Consumer Loyalty in a Post-Recession Economy

The recession has affected all of our consumption habits in one way or another. But has it affected our loyalty?

 

 

A stronger than expected rise in retail sales this week and KFC's new Double Down "sandwich" (okay not really) had me thinking about the post-recession consumer. In one way or another the recession has affected all of our spending (or saving) habits as well as our tastes and preferences across various modes of consumption. The message for credit union marketers nationwide has largely revolved around seizing the opportunity presented by battered foes. But how long will this shift in sentiment last? A month? A quarter? Forever? An April 8th blog post on the Customer Insight Group's blog had a particularly included an interesting survey question on the importance of rewards programs as they pertain to post-recession consumer preferences:

 "Post-recession consumers want added value but also a focus on relationships and experiences. Loyalty programs have an incredible opportunity to achieve exactly what they are designed to do —offer marketers ways to fulfill these very needs and wants of today’s consumer."

As we climb out of the recession and return to a normal (new or other), think about the impact the recession has had on your membership profile and their preferences. How will this affect your marketing energies? Will you still look to solicit new members or will you grow through refining the overall experience of existing ones? Perhaps most importantly, are these two options mutually exclusive?