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Customer Loyalty at health clubs can be generated by management in many sneaky ways.Talking to my brother today, I was reminded about an unethical tactic that some companies (not all) might use to create repeat business. I’m not completely cynical but have you ever thought that your goals of weight loss might be being sabotaged by Jenny Craig just to keep you as a customer?

There are a lot of businesses which could be considered to be sabotaging your goals. Think about it. When Jenny Craig’s customers are finally thin, are they still going to be motivated to keep paying membership fees if they’re still thin?

Not likely.

So, how must Jenny Craig and other companies that are being accused of sabotaging their customers, deal with such a problem? Simple - Prevent your customers from attaining their goal (desired state). See this little graph:

Customer Loyalty and Repeat Purchasing can be inspired through innovation.When customers have reached their desired state, they lose motivation to continue with the service. The idea to inspire repeat purchases is to keep rising customer’s desired states, by innovating, sabotaging them, changing their motivations and values and making the rest redundant.

Are there any businesses you know of that could sabotage their customers?

Where do you draw the line?

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Posted by Robert Kingston on Sunday, May 27th, 2007 at 3:21 am. Category: Marketing. Comment Feed: RSS 2.0. Leave a Comment below, or a trackback from your site.

7 Responses to “Creating Customer Loyalty: Where to Draw the Line”

  1. For companies like Jenny Craig that seems to be their raison de etre. You can’t sell slim without purposefully skewing people’s impressions of what slim is. I think it is an unfortunate, but probably all too common practice among diet companies, gyms and anyone who sells products based on flawed self image.

    Steve S

  2. They probably do promote body images which are unhealthy but thankfully I’m not in their target market so I can’t say for sure. Could you imagine them going along the same line as Dove and their “Campaign for Real Beauty”? Their business would slowly evaporate.

    I think they need to promote their membership as a means to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and also work on developing a club that people would like to be a part of.

    Robert Kingston

  3. I have pondered about product or service sabotage actually. Of course I was never able to prove any of my theories, but at least I know other people have thought about it, too.

    website copywriter

  4. One company I’ve been particularly skeptical about is Nicorette and their Nicotine patches. Once people haven’t got a need for their patches anymore, where does their business go?

    This is especially the case in Brisbane - Where it’s impossible to smoke in most places.

    (I don’t smoke… in case you’re wondering!)

    Robert Kingston

  5. Hahah! That escalator picture is the funniest I’ve seen all week..

    God Bless America!

    Bibo

  6. i wonder if something similar is happening with adsense. i mean, that escalator is getting smaller and smaller. And yet, everyone is still happy to climb aboard.

    Baseball Investor

  7. As far as weight loss companies go, I would imagine they feed off of the inevitable regain of weight (even partially) when people stop eating their food and return to real life. They do have classes that teach you how to shop and eat to maintain your weight loss so there is help there to their clients.
    I had a personal issue with Bally Total Fitness club. Once you are a member there, you owe them dues. No matter if you discontinue going or not. You owe them dues (in their opinion) in such a manner that increases from the time of the beginning of your member ship.
    Now lets say you stop going after your initial 2 year membership obligation is completed. If you take a couple of years off and they send you an offer for say 1 year at $96. Once you have finished that agreement of dues, on month 13, your dues go up to whatever they would have been had you never stopped with them. In other words you would now owe dues which have increased each year from the first 2 year obligation, and the 2 years you didn’t go and the year you had a deal on! So you now owe dues for what would have been the 6 year rate instead of the 3 year rate!
    It’s a crock and of course they never tell you these things when you sign up.

    Beccagirl

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