How random acts of kindness = Building Loyalty

04 May How random acts of kindness = Building Loyalty

It is said that random acts of kindness go a long way and scientific research backs this up. The brain’s pleasure centres react more strongly to unexpected pleasure substances versus expected ones, according to a study by scientists with Emory University and the Baylor College of Medicine.

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in human brain activity following exposure to pleasurable stimuli. In the study, a computer-controlled device squirted fruit juice and water into the mouths of research participants. The patterns of juice and water squirts were either predictable or completely unpredictable.

The human reward pathways in the brain responded most strongly to the unpredictable sequence of squirts. The area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens – a pleasure centre of the brain – recorded a particularly strong response to the unexpectedness of a sequence of stimuli.

Now think about this from a marketing perspective where random acts of kindness may lead to long term results such as long term loyalty to the organisation and/or brand. This could be viewed as a marketing strategy that enables a brand to stand out from its competitors who also offer similar products and/or services. In the last few years or so, personalisation also fits into this box as this acknowledges your customers as people as opposed to just another number who purchases from the company.

“We find that so-called pleasure centres in the brain do not react equally to any pleasurable substance, but instead react more strongly when the pleasures are unexpected,” Dr. Gregory Berns, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Emory and a co-author of the study, said in a press release. “This means that the brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones.”

Below are two examples which highlight how random acts of kindness can increase loyalty to the organisation.

Employee Loyalty
Employees are one of the most pivotal assets to a firm as they are the ones that build the company from the ground up and everything else in between. In the good ol’ days, employees may of have felt valued through monetary rewards. However, those days are long gone and right now, we are travelling faster than ever away from this paradigm. Instead, research indicates that employers should attempt to purchase rewards that employees can enjoy such as tangible items. For instance, an employee who has been dreaming about the latest iPad but has been unable to afford one is a good starting point for a personalised staff reward. By communicating to employees “You are a valuable asset to our organisation” through acknowledging their hard work, they are not only likely to be more productive but also an increased probability that they will be here to stay in the long term.

Also, random acts of kindness in a company can be a strategy to reduce liabilities as it is more cost effective to retain a current employee than to hire a new one as the hiring process is not only costly in time but also in funds.

Client Loyalty
In addition to rewarding employee loyalty through random acts of kindness, client loyalty is also imperative to the success of a business. Some ways of achieving this is holding an awards night acknowledging top performing clients or perhaps a more elaborate corporate conference in a desirable destination.

Performing random acts of kindness can not only be beneficial for an organisation and increase the amount of people who subscribe to the organisation but can also retain customer loyalty in the long term. Having said that, companies should not only perform random acts of kindness expecting something in return but as part of their brand values in general.

Our Top 3 Tips

1. Use seasonal events throughout the year to create positive emotional energy and connection with your customers.
2. Do something out of the ordinary, a random act of kindness or maybe a moment of generosity (and it’s not always about money).
3. Achieve business goals – Engagement and activity will significantly increase during the incentive period and this will ultimately mean better results for your organisation.