How can I be loyal when I have so many options?

Posted on August 5, 2010


Photo by Nick J Webb

I’ve always thought of myself as a very faithful person – I stand by friends through thick and thin; I keep my appointments unless an emergency/fatal illness/natural disaster strikes; and I have every intention of meeting my fantastic fiancé at the altar on our wedding day, on time and 100 per cent committed to our life together. However, my perceived fidelity became somewhat questionable last night when my purse – which has been hobbling along on its last legs for some time now – finally split at its seams, exposing my dirty little secret to afore mentioned fiancé, my parents and my brother.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true – I have more loyalty cards on the hop than I’ve had boyfriends – and that’s including the kindergarten canoodles with an aspiring blue PowerRanger.

It seems that every cafe, cinema, hairdresser and pet shop that you walk into these days has some kind of loyalty program that you’re encouraged to join – each with its own cute little card that gets stamped every visit. Enough already.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freebies, but what started out as a novel way to encourage repeat business has become an institution that fails to separate one cafe from another. In other words – it’s all a bit pointless really.

Aside from revealing what an incredible hussy I am, The Great Purse Split of Wednesday Night got me thinking about how well loyalty cards actually influence our relationships with businesses. Considering I have cards with seven cafes; two hair salons; a bookshop; a cinema; and Darrell Lea with a combined total of just 19 stamps, I’d say they don’t hold too much sway over our buying habits at all anymore.

I also have membership cards with Priceline; Blockbuster and Civic Video; Virgin Blue; and Myer, though to be perfectly honest I’ve been seeing other people. It’s not that I don’t love these businesses, I’m just not interested in having an exclusive relationship with any of them and keeping an 85 x 53mm logo-bearing piece of plastic in my wallet, isn’t going to change that fact.

What I want in a relationship with a business is someone who communicates with me – not to me; someone who takes my suggestions into account and grows as I do; someone who provides the products and services I really need, who keeps me up to date with their changes and who is simply a pleasure to be with.

When I find a cafe, hairdresser, cinema or pet shop that offers all of that, maybe (just maybe) I’ll think about settling down.

Townsville based PR agency, Harshmellow Media + Design can help people fall head over heels in love with your business. To get the magic started, contact Sarah Mathiesen on 0400 712 861.


Posted in: Customer loyalty