Contributed By Josh Laurito – Data Analyst Extraordinaire
When I came to CrowdTwist a year ago, I was tasked with the impossible: quantifying loyalty.
That’s a tricky mandate, given how ephemeral loyalty is. Who are we to measure that? Who are we to say that I’m loyal to my school more than you’re loyal to your school (unless you went to Cornell: you win. I’d never stay there for a winter, nevermind four in a row).
So like anyone who has tackled a big problem, we try to break loyalty down into its core components.
Length: How long have you been loyal and how long will you continue to be loyal?
Depth: How much time/effort/money are you devoting to the object of your loyalty?
Breadth: Is your relationship all-encompassing (are your supporters/customers immersed in your brand) or is your brand a small slice of their interest in your field?
At CrowdTwist, we track all of these numbers for our clients, so our clients can get to know their supporters and listen to their needs. One of the more interesting things to come out of our research is how people’s attachment to different products wanes over time.
We all know that feeling of discovering a new person that we are excited about. While the feeling we have towards music or products aren’t of the same intensity, we do feel strongly about them. I remember the first time I heard Disarm by the Smashing Pumpkins and my first car with positive memories like I have for old friends. But just like many old friendships, I’ve moved on to other things and my attachments to those early loves have faded away.
We see this clearly when we look at customers. The longer they go without connecting with a seller, the less likely they are to ever come back.
Interestingly, for different products, we generally see different patterns. For media and music (in red) we see passionate relationships: users come back almost every day. However, when users lose interest, they are gone for good quickly.
The loyalty people have towards product manufacturers (in blue) is different: what they lose in depth they make up for in length. Drop-off rates are higher at the beginning, but a higher percentage of members are engaged weeks later.
In a lot of ways, this is the difference between how we are loyal to our lovers and friends. The music we love can be consuming, but once the fire is gone there’s no looking back except for nostalgia and remembering what once was. The products we care about, on the other hand, are like old friends: we may not talk for a long time, but we can pick back up like old times when they’re around.
Here at CrowdTwist, we’re trying to help companies keep those friendships bright, and making sure their customers still love them tomorrow.