago may fall into this category. My parents’ generation was more prone to this line of thinking, but people under 50 rarely think this way.
Then there is gratitude to a company or product that may have served you well in the past.This form of loyalty may take the form of casual but not full blown support. You may by something like a Ford T-shirt or baseball cap, but you won’t by a truck from them anymore.
Last but certainly not least, is earned loyalty. If people buy a Ford Truck because they still offer a great product at a great price, then obviously loyalty is still around.
Bottom line – loyalty still exists but in today’s economy but people remain loyal only if the company deserves it. How do you ensure loyalty? By staying relevant and offering a great product or service. Don’t expect to be around if you start cutting corners to save a few bucks.
All the best,
All the time,