Traditional loyalty is undergoing dramatic change. This is the "Era of Free Agency"  across every element of society. People are conditioned to change and they act on this impulse with ever-increasing enthusiasm.


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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.


Dollar stores seem to be in for some rough times.  Despite expanding their reach, these stores face steep competition from Wal-Mart, a rising economy, and a demographic shift from their typical rural locations to more urban areas. More at the WSJ.
On the radio, country music has displaced Top 40 as America’s most popular musical format.  As the music industry continues to struggle financially and once-dominant types of music like hip-hop recede on the charts, country’s audience has grown stronger, wider and younger. More from the NY Times.
The Oakland A’s have added an unconventional new soda to their lineup this year.  Dethroning the likes of Coke and Pepsi, Zevia, a stevia sweetened zero calorie soda, is now the official team soda sponsor. Although Zevia has replaced Pepsi in the sponsorship role, Pepsi will still be sold at fountains throughout the park. More from USA Today.