So, you’ve worked your way up the corporate ladder to become Chief Marketing Officer. Pat yourself on the back – you deserve it! All done? Good. Now, please accept my condolences. Your job is obsolete, and unless you turn yourself into a Chief Loyalty Officer, you’re sure to eventually be replaced by one.
Want proof? Look no further than Apple’s record-smashing earnings release last month. We all know the colossus of Cupertino has amazing products and is constantly working on new ways to dazzle and disrupt, from the Apple Watch to Apple Pay. But the earnings report makes clear that intense loyalty to the iPhone– 87% loyalty, to be precise – is what really drives its success. Instinctively, we all know that, because we can all think of someone who pre-orders every new iteration of the iPhone before the shine has faded from the previous one. That kind of extreme loyalty inspires confidence in others, which in turn drives new sales – 74.5 million new phones last quarter – without Apple having to lift a finger. Indeed, aside from a few television spots and billboards here and there, Apple pretty much ignores marketing and advertising.
Of course, not every company is Apple. Letting the products do all the talking won’t work for everyone. But here is the takeaway that can work for every brand: try de-emphasizing traditional marketing and focusing on loyalty instead.