It is often said that women are more loyal than men. Could this be true? Apparently not. At least not in reference to customer loyalty. Rotterdam School of Management has just come out with some research that may interest all of you shopaholics out there. More importantly, this is crucial information for those of you who aim to market to these shopaholics.
Stijn van Osselaer, Professor of Marketing at RSM conducted a study and found that while men tend to be loyal to a company, women value personal relationships with individual service providers like a specific hairdresser or salesperson. This may also contribute to why men clothing stores are filled with a lot more employees while boutiques catered to women can get by with two or three salespeople. “What is pretty clear from this research is that if your business primarily targets female customers, you really need to pay attention to treating customers like individuals. Pay attention to their birthdays and names – make sure they don’t get the feeling that they are a number. With men, you need to make them feel like they are part of an important group. They like to be recognized as a high status member – for example, gold luggage tags would help elite-level frequent flyers to broadcast their status to the group.” says Professor Osselaer.
This research breakthrough would seem to have marketers salivating. According to Professor Osselaer, “Marketers should make sure to treat women as individuals and encourage these one-on-one relationships. Women’s relationships with individuals may be so powerful, that if an individual service provider leaves a company, a female customer is likely to follow.” Seems like a pretty dangerous slope to be sliding down if you ask me. The fact that women will merely follow their favourite service provider doesn’t allow much room for brand loyalty, does it? This could be due to the fact that historically, men hunt large animals in packs and women operate closer to home, alone or with just a few family or friends. Regardless of the reason, this shopping pattern is definitely something that marketers need to keep in mind.