April 2010 Archives

With all the attention on customer loyalty programs, Evan Shuman writes about a Disloyalty Program.

"The idea was for the retailer to give customers an actual Dis-Loyalty Card, with the names, addresses and some of the logos of 10 rivals. 

The consumer would be sent to those 10 locations, where the rival would be expected to stamp the card and send the consumer back to the original shop and be rewarded with a free coffee."
What if instead of a disloyalty cardboard card, this approach became a disloyalty mobile app
Perhaps an iPhone app? 
Instead of forcing the rival store to do anything, the phone's GPS (geolocation) kicks in and confirms that consumers are where they claim to be when they click an icon for that rival retailer."
The basic idea was that the store owner could show the superiority of his or her shop by sending their customers out to rivals to compare.
The credible commitment was the reward, after the comparison shopping had been done.
But even the announcement of such an offer is more than a cheap talk signal.  It signals a commitment to pay customers for going elsewhere - nobody actually ever has to take the retailer up on the program.  (This is why the digital version because it is easier to implement is actually worse than the paper version.)
All in all, a clever idea - at least in theory.

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