About this Report
The quest for customer loyalty has been a longtime bulwark of the retail world and is widely understood as central to business success. In 1929, iconic retailer Betty Crocker sparked an early loyalty program, issuing coupons in exchange for ﬂatware and introducing a catalogue from which customers could redeem rewards with points. However, rapid advances in technology and consumer behaviour have seen this product-centric approach become as dated as the idea of the Betty Crocker housewife. The rise of social media, the proliferation of shopping channels and the pace at which customers transact and share information has changed the game for conventional loyalty models.The Customer Intimacy Imperative, a 2010 report by IBM and the Peppers & Rogers Group, outlines the impact of this evolution on customer relationships. “In the last fve years, businesses worldwide in every industry, are experiencing an unprecedented shift in their business priorities, a shift of intellectual property from products to clients,” writes Eric Brethenoux in The Customer Intimacy Imperative. This shift is part of the transition from a push economy, where merchants drive demand through marketing, to a pull economy where the market is shaped as much by customers as it is by retailers. The world might look different, but one thing’s for certain – customer relationships are still the lifeblood of every business and loyalty, the quality that underpins good relationships, is
more diffcult than ever to attain.