The Evangelical Shopper Manifesto
Manifesto of evangelical shoppers or why traditional marketing doesn’t work today.
“We reward our customers for using Southwest Airlines. We make more purchases at the warehouse … and we are ready to do something else to help. You can rely on our continued support.” This is a letter from Southwest Airlines to Southwest Airlines customer Anne McGee-Cooper, October 2001, and Southwest President Collin Barrett signed on to this letter.
Ann McGee-Cooper is one of Southwest Airlines customers who wants to use the services of a company that she likes. After the September 11 attack, which plagued the airline for months, McGee-Cooper decided to write a letter to Southwest. She wrote that she urged customers, friends, and family members to fly on Southwest Airlines. She bought tickets on their behalf. She also bought shares in the company. And what’s even more touching is that she attached a check for $ 500 to the letter, accompanying him with the words that this money is “more necessary for the company than it is.” She is not just a loyal customer, he is an evangelical customer.
Airlines are often considered loyal customers for those who most often accumulate miles for flights. For other types of businesses, this can also be considered a true statement: grocery, clothing stores, pipe manufacturers or furniture manufacturers … – in all these industries loyal customers are identified as those who periodically make purchases. But this loyalty can be caused by convenience or low prices.
As a result, customers of this kind can be called repeat customers, who are not necessarily loyal customers. Repeated buyers … are not necessarily loyal customers. If you rely solely on the model of a frequent buyer, you can lose many opportunities. A frequent buyer will not necessarily recommend you. He can even slander about you, talking with your friends, colleagues or customers for a variety of reasons.
But the customer-evangelist will not only make regular purchases from you, he also feels his duty to tell others about it. Ann McGee-Cooper most honestly considers Southwest to be part of her family. This does not mean that Southwest is suitable for everyone; the company has its own share of miners who don’t give a damn about the policy of non-reserved places and low tariffs. But your business is also not suitable for everyone.
Why do Southwest and other companies with an army of dedicated evangelists distinguish these companies from their followers? They were able to cross the emotional gap that most companies and their customers share. Their customers believe. They do not do this for the purpose of deception or due to the fact that they are offered lower prices or because of an interesting website. They do it from the heart.
Southwest executives have reduced everything to “doing business under the golden rule.” In almost every example, we find the opposite of what most people consider to be professional “corporate” relationships. In order to understand how the evangelist-customer behaves, read the following examples:
They passionately recommend your company to friends, neighbors and colleagues.
They believe in the company and its people.
They purchase your products and services as gifts.
They, on their own initiative, express their enthusiasm and offer to make these or those improvements.
They forgive possible shortcomings in customer service or the service is not up to standard, which may be caused by seasonal workload.
They do not want to be bought; they praise your virtues for free.
They feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.
This is a lesson from true evangelists — these are religious believers who roam the world and spread their faith — they teach us that belief is based on emotional connection, deep beliefs and the promise of a better future. Deep beliefs make many of us tell others about them. The root of the word “evangelist” means “a person who brings good news.”
But this manifesto does not apply to religion at all. This is a diatribe against the principles of traditional marketing. They no longer work. They are usurped by feedback from customers as a valuable new currency in the growth of the organization.
THE WORLD IS CHANGING
Now technologies have come to the playground where quality is no longer a competitive advantage. Saturation of products and services at a fairly high level. We are literally drowning in a sea of media.
In a world with so many choices, how do people manage to make decisions? They simply rely on friends, colleagues, or family members. Empirical evidence suggests that the best indicator of an organization’s annual revenue increase is the net number of evangelical customers. The more people who recommend your product or service, the more likely it is to increase sales.