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America’s Customer Festival – Las Vegas

I’m happy to say that I’ll be the closing keynote speaker at America’s Customer Festival, September 15-16, 2014, in Las Vegas. It’s an exciting conference with speakers focusing on several important topics: […]

By |June 26th, 2014|

Best of Neuromarketing – 2013

It’s time for our annual roundup of the top 12 posts here at Neuromarketing. The main criteria for selection is the amount of reader sharing and overall views. I find that the discerning readers here are great at identifying the most useful content, so a “crowdsourced” approach makes sense. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment! […]

By |December 26th, 2013|

The Right Way to Reward Your Customers

Guest post by John Carvalho

In today’s fragmented marketplace, true brand loyalty seems like a hard thing for companies to acquire and harder still for companies to hang onto. Yet, it’s arguably ever more important.

Loyalty programs are a key tool for doing so. From a psychological standpoint, allowing consumers to earn and use perks lead to feelings of status, stronger brand-consumer relationships, increased word-of-mouth, and increased purchasing intentions. […]

By |September 17th, 2013|

The Fatal Flaw in Loyalty Programs (And How to Minimize Damage)

Loyalty and rewards programs can be great motivators. When a business rewards the behavior they want from their customers – say, giving them a free coffee after they consume nine – they encourage that behavior. The most potent loyalty programs go beyond mere periodic freebies and confer status. […]

By |July 31st, 2013|

Brainy Marketing Update – Forbes

It’s been a few weeks, so here are the latest articles from my Brainy Marketing blog at Forbes.com. Please drop by there and make a comment – Forbes has a cool comment exposure system that lets authors of posts (e.g., me) “call out” quality comments, and the site admins often expose these comments on other pages, like the front pages of sections like CMO Network, Leadership, etc. I enjoy the smart dialog you create here, and at Forbes you’ll be able to interact with a whole new group of thinkers and thought leaders! […]

By |August 23rd, 2012|

Starbucks Loyalty Fail

Starbucks knows a thing or two about loyalty. I’m a Gold Card member, and enjoy the free refills as well as the periodic free drinks I accrue by using it. (Green Card members get the refill benefit, but not the free beverage after every 15 purchases. In addition, Gold Card members get a personalized card in that color and, theoretically, are addressed by name by the baristas.)

Many other coffee shops offer complimentary in-store refills to all customers, but Starbucks has converted refills into a loyalty benefit. (Similarly, Starbucks has put their own spin on the ubiquitous “free wi-fi” offered at most establishments. They created their own portal with special content like free access to pay sites like WSJ.com and NYTimes.com.) So, I was surprised when normally savvy Starbucks sent a friend this message: […]

By |January 17th, 2012|

Love Your Returns!

I hated returns when I was in the catalog business. I viewed returns, not without reason, as margin-killing time-wasters. The returned merchandise was often unsellable due to customer damage, missing items, or shopworn packaging. I had employees who did nothing all day but handle returns. In our lower-margin lines, I calculated I’d have to sell ten more products to make up for the expense of one return. We always kept smiling while we authorized returns, but inside I was cringing. And I wasn’t the only return-hater. Years ago, it was a common practice in some mail order segments to ship products in packaging the consumer had to tear apart to open, meaning that any return involved the added inconvenience of locating new packaging for the return. […]

By |April 19th, 2011|

When Loyalty Points Beat Price Differences

Every merchant seems to have a loyalty program these days. It makes sense to reward customers for their patronage and encourage even greater frequency. But, it appears there’s one kind of loyalty reward that may be more effective. One study showed that “irrelevant information” (in this case, largely valueless loyalty points) changed consumer buying decisions. […]

By |March 1st, 2011|

Build Loyalty like George Bailey

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, businessman George Bailey shifts from despair to intense motivation when an angel intervenes to show him how much worse off his town would have been without him. Most of us don’t […]

By |January 10th, 2011|

Maslow, Emotion, and a Hierarchy of Service

Branding expert Denise Lee Yohn proposes a new hierarchy of customer service based on Maslow's famous breakdown of human needs.

By |September 2nd, 2010|