Loyalty is different today than it has been in the past. It used to be that a company that says they have been in business for 40 years was the preferred company. 40 years of business demonstrated that they were committed to the long-haul. 40 years shows that they would probably be around tomorrow to honour their guarantee.
It also used to matter when a customer could tell a business that they had been a customer for 10 years. A long tenure illustrated to the business that you weren’t going to take your business elsewhere. It meant that you expected to be treated as someone special because of the length of time that you had spent with someone.
Sunk Cost Considerations
40 years in business or 10 years as a customer doesn’t mean the same thing anymore. Customers want to know what the company can do for them today, not in the last 40 years. Even if the company has served them well for 39 years, if they don’t produce in year 40, the customer will find another vendor. In the same way, businesses don’t care whether you have been a customer for 100 years; if the customer isn’t profitable, there will be little effort made to satisfy the customer.
In both cases, the vendor and customer have grown to understand that the sunk cost of time and energy isn’t a factor in whether tomorrow’s transactions will be fruitful.
The Benefit of Longevity
Longevity isn’t the enemy. Being in business for 40 years means that you might have tried many different business models and understand what works and doesn’t better than your competition. You can serve your customer better because you have learned from countless customers like them.
Being a long-term customer means that you know what you like, and what works for you. You might be a customer that has come to understand and be comfortable with the quirks of the business.
Loyalty and Longevity
You can be loyal because of longevity, but not for the sake of longevity. Be faithful to longevity because of the benefit that survival brings you, not just because people were able to last that long.