Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The future of CRM

Understandably businesses are increasingly obsessed with customer loyalty - both emotional and financial. Customers are harder to win over, as the mantra goes - they are in control.

So how long will it be before businesses offer customers stock to stay loyal. It is the perfect arrangement. If you like us you can be part of us, every time you buy something you get a little bit of us in return. And of course customers will be less tempted to go somewhere else because they will feel the company is 'theirs' - even if they only own 10 shares. It does not have to be tricky. Take Tesco, they could buy back stock and hand it over to customers for club card points at the year end. 'I go there so often i should have shares in the place' will be a reality.

The means of production will fall into the hands of the workers to paraphrase the German bloke - it would just be ironic that shares the symbol of capitalism will be the mechanic that makes it real.


  1. Handing over stock to customers might not be that far-off as you suggest. In fact, a global FMCG brand I work on is already doing it.

  2. yep, 'course football clubs do it all the time.
    I saw this scottish brewery offering this kind of thing too recently. www.brewdog.com . now to do with me just offering an example to illustrate.

  3. In the financial industry, building societies have operated as mutuals for hundreds of years, and of course grocery retailing 'cooperatives' have also existed for many years. Of course these business models have declined in recent times, but perahps we're now coming full circle? Will these models become increasingly relevant as brands seek to create communities and sustainable relationshsips with their customers?

  4. An example is found in the Finnish grocery retail industry: S-Group, a grocery retail cooperative, which enlists its customers as shareholders and recirculates the extra profits to loyal shareholder/customers through bonuses. The group holds a leading market share of the grocery retail market in Finland. Somewhere around 40% if I remember correctly.

  5. Thanks for comments, good examples and points i had not thought of. Looked at the brewdog site, looks a good deal!

    You made me think. Handing out stock to customers could be considered smart risk management - if you need to persuade treasury and finance as to the viability of idea. What is more you dont even have to hand out stock just a bit of paper that promises to replicate price changes and dividend pay outs.

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Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.