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Old-School Thinking on Building Fierce Loyalty [Day 10 – 28 Days to BFL]


This is Day 10 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. Yesterday, my friend Elizabeth Marshall gave us her musician’s perspective on how to play the conductor to build Fierce Loyalty. Today, in her trademark, no bs style, Carol Roth gives us some old-school wisdom on this hot new word, loyalty.

Old School Thinking on Building Fierce Loyalty

By: Carol Roth| @CarolJSRoth

Are you a VIP member of a customer loyalty program for your favorite retailer, sandwich shop or coffee house?  Well, you may have been led to believe that a plastic card (or worse, a paper punch card) creates loyalty. But does that really create loyalty to a company or just to their program?

Loyalty is not transactional. You can’t buy it with gifts or discounts.  It comes not just from a dollars and cents perspective, but from building relationships, connections and bridges with your customers.  If you don’t care about them and make them feel important, you will not earn their loyalty.

As many forward-thinking loyalty experts, like my friend Lou Imbriano, point out, this new thinking is really quite old-school.  Back when our grandparents were our age, they would go to the butcher who had a relationship with them.  They would go to the butcher who asked about their kids and family and genuinely cared about them, not the one who had a special on brisket or offered the fifth hot dog for free when you bought four.

Here are a few ways to jump start your loyalty efforts:

Know your senders and spenders:  There is a temptation to favor those who spend a lot of money with you.  But just as valuable are those who influence others and “send” people to your business.  Know and engage with both.

Listen and learn:
  Listen to what your customers talk about, not just in their business, but also their personal lives.  This will help build that old school connection.

Make them feel important:  Treat your customers like kings and queens. Everyone wants to hang out in the palace that makes them feel like royalty, if you know what I mean.

That’s it- three things that you can do immediately to start generating deep loyalty with your customers.

For more information on the future of customer loyalty, watch my presentation on Customer Loyalty 3.0 (courtesy of SOBCon):

Carol Roth
Carol Roth is a business strategist and New York Times bestselling author of The Entrepreneur Equation. Carol’s firm designs and implements customer loyalty programs for companies of all sizes. Contact her at


P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyalty, please sign up here.

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