Building Your Brand Religion
Even with the most finicky of customers in an increasingly chaotic and complicated world, lifetime value and brand loyalty can still be achieved. But not how you might think.
It's not the loyalty programs, frequent purchaser points (only 35 percent enrolled redeem these, per Forrester Research), and free gifts that stack up the purchase orders for a given customer. And it's not the great service that can be matched by your competitors, either. It's something much deeper. The same something that keeps the church pews warm, tithing coffers full and baptismal fonts busy.
The secret to lifetime value and referrals from your customers is really no secret at all. It's simply the psychology of hope, loss and rewards, and trust that has made religion the biggest industry worldwide. Without question.
- In just one year, the Catholic Church spent $170 billion in the U.S. alone, $5 billion of which went to aid the poor.
- One of the youngest and once the fastest-growing church in the U.S., Latter Day Saint or Mormon Church, rakes in $8 billion a year in just tithing from U.S. members, and has real estate assets of around $40 billion.
- The average weekly attendance for the nation's largest megachurch is 43,500, which generates about $600,000 a week in tithing, or $32 million a year. And its pastor brings in around an additional $55 million a year in book sales on top of the Church's $70 million (and tax free, to boot).
If loyalty were dead, all of this money could not be generated from the millions of loyal believers who give up, on average, nearly 3 percent of their annual incomes to their religious faiths. If you take just U.S. wage earners with an annual income of $40,000, that comes up to about $93 billion a year in tithing—the equivalent in revenue for the worldwide video game industry in 2013, according to Gartner Research. And you wouldn't have nearly 44,000 people attending a single group's service on Sunday where the only product being sold is hope.
Jeanette McMurtry is a psychology-based marketing expert providing strategy, campaign development, and sales and marketing training to brands in all industries on how to achieve psychological relevance for all aspects of a customer's experience. She is the author of the recently released edition of “Marketing for Dummies” (Fifth Edition, Wiley) and “Big Business Marketing for Small Business Budgets” (McGraw Hill). She is a popular and engaging keynote speaker and workshop instructor on marketing psychology worldwide. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging B2B and B2C purchasers' unconscious minds which drive 90 percent of our thoughts, attitudes and behavior, and provide actionable and affordable tips for upping sales and ROI through emotional selling propositions. Her blog will share insights and tactics for engaging consumers' unconscious minds, which drive 90 percent of our thoughts and purchasing attitudes and behavior. She'll explore how color, images and social influences like scarcity, peer pressure and even religion affect consumers' interest in engaging with your brand, your message and buying from you. Reach her at Jeanette@e4marketingco.com.