Is there a product, service, cause, company or organization that can be certain their customers or supporters will still be with them tomorrow, or next week, or next year? At one point both GM and Budweiser commanded more than 50% of the US market. GM is now around 17% and Budweiser has experienced declining sales for 23 consecutive years.
Understanding loyalty is more challenging today than ever before. In virtually every aspect of life today, change is the one constant. The evidence is all around us:
Nearly four in ten Americans change their religious affiliation at least once in their lifetime;
Throughout the 20th century, the state of West Virginia was a solid lock for the Democratic party - in the 2012 election President Obama won't even bother to visit the state because he has no chance of winning;
From 1947 through 1972 African Americans went from 0% representation in the Major Leagues to 27%. Since 1972 the ratio has fallen from 27% to 10%;
Marriage is an institution in peril. In 1960, 66 percent of people in their 20s were married; today the number is roughly 25 percent.
It would be logical to look at numbers like these and conclude that loyalty is dead. It's not the case, but loyalty has been redefined and those organizations that understand this phenomenon will have a tremendous competitive advantage.