Consumer Relationships

Clock icon 5 min read Calendar icon Mar 21, 2018

Why Transactional Relationships Don't Work for Consumers


Brands don't want consumers to buy their products, they NEED it. And for many brands, the focus of getting consumers to buy now, can become an obsession. Although it's understandable how brands can get caught up in the "buy now" way of thinking. After all, without that basic premise of business, there would be no business. The world would come to a screeching stop! Can you imagine how hard it would be to get a slice of pizza on a Friday night…you get the idea. In this article we will talk about why the "buy now" transactional relationship aren't effective and  how to nurture your customer relationships. 

The Problem with Transactional Relationships

It’s a given that maintaining a transactional relationship with your customers is without a doubt the fundamental machine that keeps a business running. We’re not contesting that. Here’s the problem: focusing exclusively on this most primitive of business conceits won’t necessarily get you ahead of your competition. Sure, if you’re not selling, you won’t be in business for very long… but to sell even more takes a mindset that thinks beyond transactions.

Understand Your Customer

Take a look into the consumer mirror, and think about why you yourself buy the things that you buy. For many purchases, it's a matter of necessity. If you are out of toilet paper, you hustle to the store and buy more. But even with necessary items, there's a lot that goes into the consumer purchase decision.

Ask yourself why you buy that specific product/brand? Why is a trip to your favorite retailer such a pleasant experience? Why do you prefer one brand of toilet paper over another. Understanding the consumers that buy your products is the key to unlocking unlimited growth. You understand who they are, what they need, where/when they buy,  and why they buy your product over a competitors. 

How To Nurture Your Customer Relationships

Products, or more specifically, the brands that support them, are an intricate web of emotional ploys and storylines that intimately connect with the target consumer. In the world of loyalty, there are salient tactics that build these emotional connections…and creating purchase urgency is the LAST thing that should be on the minds of brand marketers when building these forward-thinking tactics into their own programs. 

Here’s some examples of loyalty promises that think beyond the “Buy Now” mantra:

  • Surprise & Delight: give your loyalty members, something special, no questions asked. This tactic doesn’t come with strings attached; there’s no fine print; you won’t spam members with a dozen emails once they accept the terms & conditions…it’s simply to make them cherish their relationship with you and think about you more often than they currently do.
  • Product Reviews: these build deeper engagement, and have a twofold function. On the one hand, they create a wonderful opportunity to turn members into advocates, and we all know that today’s consumers listen to their peers more than anything when making a purchase decision. But on the other hand, they make members themselves think deeply into why they love your product, emboldening their own passions in the process. It’s also a great way to get data beyond purchase-level information, such as behavioral, attitudinal and purchase attributes.
  • Creating Communities: there’s really no better way to make people feel like they belong than to create a community just for them. The focus here is on deep engagement with other members, giving them the sense that they’re part of a “special club” – your brand being the ringleader, of course. Just don’t forget to keep the members and their experience at the helm.
  • Special Events: this is another great way to get members feeling special. Give them a party, an experience they won’t soon forget, and they’ll latch on to all those positive feelings. 

So go forth and think beyond the simple transaction. These tactics will help you sell more at the end of the day…the difference is, if you have the patience to wait till the end of the day, you can have the whole pizza and not just a single slice, unlike your competitors that came late to the party. 


Brandon Klein – Sr. Account Executive
Lanndon Lindsay – Sr. Strategist