Loyalty in the Age of Tinder

Fact: Loyalty, as we know it, is dead.

Let’s face it. We’re screwed. With a simple swipe of any meeting app we are able to: meet someone new, go on a date, start a relationship, get married, form a family, get a divorce, meet somebody else, go on a date and so on…And although we think this is just the normal path of digitizing the analog way of dating, it actually triggered a second seismic wave meant to shake up the way we understand how to be loyal to a service, product or brand.

I have been active in the Loyalty, CX and Engagement projects for a while now and I reckon the most attractive way to tell the story was to relate it to a love relationship: the getting to know each other, the first date, the first kiss, the first night spent together-especially well received by the travel industry, the marriage etc. But somehow in the last year or so it became pretty hard to get people to understand why the Experience and the Service are the real drivers behind any brand action aimed to delight the client and increase revenues. Ready to find out why? My somehow-educated guess is that both clients and brands understand the “love relationship” in a different way that they did before. Let me explain myself by using the example of the most successful dating app in the market: Tinder.

The getting to know each other.

Meeting someone today seems like duck soup to me compared to what it supposed to be in the Pre Tinder era. Download an app, set up a profile and your ready to go. It somehow resembles the client-brand relationship in this phase. There are so many services and products available out there. With a simple swipe you can buy anything from a Coke can to a Water Efficient Shower-Head that is still to be produced. The imminent result of that is the acquisition effort increases meaning brands struggle on getting the right value proposition out there whereas the client aims on getting more value for money. Insider tip: you’d better upload the best profile pic you’ve got or else you’ll be swiped out in no time.

The first match.

I was so excited when I got my first “It’s a Match!”. Didn’t quite know what to do next. Should I call? It not possible. Endless possibilities arouse in my bewildered head as I discovered chat was the only option. Just like when you try out a product for the first time: they’ve got my attention, I want to try it out, the rush & thrill is worth the price so: swipe. You got my attention Mr.

So I took the decision and wrote “Hi :)” and never got any reply…See, right here you have the best example of the first breaking point in the brand-client loyalty relationship. When you’re good in attracting the clients with your value prop make sure that what they see is what they get and most importantly seal the date.

Caught in the game.

While practicing “swiping” in Tinder I realised that the actual change it brought to the game is the way we regard rejecting and being rejected. Before Tinder to reject somebody was a pretty emotional act, at least for me. It’s like being in a shop, while on a diet, and getting an upsell offer on a Mars bar for only 1€ more. Hard to refuse the kind cashier without having a reasonable excuse…But now it only takes a left swipe and done. No damage, no excuses, nobody gets hurt.

The guys at HeyHuman call these type of attitude “Gen Tinder” but to me is rather a filter that we somehow all apply while engaging to a brand’s loyalty program: if I have reason-why, I swipe right. That doesn’t imply any emotional bound yet. I just like you. If not I’ll swipe left and I won’t even bother in remembering your name “Stranger”

So, as I said, we’re pretty much screwed when it comes to setting a bound through a loyalty scheme.

But hey…Tinder-Love always resides in the Conversation…

Stay with me for more…