Creating Customer Loyalty from an Empty-Nester

Times, they are a changin’. Certainly an old adage, but holds true as we move into different lifecycle stages. From young adult, parent and ultimately empty-nester, I’ve realized how our needs as consumers change and evolve. Now that I’m in a position to enjoy the benefits of aligning my loyalty with certain brands, it certainly makes life more enjoyable. And, it should. 

Less Responsibility, More Freedom

The overarching role that life’s responsibilities play can make for frantic times! Now having the luxury of slowing down life’s pace provides opportunities to expand my horizons – ranging from taking quick getaways to checking off an item on my Bucket List – all resulting in more great life experiences. 

As a SkyMiles member, I can easily take advantage of Delta’s last-minute travel offers. Or, purchase travel experiences with points for friends or family! Always makes for lasting memories...and, will begin creating customer loyalty.

Although many marketers wouldn’t support Groupon’s business model, their offers encourage trying something new! And, I’m always willing to take advantage of their occasional Starbucks offer.

More Discretionary Income

Now that financial obligations have also lessened, I can align myself with brands that were not previously in my consideration set. Nordstrom is the first that comes to mind. With their loyalty program and fantastic customer service, I can indulge a bit more and not feel guilty about the thought of overspending. Having been loyal to Stein Mart for many years (and still am), I enrolled in their recently launched loyalty program. Only one downside: rewards expire 30 days after receipt! After spending the threshold to receive a reward, why would they assign a cap to the reward? 

Simple Experiences Matter

As a coffee lover, one brand that’s definitely won my loyalty: Starbucks. Not only do I enjoy the in-store experience, tone of their communications, payment through their app and various product offerings, I always know what to expect at point of delivery. Starbucks does it all well. 

Panera Bread recently surprised and delighted MyPanera members with free coffee for an entire month – giving me a reason to visit more often within 30 days. 

Continuing Education

Learning is important through all life stages. Making recipes from scratch that you’ve always wanted to try, like Beef Bourguignon, makes for interesting experiences and conversations. And, through my Bon Appetite subscription, I can get available issues through my Kindle, making it extremely convenient. No more recipe cards or printouts! 

Use my data wisely, please

Above all, kudos to brands that use data wisely, understand behavioral marketing and provide a reason for me to align with them. The way in which brands communicate is also important:  asking for my preferences and inquiring about my experiences are important; however, at the top of my list is frequency. Please don’t give in to the temptation of daily or even bi-weekly, non-purposed emails. It only encourages me to delete – or, worse, unsubscribe.

And, please remember that as a Baby Boomer, I have more time and discretionary income. Brands that are cautious of not wasting either – through enhanced customer experiences, personalized communications and relevant offers – will continue to keep me engaged and will begin creating customer loyalty.