Tap Member Emotions to Build Loyalty

Tap Member Emotions to Build Loyalty

All companies are striving for the same thing, brand loyalty.

From the book; “Married To the Brand, Why Consumers Bond With Some Brands For Life” William McEwen, a longtime executive with the Gallup Research company said;

“Products alone cannot support a passionate brand relationship, nor will low prices, great advertising, stunning packaging, or a superb location.  In most cases, it is not enough that consumers trust a brand. That is because they may trust many brands – but somehow, the emotional connection goes no deeper than that. Trust is the essential foundation, and (brand) marriages will not last without it. For a lasting relationship, there must be brand passion.”

“Emotions are not merely warm and fuzzy concepts suitable mainly for greeting-card poetry and Hollywood scripts. Emotions are both powerful and profitable. Whether a company is marketing hamburgers or microprocessors, there is a financial return that results from emotionally engaging customers – and there is a substantial cost that results from disengaging them.”

These are the messages all competitors are hearing. They have learned the power and financial benefits from developing customer loyalty.

However, investor-owned companies do not have the advantages co-operatives and credit unions have; the co-operative principles of democratic control by members, autonomy and independence, dedication to member education, co-operation with co-operatives, and concern for community.

Being a co-operative is an asset when it comes to business success. However management and staff of co-ops and credit unions must understand co-operative values and principles and use them in their decision-making.  The principles are important to their future success. To make business decisions based on the cooperative principles the process must be authentic and include input from your staff and members.

In the end, there should not be a constant tension between being a co-operative and being successful as a business. However, co-operatives must broaden their perspective to draw on the best member experiences from other cooperatives to tap into members’ emotions and build long-term loyalty.

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