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Live Nation argues against the death of brand loyalty

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Live Nation argues against the death of brand loyalty

Live Nation study on brand loyalty

In the current landscape of economic uncertainty and shifting consumer preferences, the value of brand loyalty is more pronounced than ever.

At a recent panel event hosted by Live Nation Entertainment, industry experts came together to discuss the ‘Driving Loyalty’ study, revealing critical insights into how live music can bolster brand loyalty amidst a cost of living crisis.

Live Nation Entertainment strategy lead Frances Deighton presented the research which included key insights from the study such as:

  • 77 percent say that belonging to a loyalty program makes them feel valued by a company.
  • 94 percent agree belonging to a loyalty program makes them feel like they’re saving money.
  • Retail ranks highest when it comes to openness, sign-up and likelihood of switching loyalty programs.
  • Two thirds of live music goers are open to signing up for a new loyalty program at a live event.
  • A points system is the favoured structure for loyalty programs, with email highlighted as the preferred communication method, followed by apps and websites.

This was followed by a panel including TPG Telecom head of brands Lisa Cronin, ANZ strategic partnerships and loyalty Aussie Merciadez, Loyalty and Reward Co CEO and author of ‘Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide’, Philip Shelper and Live Nation business development director, Nicole Lembke.

Deighton set the stage for the conversation and highlighted the tension between the current economic strain and the undiminished importance of brand loyalty.

“In our current environment of pretty tight finances and quite low company trust, there’s an argument that brand loyalty is dying. But is it really, or are we just needing to look at it through a different lens?” Deighton questioned, setting the tone for a nuanced exploration of consumer loyalty.

One of the key insights from the panel was the potential of music to drive loyalty. “Music very much remains Australia’s biggest passion,” Deighton said. “Our research continues to show just how much music is a real part of our identities.” This passion for music, according to the study, can be leveraged by brands to foster a deeper connection with their customers.

Cronin discussed the challenges of selling the idea of loyalty to sceptical stakeholders, emphasising the importance of clear objectives. “You have to be strong. If you’re being pulled into areas that the program’s not designed for, you’ll end up failing,” she noted, underscoring the need for precision in loyalty program design and execution.

The evolving nature of loyalty programs from mere transactional interactions to more emotionally resonant experiences was championed by Merciadez, bringing over two decades of experience in loyalty and partnership strategies, adding, “Loyalty is an emotion, and if it’s an emotion, you should have a program that balances transactions with emotion.”

Shelper further expanded on the topic by discussing the critical role of demonstrating the return on investment of loyalty programs. “Being able to demonstrate that is important…A loyalty program is a desirable behaviour stimulation program,” Shelper explained, advocating for a data-driven approach to loyalty that aligns with desired customer behaviours.

Live Nation business development director Nicole Lembke pointed out the increasing consumer demand for premium and unique experiences. “Fans want an elevated experience. They’re investing in it,” she said, indicating a shift towards premiumisation even in the face of economic downturns. This trend suggests that customers are still willing to invest in experiences that hold significant personal value.

The panel event shed light on the intricate dynamics of brand loyalty in today’s economic and social context and the insights shared by the panellists underscore the importance of understanding consumer desires, the emotional drivers of loyalty, and the unique potential of music to engage customers deeply.

As brands navigate the challenges of maintaining loyalty amidst financial pressures, integrating these insights into loyalty programs may very well be the key to fostering enduring customer relationships.

Image attributed to Live Nation


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Emily Rayner

Emily Rayner is the editorial director of Niche Media.

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