Back when I first started out in Consumer Packaged Goods marketing, there was a big focus on the 80/20 rule.  We spent a lot of time trying to figure out who the 20% of our consumers were that were delivering the 80% of our volume.  What folks lost sight of for a while, though, was that 80% of VOLUME did not translate to 80% of PROFIT.  In fact, when the real data digging took place, one was likely to determine that the customers you were deeming your most important were actually your least profitable!

The reason – many of these customers were buying heavily on what we called ‘deal.’  They were waiting for amazing coupons and loading up.  And then we wouldn’t see them for a while.  In fact, as it turned out, they were doing the same thing with our competitors.  So they were heavy users, but not loyal ones.

So, what is loyalty then?  And how do you find the folks that are most loyal?  And how do you keep them loyal?  And how do you influence others to become loyal?  Well, in answer to the first question, my definition of loyalty is a customer that buys from you over and over, almost regardless of price.  That’s why I love this cartoon.  Your loyal customers will always remember the feeling more than the price.

Now, as for the other questions regarding loyalty, I am definitely not the expert.  The good thing is that I know the expert!  We are so pleased that Jackie Huba is joining us at Brand ManageCamp 2013 in less than 2 weeks.  She is the best-selling author of “Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics” and she is going to share the seven strategies she has learned from the pop queen that we can apply to our own brands.  And she WON’T be wearing a meat dress or emerging out of an egg.

Don’t miss Jackie Huba and 13 other amazing speakers at Brand ManageCamp 2013, Sept 16-17 in Las Vegas.  Speaking of loyalty, over 50% of our 400+ attendees are either past attendees or found out about us via word of mouth!

Special thanks to Hugh MacLeod at Gapingvoid for the cartoon.  If you like it, please pass it along!  Also, I hope you’ll consider liking it on Facebook.  You can also follow us on Twitter and join our group on LinkedIn.

I hope we get to see you in Las Vegas!