Book Review: Fierce Loyalty
by Sarah Robinson
Hayfield Publishing, 2012
I'm halfway through several good business books right now, but I was able to squeeze in a small but very good book this week that is worthy of a review. Fierce Loyalty, by Sarah Robinson, is a small book that breaks down the most important things you need to know about a topic that is growing in importance every day: community. We all want community. We want fiercely loyal customers or members. But we're not often disciplined about our actual understanding of "loyalty." It's one of those "I'll know it when I see it" things, but I can't define it or be methodical about it.
Except you can. It's not easy, mind you, but Robinson identifies the key components, and I feel like it's important stuff that many of us have been missing. Sure, a community will need a group of people that share a common interest (we get that), but you can't galvanize people until you have a set of compelling needs. And no, those compelling needs are not things like discounts, membership cards, and newsletters. No, it's not even "content." The needs are belonging, recognition, and safety. People want to be heard and acknowledged. They want to feel secure among like-minded colleagues. And once you've got the needs down, you need to create organizational structures that will cement the loyalty, structures that provide connection, support, and predictability.
I'm guessing my association friends will respond with something along the lines of "we knew that" or "we are already doing that." There's some truth there. But I wonder if we're not taking some of these things for granted. Like we're trying to do the "next level" things for our members, and maybe not going deeper into the foundation like we should.
Either way, this is a great book for jump-starting your thinking about these issues.