BK Magazine Business Development
Quick: Think of a musician or band whose next album you wouldn’t hesitate to buy. You’d buy it right now without even listening to a sample song.
Now think of their record label. Do you even know it? If you knew it, would you have the same blind eagerness to buy the next album they release?
We’re loyal to people, not organizations or companies. There are exceptions, of course—you’ll always root for the same baseball team, even if your favorite player is traded—but it’s human instinct to connect with and follow individual people.
I run a board game company called Stonemaier Games. I collaborate with a lot of different organizations: my manufacturer, fulfillment centers, Kickstarter, conventions, freight carriers, etc.
Recently, my long-time contact at one of those companies decided to move to a different company. Upon hearing that he was staying in the same industry, my immediate reaction was that our business would stay with him. I was perfectly satisfied with the original organization, but my loyalty wasn’t to them—it was to the human being with whom I had worked over the last few years.
We entrepreneurs, creators, artists, and authors need to remember that the power of loyalty stems from the personal relationships we form with our customers and clients. It stems from our individuality, personality, and competency.
Sometimes we try to make our organizations seem bigger they than are by saying “we” instead of “I,” we hide our faces behind fancy logos, or we covet the resources of a bigger competitor. The next time you do that, just think of your favorite musician and how you have no idea what their record label is. Hopefully that will remind you that you wield the power of loyalty simply by being yourself.