Tuesday 7 February 2012

The Tattoo Test - Where Are You On The Loyalty Spectrum?

This is the first in a series of posts about boosting loyalty and engagement among customers, employees and investors.

In 2012 loyalty building expertise will be a key advantage for organisations from retail to financial services as austerity bites and consumer, employee and investor confidence is put to the test. In tough times a proactive approach will build bonds that embed loyalty for years to come. In coming posts I'll be exploring some of the tried and tested, and some of the emerging loyalty and engagement techniques, including
  • loyalty among suppliers
  • skin in the game
  • social marketing and word of mouth
  • points based loyalty schemes
  • employer loyalty
  • crowdfunding
But first let's establish where you are on the loyalty spectrum - it's time to take the Tattoo Test.

How passionate are you about your work? Or about the companies from whom you buy goods and services? Or about your favourite sports team? Would you consider getting a tattoo of their name or logo?

This is one of the most extreme tests of brand loyalty - would you permanently and painfully mark yourself to show your commitment? Here is a list of common tattoo choices:
  1. Mum & Dad
  2. Girlfriend / Boyfriend / Husband / Wife
  3. Sports Team
  4. Employer
  5. Favoured Brand
If you have any of these tattoos then you are demonstrating real commitment and loyalty - and if you are the mum, dad, bf, gf, husband, wife or brand owner involved then you have achieved a marketing milestone - you have embedded yourself indelibly. If you don't have a tattoo of your own, think of the tattooing choices of people you know and what they indicate about their personal and tribal loyalties.

Incidentally, the only more extreme test is the branding test - the origin of the term "brand" - in which your imprint is burned on with a hot iron!

After completing my Royal Marines training in 1996, I worked with and Army unit in Northern Ireland. 7 of my fellow subalterns (junior officers) decided to add a tattoo their regimental crest to their right buttocks. For years afterwards whenever they encountered each other a photograph was taken showing the tattoos. Now the tattoos are blue smudges and the regimental crest is hard to recognise, but the loyalty remains. They encouraged me to get a tattoo of the Globe and Laurel or a Commando Dagger tattooed on my bum too, but that's all behind me now...

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