The Rise of Me, the Fall of We

Aug 15, 2022

Kobie recently sat down with Loyalty360 for a digital debrief on the state of emotional loyalty. Known as the industry leaders on the subject, it was no surprise that Kobie’s 2022 Research findings produced insights straight from consumers about how their emotions and preferences have changed.

“Our findings showed that people are really fatigued with the notion of togetherness that was on full blast throughout the pandemic,” said JR Slubowski, Associate VP, Strategic Consulting at Kobie. “We dubbed it “the rise of me, the fall of we.”

What this means for brands is it’s time to double down on value propositions that focus on individual choice, optionality, and freedom, as opposed to the former focus around community. “Through the research, consumers revealed they are less likely to highly rate things like charitable contributions and communal social channels,” explained Slubowski.

So how and why should brands dig deeper into emotional loyalty to determine what these shifting preferences (and more) mean for their consumers?

To start, he says, “If you’re only looking at transactional data, you’re missing the full view of your customer and what motivates them.” Kobie’s proprietary Triple Play Data takes customers’ emotional loyalty scores, their behavioral activities, and their transactions all into account to deliver insights that fuel targeted customer offers and engagement optimization – a valuable outcome considering those new preferences for personalization and focus on “me”.

When asked how brands can measure emotional loyalty and why it matters, he spoke to Kobie’s Emotional Loyalty Scoring® methodology that identifies customer loyalty drivers. The key in how to use tool comes down to leveraging the data to inform program decisions.

“For example, if a brand’s ELS results showed that 50% of their base is driven by both status and reciprocity, they could change their messaging and communications out into the marketplace to resonate with that audience,” said Slubowski.

“Then, brands can measure KPIs that are more impactful to their company’s bottom line like: communications response, increase in incremental spend activity, increase in incremental behavioral activity associated with your loyalty program, etc.”

Why this should matter to brands is because nobody has fully tapped the well on emotional loyalty in terms of programs or strategies in the marketplace, creating a world of opportunity for brands. Two commonalities often seen in some best-in-class emotional loyalty programs include:

  1. A clear emotional affinity hook your brand can tap into
  2. Moving beyond just “Little L” (programmatic) loyalty to also include what we call “Big L” (brand) loyalty.

Overall, Slubowski explains that emotionally loyal customers have a 3x higher lifetime value than those customers who are simply just satisfied customers. They also stick around 1.5x longer and are 1.4x more likely to give your brand a ranking of 10 on the NPS scale. And if that’s not enough to convince you, Kobie’s 2022 Consumer Research Study shows that there are certain segments of emotionally motivated customers that are 2-3x more likely to advocate for your brand (and even defend it amidst criticism!)

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