Brands spend over $4B a year to prevent a customer from becoming a disloyal customer.
There are many ways they do this, like points on every purchase or buy 10 get 1 free. Some are designed to create FOMO, like membership privileges. Others are meant to connect with their customers on an emotional level, like supporting a cause near and dear to their audiences’ hearts.
Regardless of how they dress it up, the goal is to keep you from looking for a better product at the same price, or the same item at a lower price.
They hope you’ll feel loyal to them and demonstrate that loyalty to the brands who “listen to you” and “work hard for you” and “put your needs first.”
You don’t owe them anything. You owe yourself the freedom to be a disloyal customer, and especially if you’re looking to keep more money in your pocket.
It’s tougher than it sounds because finding alternatives takes work, and the status quo is easy. But if you’re savvy, thorough, and thoughtful, the effort will more than pay off. Looking for a better priced alternative often leads to finding a new household staple that saves you money.
Remember this every time you get an email from a company telling you how much they value you as a customer and offering to buy your loyalty.
Because, as you’ll see from the examples below, disloyalty keeps more money in your bank account.
You can do all your grocery shopping at one mega store and earn a few loyalty points on your way out, but is the convenience worth it? And will the points you earn offset the extra money you’re paying? t
A better approach is to spread the wealth. For example, you don’t need to spend premium prices for non-perishable items like boxed snacks or frozen pizza. Discount grocery stores sell many the same products as more higher end supermarkets, at lower prices. If the grocery store you’re using now offers price matching, you should do it as much as possible. The upside of this is that you’ll have extra money to splurge on a prime cut of beef from a local butcher for a special occasion or two, and still spend less on food.
Like with groceries, you can keep filling up at a big brand station to collect points. Or you can go to local station a few streets over and pay less. Assuming you filled up 1.5 times a week and saved $4 per visit, that’s $312 in your pocket at the end of the year.
There are two main reasons online shopping has taken off in the past decade. The convenience, you don’t even need to get dressed to do it, and the ability to shop around easily.
This can be hard if you feel a sense of loyalty to a bricks-and-mortar store. The answer is to show loyalty by using their price as the one to beat. If you can’t find a better deal, so be it. But why pay more? Shop around even from the big online retailers, like Amazon. If you want a book, for example, it’s possible a more independent dealer has it for a cheaper price.
You can apply this to all your monthly online shopping expenses to find savings.
This is where being a disloyal customer can be the most rewarding because you’ll get to try food from all over the place AND take advantage of the very common “first-time order discount” offered by many restaurants. And maybe you’ll find something relatively cheap and mind-blowingly good that you add to your regular rotation?
Some food delivery apps will also offer you a percentage off your first order using them. If you’ve been using the same app forever, maybe it’s time to download another and take advantage of the savings off on that first order.
Some restaurants will offer deals on some app platforms and not others. Take a look before you order.
This category relies on its customers choosing the path of least resistance (staying with a current provider) instead of seeking out better value elsewhere.
Changing car insurance providers, for example, requires a careful review of the companies you’re considering, and even more careful reviews of the fine print each of them include with their policy options.
On the flipside, sticking with the status quo requires no actions taken — and you may get some extra bonus coverage you probably don’t need for being a repeat customer. But are the conveniences and unnecessary freebies worth spending more money every year?
The competitive nature of the financial services industry — especially on the insurance, mortgage, and credit card sides — can yield fantastic money-saving opportunities if you’re willing to do the legwork.
Unlike companies in the financial services space, the telecom industry is expecting every customer to be a disloyal customer, and it’s ready for the churn with all kinds of undercutting offers.
The key to comparison shopping for telecom is to stay firm with what you want. Sales agents are instructed to come down on price to secure your business, often just calling and saying you’re going to switch providers is enough for them to lower the price of your bill. You’d be surprised by what you can accomplish and how much you can save every year.
Start tracking your expenses down to the penny and compare the alternatives you choose for a recurring weekly, monthly, or yearly expense.
Seeing the results in black and white will motivate you to continue. And it’s a powerful antidote to the hard sell in whatever crafty loyalty-inducing email lands in your inbox tomorrow morning.
If you’re not sure how to track your expenses, you need help setting up your tracking, or you’re having trouble getting started, we can help you with our budget planner.
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