|NBCUniversal Says Loyalty Has Declined
By: Don McLean
After my haircut this weekend at local old school barbershop Roger and Rod’s, Rod asked me if I needed more hairspray to get me to my next appointment. “Sure,” I said without hesitation. Rod’s place is actually so classic that they do not actually accept credit, cash, or check only. After I told him I did not have cash, Rod said “You’ll pay me next time.” I was stuck in my tracks. When was the last time you heard that? Even after I offered to go to the ATM and come back he said not to worry and to just remind him next time. Now, I have only been to Rod’s twice, but he trusts me and my word alone. That solidified me as a loyal customer. Rod helped me step back in time to realize that the honor system and loyalty are lost in this day and age. This story is the preface to a few of my notes taken from NBC Universal’s latest research for advertisers from The Curve Report.
The bi-yearly Curve Report is based on extensive surveys performed within the 18–49 year old market. At an event hosted by Adcraft and NBCUniversal last week in Birmingham, Melissa Lavigne-Deville announced that loyalty in today’s society exists on a 6–12 month cycle a majority of the time. As NBCUniversal’s Vice President Trends & Strategic Insights, Melissa knows her trends intimately. Discussing this further, she pointed out that loyalty does not exist like it did for parents and grandparents in days gone by. Melissa pointed out that this trend is important especially for automotive advertisers. Think about it; this is not even the length of an automobile lease.
Just a few years ago, loyalty was one of the keys to getting business done in society. You had a ‘guy’ for everything. Most people can think back to that one place their parents always used to go to eat, a beer your dad always drank, one brand of car that your family had to drive, and the list of ones go on. The shifting digital landscape has given younger generations more options. According to NBCUniversal, a fourth dimension has been created. One in which smartphones are changing our neighborhoods and making a personal grid, akin to what Melissa describes as a "topographic light bright."
Gen Xers and Millennials have shaped, with the help of technology, a new future for business and the way advertisers reach out to consumers. It is up to advertisers, strategic thinkers, and innovators to cultivate the next wave of loyalty. To give consumers an online experience similar to my offline experience at Roger and Rod’s Barber Shop. The statistic of loyalty surviving on a 6–12 month timetable is not an easy pill to swallow. It is your job to figure out how to be the minority and to increase your client’s satisfaction enough to keep them coming back past the average drop off.
What do you do in your business to attract and retain loyal customers? What could you be doing better?
Don McLean, MBA is an account supervisor at Airfoil Group, an independent marketing and public relations firm serving tech companies and innovation-centric brands with offices in Detroit, New York and Silicon Valley. Follow Don on twitter at@mclean_don.
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