Let me give you a flavor of the book by sharing an Extract from the Marperations book. In this section I looked at the very popular customer loyalty programs most companies have from the point of view of human relationships. This will make you realize what the loyalty program truly means to the customer.
Companies who sell loyalty programs often justify that this is more effective and efficient than traditional ways of marketing. Of course, they are right as they have the numbers to prove their effectiveness. Often, businesses get into the habit of ongoing spending on maintaining loyalty.
Now let us take a step back and look at the bigger picture in life. In life, can you drive loyalty? Or is loyalty simply a result of two people who choose to be in a relationship and that is then earned over time? I personally think that the choice to be in a relationship comes first and then the trust builds over time, which leads to loyalty.
Let us now further apply the example of corporate loyalty to our personal lives. It may sound ridiculous but bear with me. Imagine you are a single man You meet this person and you really like her. As both of you just met, you think that she is seeing other people too. You do not like that. To make her "loyal" to you, you start tracking her behavior and her attitude towards you. Then you realize that she is going out with you once every two weeks. You invent an amazing reinforcement program. Every fifth time she goes out with you, you will send her flowers. In fact, you tell her ahead of time, "Girl, every fifth time you go out with me, you will get the most amazing flowers from me. They will be the best carnation bouquet you have ever seen."
Then you go on to say, "But that is just the beginning. Every third time you get flowers from me, I will upgrade them to roses." Then you pause to see her excitement at this offer.
Even though you know very well what her response to the program will be, for the sake of this example, let us assume that she continues to play this game. Let us also assume that she gets excited about this and starts seeing you more often. And you love that and immediately apply the program.
Now that she is seeing you on a weekly basis, you want her to continue to do so. So every time you go out, you get her a free dessert. Very nice, huh? And you continue to give her things to reward her and reinforce a higher level of loyalty. In life, if this is not the perfect way to build a relationship, I do not know what is! Ok, I am being sarcastic.
We all know that this experiment in life will only work if you are the only man she can find. Then it becomes a truly transactional connection. Yes, she will be loyal to you and there will be some Pavlovian influence on her behavior that gets reinforced by your "incentives". But is that the best way to build a lasting relationship?