31st December 2007

Satisfaction, Loyalty and Affinity…

I had the good fortune to eat Sushi, have some 1:1 discussion and participate in a short video for Jeremiah this past month while he was in Seattle attending the Web Community Forum.  The video gave me a chance to talk a bit more about finding, thanking and engaging influential’s as part of developing a more effective advocacy and user listening strategy.  Ultimately, I like to think of engagement in the following lifecycle:


  • Satisfaction is really just "brushing your teeth" - basic hygiene.  You have users who believe what you provide meets their needs.  Nothing more or less.  The barrier to be replaced here is pretty low.  And realistically, few mature companies have large scale customer dissatisfaction issues - they more likely have large scale customer apathy issues.
  • Loyalty is obviously a higher achievement.  At this point, you’ve earned users who show up in your Net Promoter scores and exhibit behaviors of likelihood to recommend. 

In my experience, this is where a lot of the measurement ends.  However, this is short of the destination that brands we envy elicit from their customers.  Does loyalty really capture the essence of the Harley Davidson or Four Seasons customers?  It doesn’t capture how I feel about Cookshack! The word "customer" is probably not even the right word in these cases!

  • Affinity is an even stronger measure of alignment with a brand, product or service.  What does it look like?  The behavior I look for is "likelihood to defend."  If someone "attacks" your product, service or brand, does someone show up to defend it?  We all know the credibility that the brand itself has in defending its products or services - pretty limited.  I’m not advocating the brand doesn’t participate here, I’m merely making the point that other users are generally more credible advocates. 

Note:  Overly supportive/pushy/argumentative "fanboys" can be counterproductive in this, so take care with the extremes.

A few questions for brand/product managers are:

  • What are the drivers that move users across this continuum?
  • What is the cost model for the drivers?
  • What is a healthy distribution in my relative industry and competitive market?  If I was Marriott, would the same distribution goal make sense as the Four Seasons?  Probably not. 
  • What is the my current vs desired state distribution?

Thanks again Jeremiah for taking the time for the video and here’s a link to watch.


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This entry was posted on Monday, December 31st, 2007 at 12:27 pm and is filed under Business Strategy, Influencers, Social Media, Voice of Customer, Word of Mouth, web 2.0. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 4 responses to “Satisfaction, Loyalty and Affinity…”

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  1. 1 On January 3rd, 2008, said:

    […] O’Driscoll nous parle de satisfaction, loyauté et affinité (dès que j’ai le temps je traduis cet excellent […]

  2. 2 On January 7th, 2008, Andy Sernovitz said:

    So many companies thing that “satisfaction” is the goal. In the classic words of Geoffrey Moore … you are expected to brush your teeth every day — you don’t get extra credit.

    Satisfaction –> Loyalty –> Affinity –> LOVE

    Love is where word of mouth happens.

    Love starts with trust.

    Who loves you, baby?

  3. 3 On January 8th, 2008, Tom O'Brien said:

    Interesting point - sounds like the discussion on influence. Does it really matter? What matters is advocacy. And advocacy is the result of LOVE. I love this brand so I will argue for it and recommend it.


  4. 4 On June 24th, 2008, Nuggets from Social Media workshops as of late… : Community Group Therapy said:

    […] Affinity represents a shift in thinking:  I wrote about this before here.  It’s gratifying to see this resonating and opportunities to push the model […]

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