Tattoos, coupons and loyalty.

What defines loyalty? Is it becoming a “fan” of a brand on Facebook? Is it getting a tattoo of a brand’s logo on your skin?

Maybe not. And here’s two examples why:

1. What do you think the number one reason people become a fan of a brand on Facebook is?

So they can get free or discounted stuff. Here’s the facts from emarketer.com:

That’s right. It’s not because they want exclusive content or even think you’re fun. They become your fan because they want stuff. The good news is that means they WANT to buy from you. But they just need some motivation to do it.

In other words, they don’t join your Fan Page because they are your fan, but more of a fan of discounts.

2. So let’s go a little (or a LOT) more extreme. If you could get a free meal EVERYDAY for the rest of your life by getting a 4″x4″ tattoo of that restaurant’s logo on your body, would you do it? And we’re not talking about steaks. We’re talking about tacos.

In a recent WSJ article, that’s what San Francisco Mexican restaurant Casa Sanchez has done in the past – and is reviving again. You’ll need to read the article for all the details (like how they interview the contenders to see if they really like the brand or just want the free food or how they cap it at 50 people), but again, it’s a matter of free vs. loyalty.

We’ve heard the stories about Dell using Twitter to sell thousands of computers. And we’re all familiar with other success stories using social media. I think this is where the barrier of entry comes into play. When you make people jump through a hoop or two along the way, you’re testing their loyalty. I know we need to make it as easy as possible for people to find out about us and our products/services. But how easy do we need to make it for them to engage in a deeper relationship with us? It’s just a thought.

6 Comments

  • April 2, 2010

    m_scott_hay

    Good to see stats for what many had a hunch about.

    When it comes to loyalty testing thresholds, maybe it needs to go on a case by case basis. For example, Audi owners love their cars, but probably don’t want to be bothered to have their loyalty tested. Burton Snowboards on the other hand have a following that might enjoy jumping through some hoops.

  • April 2, 2010

    Andrew Brynjulson

    Spike: Being a bit more extreme is a good thing. It allows you to zig when others zag. Every brand is looking for a way to differentiate, but not everyone is willing take necessary risks.

    Mike: I think “going extreme” is a relative term. I agree that “going extreme” will mean two different things for luxury car buyers versus snowboarders. It’s a matter of finding the appropriate level of extreme that suits the category. Extreme nonetheless.

  • April 2, 2010

    Andrew Brynjulson

    Forgot to mention that the tattoo point reminded me of the local amateur baseball team that gave out free lifetime tickets to fans who got a tattoo of the logo. They recently changed the name and logo and rescinded their lifetime free passes. The result was the alienation of what happened to be their most loyal, passionate fans. Seems like huge price to pay only to gain back some ticket sales (ticket sales that ironically won’t happen because the abused superfans refuse to go to any games).

    The point: Be prepared to stick by your guns. Or suffer the consequences.

    Two comments = twice the influence. Booya.

  • April 5, 2010

    Michael E. Rubin

    This might sound horribly simplistic, but I’m wondering if the nomenclature itself had anything to do with companies incorrectly assuming that their “fans” were really Fans? With Facebook now changing the term to “like,” I’m openly wondering if this will lead to further confusion.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jake McKee. Jake McKee said: Spike asks: how easy do we need to make creation of a deeper relationship w/ customers? Good question. http://bit.ly/aFYWcp […]

  • April 20, 2010

    Michelle

    Spike: Being a bit more extreme is a good thing. It allows you to zig when others zag. Every brand is looking for a way to differentiate, but not everyone is willing take necessary risks.

    Mike: I think “going extreme” is a relative term. I agree that “going extreme” will mean two different things for luxury car buyers versus snowboarders. It’s a matter of finding the appropriate level of extreme that suits the category. Extreme nonetheless.

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