- There’s No Such Thing As Loyalty In Business. Sorry.
Just now·5 min read
Don’t believe me? Have you ever seen those videos showing the data of the top companies in a sector over time?
They look something like this at the beginning;
and something like this at the end;
Here’s the full 3-minute video if you’re interested in what happened in between.
Motorola was the number one phone brand in 1994. Do you see Motorola anywhere in the 2019 graph?
That’s customer loyalty for you.
If I’m part of the masses, I’m looking for what satisfies my desires, and if someone can do it better, why the heck would I want to stay with you? Don’t even get me started on if someone can do it better AND cheaper.
Yes, a lot can be said about the psychology behind this, and the topic of consumerism, and capitalism etc., but also, let’s look at this from a simple efficiency standpoint.
If you sell your product at $20, and someone comes in with a better product, and I only have $20, I’m thinking about efficiency here. I’d rather go for the better product and get more value for money.
But hold that thought for a minute. Most of us on this lovely planet of ours are resistant to change, so it doesn’t really work that way.
Also, a lot of us get our identity from a product e.g., I own a Ferrari so that means I’m better than you (it doesn’t). So in this case, it’s not that easy to ‘steal’ that guy from Ferrari.
If a dude came up with a better phone and sold it at the same price as an iPhone, people won’t just start throwing money around like it’s confetti.
But…that’s where good marketing comes in.
If that same dude has sufficient financial backing and is good at marketing the product, trust me when I say the shift is set to happen soon. Unless, of course, Apple does something about it.
How else do you think Netflix took over from Blockbuster?
This is why constant innovation is key if you run a small business. Cause if I’m being real with you, there are many Blockbusters out there for the taking; you just need to grow the balls.
But what does this all mean then? Does it mean you should start being paranoid about some genius kid in his bedroom and your customers shifting over to his (future) business?
Does it mean you should start being paranoid about all the loyal customers you’ve formed personal relationships with over the years?
Should you start holding back some of your ideas because you now don’t trust anyone who gives you money for your product or service?
Try any of that and you’re going to be one sad business owner.
What should you do instead? The exact opposite.
Give like there’s no freaking tomorrow!
Why give? Because there’s no pressure on you.
Here’s the thing, (most) people go for the next best thing. So why worry about satisfying a temporary desire that is set to diminish with time anyway? That’s just putting more pressure on yourself.
Just do your own thing, give it out to the world and do it all over again. And again, and again, and again until you feel your freaking hands burn!
Whether they love it or not, that’s their problem, not yours. Just make sure to learn from every experience.
Not that you shouldn’t appreciate all the positive comments you get about your product and how different it is, but you shouldn’t identify with those comments.
Here’s an example; someone calls you a genius, and you’re on top of the world. Another one calls you stupid, and you’re back to ground zero.
See that, we don’t want any of that. The first one causes complacency, the second one causes you to lose belief in yourself.
If you’re a genius and you know it, that’s fine. But if you depend on someone to explicitly say, “you’re a genius,” we have a problem.
This all means that you should give without expecting anything in return. And by that I mean this;
Say you’re a baker, and you’re looking for a client to supply cookies to. Maybe some office space so the employees get to have something to snack on with their coffee.
Here’s a rough idea of how to go about it, “Hi, I’m xxx. I bake cookies and I’m currently looking for a business to partner with? Would you like a day’s supply for free?”
No idea how bakers send proposals to potential clients, but that’s something I’d respond to if I was on the other end.
Anyway, they agree to your proposal and you wake up at 3'o’clock in the morning to work on your cookies. You deliver it to the business and wait for the response.
What should you do while waiting for the response? Bake more cookies. Send more proposals. Deliver more free cookies.
If those first guys don’t respond (or maybe they responded saying it won’t work out), it’s all good.
Don’t worry about losses or the fact that someone doesn’t like your product. With the former, it’s not always about the money (especially at the beginning), and with the latter, once again, that’s their problem.
Besides, by the time those guys respond, you might have already delivered to 10 more potential clients. And if those guys don’t respond, bake more cookies and deliver them to 20 more businesses.
Are your hands burning yet? Embrace the burn, and once again, deliver to 30 more businesses.
I can’t stress this enough, but make sure that you’re working on your craft while doing this. The simple fact that you’re baking every day is already good practice, but make sure that you don’t stop learning.
This all ensures that you’re giving out the best product possible (to your ability, at least) and at the same time, you’re not so hung up on how loyal your customers are to you.
If you’re doing all of that, you’re on the verge of something special.
So customer loyalty doesn’t exist. Big whoop.
If you think about it, that’s a good thing, because it means you have no one to impress. It also means the only real competition you have is you i.e., to fight against complacency and keep creating stuff over and over again.
Sure, there are other businesses in the same sector as you, but you can’t be the guy who performs out of reaction. That’s just… sad.
Success doesn’t have a formula, but if it did, it’s probably something like this; keep your head up, stay innovating, and give to your fullest.
- Date of publication:
- Thu, 10/14/2021 - 09:46
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