The Power of Community: Personal and Professional
This email originally appeared in the June 13th edition of The Scribble, KYC's bi-weekly marketing newsletter. You can subscribe to The Scribble at the top of this page.
A quick personal update: yesterday, I paid $0.02 for my lunch at Dig Inn, which our Instagram community knows is my usual Team Wednesday lunch selection, and the other weekend, while at home, I bought a used Volvo XC60.
These two circumstances may seem wildly unrelated, and that’s because they really are. Their commonality is that they both relate to the communities that I would consider myself a part of. Every week when I go into the app and customize my Dig Inn meal to be picked up at 1p.m., I feel like I can connect with the other patrons who frequent the usually-packed DTX location of the fast casual chain. Each time that I make that purchase and confirm my order, the app pings me with a reward -- I have made more headway on my journey to receiving credit for the next order I make from the restaurant. I was able to cash in on that yesterday and managed to pay literal pennies for a meal I think about all too often.
This is just my small experience with a much larger phenomenon. Loyalty programs. These are a highly discussed topic in collegiate hospitality programs, because repeat customers are much more valuable to companies. Most big companies have some form of loyalty program they push on their customers. Once they have a customer in a loyalty program, they have the ability to remain in their personal zeitgeist and recapture that customer.
Onto the second community aspect I’ve recently experienced: purchasing a car. Volvos are famous for their safety, which I recently discovered is due to a steel cage within the shell of the car. Volvos, being a well-known, safe car, have a community of users that are loyal and friendly with each other. A lot of car companies foster this comradery between their customers, but Volvo, with their added distinction of high-safety, take it to the next level. Having recently joined the community of Volvo owners, I do feel a sense of joy and satisfaction seeing other Volvos on the streets.
Community is a powerful feeling for consumers. Well-utilized by distinguished car brands, other companies can take note and use that to their advantage. Loyalty programs can be the first step in fostering that community in-store.
Side note: while writing this I received two different emails encouraging me to enroll in Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program.