Embracing Customer Disloyalty

I heard Seth Godin mention this when I heard him speak last month in Toronto and I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Seth pointed us to coffee store owner and World Barista Champion, Gwilym Davies, who created the “dis-loyalty card.

You all know about loyalty cards. I’m sure any of us could open our wallets or purses and find a variety of them at any given moment.

“Visit us 10 times, and you’re 11th purchase will be free!”

Gwilm Davies flipped it. He said, “Here’s the deal. Go to our competitors, drink their coffee and come back and I’ll give you a free one.”

The catch is … , I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking that Gwilm wanted to show how inferior his competitors products were to his own.

In reality, there wasn’t any negative intent to his actions at all.

He wasn’t trying to do any harm to his competitors. Instead, he was promoting them.

Gwilm wanted people to drink high quality coffee, plain and simple. He wanted his customers to support his competitors who also make a high quality product.

He’s basically saying, “If I was to buy a coffee, it would be from one of these eight places! Check em out!”

Gwilm loves coffee so much that he’s willing to give business away so that people don’t have to drink bad coffee. It’s brilliant.

We tend to focus too much energy on beating the living daylights out of our competition. We’ve been taught that business always has to be cut throat. “Business is  WAR!” they said. Yet, here’s an example that flips that traditional business mentality on it’s head.

I can see this same concept working in so many different industries.

Think of small town restaurants trying to do  battle against the easy and convenient fast food giants. They could come together and present a similar concept.

“Eat at all six of these local restaurants and you’ll be given a $25 gift card to use at one of the six locations.”

The gift card could be picked randomly so that all participating businesses get their share.

Just because the business schools and marketing textbooks like to show us the way things have been done for the past 50 years, doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do them now.

The original story can be found  here.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/scottjhoward ScottjHoward

    Great example of collaboration and being an agent of trust in a market.

  • John-Boy

    Good idea which could be expanded upon into other partnerships,like with a pastry shop-fill up the card of coffee and get a free cupcake, auto repair-get a muffler repair at “Billy Bob's” and 1-free cup of coffee from EACH of the coffee places,ad nauseum :)
    Get set of tires from Farelies Rubber Plantation and free Eggs Benedict breakfast for two from Auntie Mays Eggstastic House AND a free Kindle download so you have something to read while Auntie does her magic.

  • http://noahfleming.com/ Noah Fleming

    You're right Scott.

    Thanks for reading and your comment. I appreciate it.

  • http://noahfleming.com/ Noah Fleming


    Free Kindle download to boot!