Building Loyalty Along Their Way

Last night I was reading my kids “The Little Red Hen.”

If you don’t remember the story, it’s the one about the hen who asks some friends for help as she turns wheat into bread. Her ne’er-do-well friends don’t lift a finger to help, but line up to eat the bread as soon as she’s made it.

It got me thinking about loyalty, and how to cultivate it.

Picture the Red Hen as one of your industrious alumni. She’s working her way from a new graduate to a mature professional. Along the way, she may ask your institution for help – career advice, networking help, etc.

Now is the time to think about how you can stay engaged with her, so you don’t find yourself lined up asking for dough without having helped her along the way.

When you ask your alumni for something – be it their time, money or attention – they’ll be more willing to respond if you’ve provided them value after they’ve left school.

In our case, that thing of value (and beauty and usability) is our app. It not only keeps your Red Hens updated on networking events and alumni benefits, but it gives them a wealth of timely life skills content as they navigate everything from their first business dinner to retirement planning.

Tonight I’ll be reading “The Monster at the End of this Book.”  My next blog post might be an even more random analogy…

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Building Relationships Through Education

Is education part of your organization’s higher purpose or brand? If so, keep your educational mission front and center with your “customers” (alumni, employees, members, etc.)

Why? A good article in the Harvard Business Review describes what customers want:

Many brands have a demonstrable higher purpose baked into their missions… These feel authentic to consumers, and so provide a credible basis for shared values and relationship-building. To build relationships, start by clearly communicating your brand’s philosophy or higher purpose.

Disney is one example of an organization which does a great job communicating their higher purpose. In the words of Walt himself, “My business is making people, especially children, happy.”

I live in Orlando, which means I talk to a lot of repeat visitors of Disney. They don’t come back for Space Mountain or Mickey-shaped ice cream. Instead, they wax on about the magic and happiness they see in their children’s eyes.

If your perceived value doesn’t extend beyond the time your “customers” spend with you, your relationships will be fleeting. If you brand your value as delivering life-long education, you’ll grow authentic and lasting relationships.

How?

Use our book and app to:

  • Educate about the necessities of the life, like buying insurance, paying taxes, and even choosing a fork.
  • Tell your “customers” about the other ways you provide education (on-line lectures, educational travel programs, etc.)

Reinforce your higher purpose of education and build lifelong relationships.

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