MATERIAL CULTURE AND MEANING IN MARKETING

In the article “Marketing Is Dead, and Loyalty Killed It” by Alexander Jutkowitz, the author writes an incredibly poignant point on the feedback loop that exists within material culture and the possessor, as well as the identity claims, both inward and outward, that material culture can make for him:

“Customers keep coming back to J. Crew, Chipotle, and Apple because being a loyal fan of the brand reassures them that they are succeeding in being a certain kind of person. People expect convenience from a transaction, but what they crave is meaning. A marketer’s thundering from the top of a mountain like the voice of God will be quickly spotted for what it is – a disconnected jumble of hollow words bouncing along the canyon walls. Building loyalty is much harder work, and it requires not only valuing customers, but liking them enough to have a conversation every day. Bringing passion and excitement to that conversation requires genuine enthusiasm for your own products and mission. The Chief Loyalty Officer’s job isn’t about asking, ‘What should this company say?’ It’s nothing less than answering the question, ‘What should this company be?’ “

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MATERIAL CULTURE AND MEANING IN MARKETING

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