As John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a half century ago, “Money can’t buy you love.” “Can’t Buy Me Like” by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy introduces us to the “Relationship Era,” where the only path for business seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Where do “authentic customer relationships” come from? The answers are honesty, transparency, shared values and a purpose beyond profit.
Relationship Era marketing is not awareness, nor even quality, it is authenticity. Trust. Loyalty. Pride. Relationship Era marketers do not see purchases as conquests to seduce, or even persuade. They see them as friends – members of a community dedicated not only to the same stuff but also to the same ideals.
Trust is now the basis for everything. The three C’s of trust:
- Credibility – A brand must deliver on the terms of their offer.
- Care – Caring about consumers means actually caring about their lives and constructing your business to be as helpful as possible.
- Congruency – Find common cause with individuals on the same wavelength.
The journey from the Consumer Era to the Relationship Era is called “the Shift.” This “Shift” is from traditional marketing to purposeful marketing. The process begins with assembling the team and posing one central question: Why does the brand exist? It’s with a parallel question: If this brand disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, would anybody but financially interested parties care? Brands need to re-evaluate who they are, what they stand for and why they are in business in the first place.
In summary, goodwill can be accumulated over time by fostering a relationship exactly akin to ones with friends and loved ones. That means sharing relevant content that may have nothing to do with your brand per se but everything to do with the overlaps of interest between you and your public.
Loyalty Factor specializes in guiding leaders as they transition to Relationship Era marketing and seek to develop long-term relationships founded in trust. To learn more about our programs and mentoring, visit www.loyaltyfactor.com or call 603.334.3401.
Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.
Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership“.