It’s time! Every four years fans gather to watch the best soccer, ah-hem, football teams in the world battle it out for the most globally coveted prize in all of sports – the World Cup. The passion felt by these fans for their country will be clear as you watch the excitement, the support, and all-out general mayhem of the Cup games as they progress over the next several weeks.
The one thing that always strikes me the most about the players is how they have such a clear and evident loyalty to their country and team during the World Cup. However, after the games have come and gone, that same loyalty and relationship does not exist to their club teams where they play professionally. The loyalty that once existed has been replaced by greed. Even the great Pele agrees that loyalty, love, and magic have gone. It’s no longer about loving the game and just playing, it’s about the money.
There is a clear difference in what is motivating the players’ loyalty in these cases. In the case of the World Cup, the player’s loyalty is driven by achievement, their commitment to playing for their country, and just the general love of the game. Professionally, many are motivated by money, the brand perception and prestige of the team they play for, or where they just “feel the most love.” It causes their loyalty to constantly change. Same game. Same player. Very different drivers of loyalty.
It’s important for us as customer strategists to always consider what is driving our customer’s loyalty, but know that it can and will change. Just because a customer tells you they are loyal today and will continue to be with you for the next few years does not mean the work is done. They must constantly be reminded through actions of why you are the best choice for them. Otherwise, their motivators will change and they will be on to the next “team.”
So, let’s enjoy watching what I believe to be the purest form of the player’s loyalty as they commence in the World Cup games later today. It should be an exciting month!