Loyal.T: Loyal to a Transaction vs Loyal to a Tribe.

Are your customers loyal to a T?

It might seem like a play on the word with a letter as the springboard, however when spoken out aloud it is also a question worth asking and answering.

Loyal.T: Loyal to a Transaction

Loyal to a Transaction is the base state of customer loyalty. It is an ongoing binary exchange of value - a product or service provided in exchange for money.

Nothing more, nothing less and nothing wrong with this. The world economy survives and thrives on transactions.

However, it does go deeper than just that simple statement.

Behind the transaction is a promise made and expectation set by the business about the product or service being offered.

The human on the other side of the offering then chooses to give up their finite financial resources believing (hoping) the product or service will meet the promise made.  

When this happens repeatedly, ‘Loyal to a Transaction’ is the result.

So what?

This is not an epiphany.  

It’s standard operating procedure.

It does however give the frame from which you need to be brilliant at the basics of value exchange. Time and again, deliver what you promise to your customers in exchange for money you ask from them.

But it is lacking in a higher state of emotional connectivity.

Loyal.T: Loyal to a Transaction - there is no love, there is only money.

Loyal.T: Loyal to a Tribe

Loyal to a Tribe is the highest state of loyalty.

It’s when the transaction does not matter as much as the connection to the community.

It’s where emotional connection and how customers feel by belonging to the ‘tribe’ is more important than the monetary exchange.

Some members even etch the brand into their skin.

Belonging to a tribe is primary. Transactions are secondary.

Belonging to a tribe is very personal. We only belong to a tribe with our heart and soul when we identify with their purpose, their voice and how they make us feel.  

Some examples of brands with tribes, communities, clans and fans.

Pelaton  - Peloton counts 2.33 million connected fitness subscribers — people who own a Peloton product and also pay a monthly fee for access to the company’s digital workout content.

Mecca Beauty Loop  - “The company has 4.3 million Beauty Loopers. We see MECCA Beauty Loop as the ultimate love club”. “It really has built a community of phenomenally passionate and engaged beauty customers who then share reams of data with us and that’s enabled us to personalise the experience as this lovely virtuous circle.”

Harley Davidson, with 1,000,000+members worldwide of HOGs

Lululemon – with a goal of “Igniting a community of people to sweat, grow, and connect”

Nike  – ‘Airmax day’ Every year in March, Nike celebrates the Air Max, one of its all-time best-selling sneakers – a highly anticipated event

Some sporting clubs and their fans are the most extreme proof points of ‘loyalty to a tribe’. Have a look at some of these.

Loyal.T: Loyal to the Tribe – it’s more about love than it is about money.

Here are some ideas on building Loyal.T: Loyal to aTribe
(Tribe = a community, a clan, a fan-base, ambassadors…whatever you choose to call it)

  1. Be brilliant at the basics. Deliver to the promise made
  2. Create compelling connections beyond product for price
  3. Nurture empathy for your community. See your brand’s purpose as an extension of your members and how they find connection through common purpose, then nurture it
  4. Know your members more than a unique ID or an email address or a $ amount…even if there are 100,000’s of them…find clusters of connection
  5. Cultivate the community with ambassadors, champions or community leaders
  6. Connect the community with each other in real-life (where possible) and digitally. Give them a reason to participate in the community through events and experiences that lift their emotional well-being
  7. Collaborate with them by seeking their input and feedback
  8. Celebrate the members as a community and as individuals

Are your customers loyal to a T?




Have a happy loyalty day!