Relationship Revolution: Relationship Focused Businesses

by Joe on December 17, 2008

lens to see businesses

Over the past couple weeks I have been monitoring the Relationship Media space where the relationships around content drive traffic and revenue growth.  But as I have viewed the marketing world through a relationship media lens, I have found that you can view businesses through the same lens.

Like I said in my market trends to watch post, relationship focused businesses know that “Information is presented, retained, and engaged with most effeciently when relationships link the message and the reciepient. Many times, online tools are the basis for these interactions to occur and be measured. “
Examples of Relationship Focused Business

– A newspaper or a CD does not, by themselves, create a relationship, where as an MP3 downloaded from myspace can create a bond between the artist and the consumer though direct interactions. Moreover, musicians typically make most of their money via concerts and merchandise, not the actual content they produce. This is exactly why the Hannah Montana brand is rolling in dough.

– Another story that helps illustrate the relationship revolution outside of the media space is credit cards. Credit card co’s earn revenues by having the merchant pay a percent of the charge consumers make.  I am a 24 year old guy who has solid credit.  Yesterday I was charged a 60 dollar annual service fee on my United frequent flier credit card with Chase.  I calculated it out and I think I currently bring them around 1500 dollars of revenue a year. 

In the relationship media world, they would know these things and realize that they could create a loyal card holder at age 24, and watch my income go up (hopefully) and my expenditures go up (with out a doubt) as I have kids or increase the amount I spend.  The only way they would remove the fee was to change my credit card to a one that earns less miles with a whole new number and a ton of hastle to get my automatic payments changed.  

Chase/United lost a customer, and a new card company found a new one. It is sad that they will lose so much revenue, and future revenue because customer service was not empowered to understand the future value of a relationship all for 60 bucks.  It is just another real life example of the plummeting value of airline miles programs.

– One final example is at Wright-Patterson Credit Union.  They just gave a 3 million dollar special dividend to its members in the midst of a credit crunch. Relationship building? Yes! Cheaper than running commercials and more effective and targeted? Yes!

This is a revolution. The relationship revolution. 

Have you seen any other examples of companies who are leading the relationship revolution?



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