Writing - Property & Shopping Centres

Rob Rodell

My book, "Brand Loyalty is Bullshit," will be launching soon. I will keep you posted!

Okay, so we’d all love our shoppers to be like our dogs: all waggy-tailed and happy to see us, and always at our side. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘if you want loyalty, get a dog.’ Well, that just ain’t gonna happen with your shoppers.

I have two dogs – Sheba and Scruffy – and they are the epitome of loyal. You see them, they wag their tails, if you go out, they look sad, when you get back, they jump all over the gate with glee, they are always looking for love. I also have two cats, Allegra and Mitzel-Maus. Now they are a much harder sell. Their outlook is the eternal feline one: “leave a message – I’ll get back to you.” I will admit, cats can also be loyal, after a fashion – but it’s always on their terms, you have to work for it, and they can easily change their minds.

Start seeing your shoppers more as cats, not dogs – you have to work them a bit more to get them to play ball, or to roll over and play dead.

Is this blog insulting humans by comparing them to animals? Not at all. We are merely comparing behaviour types, and what we find is that humans today are more fickle, more picky, more demanding, more comparative, and far quicker at switching brands than they have ever been. Take a look at your Facebook page, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about: “Oh I hate your shopping centre’s toilets, and if you don’t fix them I will go somewhere else.” “When are you upgrading your store? It’s not nearly as nice as Centre X.” “Why is all your parking paid for? I can go down the road and there the parking is free.”

Sound familiar? In the age of the empowered consumer, there is no such thing as brand loyalty – if there ever was.

Read on again to find out what else you can do about it.

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