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Loyalty is Key

Loyalty is Key

As a frequent traveler, I've made a concerted effort recently to remain loyal to one airline and one hotel brand.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn last month that my hotel status had gone up a rung - to the coveted Gold standard. The next time I checked in, I was thrilled to be offered complimentary internet, a free Wall Street Journal and concierge access.  Many years ago, airlines and hotels learned that giving consumers that thrill through loyalty programs would keep them, well, loyal.

As a frequent traveler, I’ve made a concerted effort recently to remain loyal to oneairline and one hotel brand.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn last month that my hotel status had gone up a rung – to the coveted Gold standard.  The next time I checked in, I was thrilled to be offered complimentary internet, a free Wall Street Journal and concierge access.  Many years ago, airlines and hotels learned that giving consumers that thrill through loyalty programs would keep them, well, loyal.

All of this gold, silver, platinum and elite talk made me wonder if a similar loyalty strategy could work for industrial business-to-business companies.  Often, B2B organizations sell through a network of distributors, who also sell their competitors’ products.  Implementing a loyalty program could ensure a stronger network.  Rewards similar to those offered in other industries – like free trips, gadgets and even cash – will give distributors a thrill and encourage them to sell your products over the competition.

Such a program will also facilitate frequent communication, enabling your company to pass along marketing materials and new product information quickly.  When joining the loyalty program, distributors should agree to be placed on a mailing list.  From a reprint of a feature article about a new product to a customer testimonial, your network will be better equipped to communicate the value of products and services.

Take a page from the travel playbook, and realize that loyalty, in any industry, could be the key to taking sales up another rung.

Erica Helton is a Senior Account Manager at ABI marketing public relations. You can reach her at +1 212-529-2632 and ehelton@abipr.com.

by By Erica Helton