Hey guys, and welcome back! If you read my last 2 blog posts, you know the psychology of getting free shit. But outside of the behavioral techniques and mentality that are so *crucial*, there remains one factor that has greater influence than all else. Being a “regular”.
Your lifestyle largely dictates *what* you can become a regular of. Whether or not you know it, you are probably a regular somewhere. It’s just you may be an inactive regular. That’s the worst thing to be. Why? Because you are making the fundamental sacrifice – spending money – without the perks. Before we go on, think about all of the businesses you physically interact with on a weekly basis. Physically can mean a place you actually visit (like a gym), or that you physically consume (like food).
Now, ask yourself,
“Am I getting the most I possibly can out of this interaction? “
Unfortunately, the answer for most is no.
See, truly reaping the benefits of your consumption requires constant attention and diligent effort. It means pulling out your Starbucks app *every single time*, or choosing to pick up your drink on the way to the office because you know the airport location doesn’t do Starbucks Rewards.
Interestingly enough, my personal motivation to accumulate as many rewards possible did not start with the intrinsic belief that I am so desperately trying to pass to you- the belief that my business, my dollar, and my loyalty are worth something, and I absolutely insist on being rewarded.
That’s an attitude I have grown into. My obsession with rewards came from simply being a creature of habit- something I call an OCD Regular. Definition below.
I have always been a regular when it comes to food, but college was the first time I ever frequented a place with perks. Senior year I moved into an apartment above a Jamba Juice. It mustve been my 25th consecutive day ordering when the cashier told me about the rewards. $3 off for every $35 spend? Whatever. But next thing I know, it seemed like every week I was getting a $3 off coupon. It was great! What other deals was I missing out on?
A business considers you loyal when you consistently choose to spend your money with them rather than with one of their competitors. This is increasingly true as your spending frequency increases.
Now, notice I didn’t say spending amount increases. That’s because the people who determine you are loyal (largely the employees), don’t particularly care how much you are spending- UNLESS it translates directly into more money for them. Think: server in a bar.
It doesn’t matter if you are a ~high roller~ at a hotel who pays the $700 a night for a suite once or twice a month. The staff will always see someone like me as more loyal in spite of the fact that I pay $135 a night because I stay there more often.
At its core, loyalty often begins with an economic motivation. I personally chose my hotel because it was the best value for my hotel budget. But an important point: Truly loyal customers make such spending choices even when it is economically inconvenient.
Assess your relative value
Don’t be fooled by thinking the company you spend the most money with is the one that cares about you the most. What do you offer to this business as a consumer? What is your spending power relative to other customers, and just how many customers do they have?? The perfect comparison: Mom & Pop Sandwich Shop vs. Major Airline. Let’s say you fly American Airlines to and from work each week, and every week you fly you to the client you go to your favorite sandwich shop daily.
You spend at least 6 times less at M&P’s than you do with American, but here’s why you are a much more valuable regular at M&P’s (and thus way more likely to get free shit):
- You’re in the top tier of consumers– I doubt there are many people eating there more often than you are. As far as frequent flyers go…. You’re not even close to touching the dollar spend of some of American’s best customers
- You have a face– They know you! You probably share jokes, smiles, and facts about yourself with the people who work there. They can become invested in you as a person. Do not underestimate the importance of this.
- You have greater impact on their revenue- Not only are you a super consistent customer, you have the ability to bring new customers in. Think about the number of customers a restaurant serves a day versus the number of people flying American all over the world.
- Easier Purchase Decision- Food recommendations hold more weight than Airline recommendations. Why? Easier purchase decision! Lunch sucks? Who cares, you’re only out of $20 and you will probably eat in another couple hours.
I could go on forever. But in short- high levels of loyalty can’t make up for low value. Go where your presence is felt. You will notice the difference.
When it comes down to it, there are only two circumstances which ever result in you getting something of substance for free. Read my last blog post to find out what they are.
So what kind of regular are you, anyway?
I have laid out the most common types below.
You see yourself? Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!