#296: The Role of Community, Social Consciousness and Neurodiversity in Loyalty.

Today’s consumers are conscious and connected, and their expectations of brands continues to grow.

As loyalty marketers, we face the complex challenge of creating emotional loyalty with these highly informed members, and also increasing expectations on finding ways to build powerful environment, sustainability, and governance propositions for our brands, without being accused of greenwashing.

My guest today to help tackle some of these industry challenges is Dr Chris Arnold, former Creative Director and Board member for Saatchi & Saatchi, with strategic expertise working with many of the UK’s top 100 brands.

Dr Chris highlights the role of community in creating loyalty, as well as the incredibly important opportunities available to brands if they consider truly diverse perspectives.

He shares some astounding insights on the critical role played by people with dyslexia in both entrepreneurial and scientific organisations, and how channelling neuro-diversity is one of the greatest unexplored opportunities for us as marketers and brands in 2022.

Show Notes:

1) Dr Chris Arnold

2) UN Sustainable Development Goals

3) YouGov Website

4) Dyversity Lab

5) Connect 2 Website


Audio Transcript

Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.

Let’s Talk loyalty is inviting you to come and join us to talk all about loyalty. We want to know what are the biggest challenges you face to capture the loyalty of your customers as we approach 2023. In partnership with Collinson, Let’s Talk loyalty is planning a live session on LinkedIn to talk about creating customer loyalty in the year ahead. I’m inviting all of you listening to share with me the burning questions and key topics you’d like to hear us cover in a live discussion. Simply drop me an email. It’s paula@letstalkloyalty.com. Then we’ll pick the most popular ideas and questions and talk them through on our Let’s Talk Loyalty Live Event this November, powered by Collinson.

My email address again is paula@letstalkloyalty.com. Please do send over your questions and ideas and then join us as we talk loyalty live together for the first time.

Hello and welcome to episode 296 of Let’s Talk Loyalty, a wonderfully engaging conversation about so many of the topics we love on this show. Such as emotional loyalty, the role of community in creating loyalty, and the increasingly challenging role of delivering powerful environmental sustainability and governance for brands without being accused of greenwashing.

My guest is Dr. Chris Arnold, who is the former creative director and board member for Saatchi & Saatchi. And Dr. Chris has experienced working with many of the UK’s top 100 brands. He is also the co-founder of CONNECT2 who are leading specialists in business to community marketing, and the author of Ethical Marketing and The New Consumer, and another book called Flip: Unthink Everything You Know.

Dr. Chris describes himself as proudly dyslexic, so I love talking with him to hear his views as someone who understands the principles of driving customer loyalty at a strategic level, based on a really deep understanding of human psychology and the principles of great marketing. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Chris Arnold.

Paula: So, Dr. Chris Arnold, welcome back to Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Dr. Chris: Well, thank you for inviting me back. It’s a great honor to be here.

Paula: Great, great. You did a great job the first time, even despite the, uh, the Covid situation. I know it was September, 2020.

Dr. Chris: It was indeed actually. Yes. Uh, a few years have passed, haven’t they?

Paula: Indeed, yes. Doesn’t feel like two years. But listen, I know you’re a man of many talents and many ideas, uh, all of which we’re gonna get into today, or some of which we’re gonna get into today, let’s say. So, before we start talking about all of these fascinating marketing topics, as you know, we’re always keen to know from our guests exactly what you admire and respect in the world of loyalty programs.

So give us an update, Chris, in terms of what, what do you think is working in the world of loyalty right now.

Dr. Chris: Well, I kind of looked at, um, my own personal profile really, and the family profile. And certainly for us, you know, things like Avios and Nectar, the two that are most commonly used in our family. But the one I think I most admire is actually the Co-op in the UK because for me, what is so good about is it, it doesn’t just work on the principle of, you know, buy, get awards, get rewards for myself, it actually gives it to the community as well.

And so half of what you get goes to the community and you can actually dedicate what you have to go to the community. So I think for a growing number of people who are coming very conscious about things in society, um, and causes, it allows us to divert that into helping other people. So for me, that’s a winner every time.

Paula: Yeah. And, and I think I’m right, Chris. Um, again, I’ve never lived in the UK, but my understanding is the Co-op has been around with this proposition for a long time. Like, it’s not like it’s something that they’ve just plucked out, you know, on top of a, you know, post covid site guy store, you know, changing customer trends.

This is a, a core, you know, mission and value of the Co-op supermarket, isn’t it?

Dr. Chris: Um, yeah. I mean the Co-op has always been the most ethical supermarket and of course a big difference between is not owned by large sort of investment companies or shareholders. It’s owned by its own members being obviously a cooperative and it’s still very loyal to that and therefore it’s a very community based supermarket, which makes it very unique.

And I think that’s why it’s always managed to take that very strong community cooperation, cooperative mentality first, not one of profiting where you look by contrast to the very big supermarkets and it all comes down to world this make us money. Yeah. You know, and we see that in some recent surveys of ethics around supermarkets.

For example, the Co-op score without doubt, the best on, on a Boston Matrix I was looking at the other day. And surpri, not surprising, the two biggest, uh, Tescos and Saintsbury’s, although they’re getting the messaging right, they are actually underperforming massively on what they could be doing.

Paula: Wow. Wow. And definitely that word community I know is very close to your heart.

Um, indeed. , we talked about a lot, a lot the last time in our, in our conversation. So I suppose, let’s start there, Chris. You know, what do you think, um, is happening in terms of the role of community, um, for the audience listening to this show. As you know, we’re, you know, focused on creating that experience where customers genuinely feel loyalty, uh, behave in loyal ways, hopefully change their behavior in a way that is profitable for the business.

So, I’d love you to touch on, you know, what, what direction is the role of community going? I’m guessing we’re say it’s growing hugely, but I don’t wanna put words in your mouth. So tell us what’s happening.

Dr. Chris: Well, I, I think there’s obviously been a lot of, uh, post pandemic, although we haven’t technically got passed it, but post pandemic in terms of, you know, the real crisis period that we saw, certainly throughout the covid lockdowns, massive growth in communities both online and eventually afterwards offline.

And we saw that sense of you all together. Um, we have seen some of that dissipate, but we’ve also seen some of it maintain quite strongly that, you know, community has come very, very big. I think one of the very interesting trends is that, um, originally one of the big management consultants, um, who are trying to muscle in on marketing just released a, a big report about we’ve gone through three areas of marketing and the third areas of one we’re going into, which is about community has said, you know, we started off in a very broadcast mentality.

We talked to everybody, then we’ve gone through this area of focus, you know, deep focus. We can target the individual, um, not as actually according to a lot of stats produce better results, , And now they’re saying, which is ironic. Yeah. I think some direct marketing, despite technology and everything else, is less effective than it was 30 years ago.

Mm-hmm. , Um, and I was doing a lecture the other day at Bournemouth University to students pointing out that the response rates on marketing is actually getting less and less and less, um, compared to what there used to be. Yeah. But what we’re seeing is, is, so era one was very much broadcast, era two was we can target people and we had an obsession with that, with data and technology.

Yeah. And it’s almost like we did it because we could do it. What they are saying, having looked at it from a very observational overview, and I think management consultants are better at that than we are because we’re within the, you can say we can’t see the wood for the trees. Yeah. Is that they’re saying, No, we are now going to the next stage, which is community. Okay, we are talking, we need to talk to communities, um, online and offline. And that is quite powerful because I picked up on it and thought, these guys are dead right? And this is what we’ve been saying for years. Mm. But they really have put some thinking behind it. So I think talking to communities is the big challenge.

How you talk to it is the even bigger challenge. And how do you get the communities to then talk about you within them becomes a third big challenge. Yeah. Um, and I think the interesting thing about communities, if you look at human loyalty, I was talking to someone about this the other day, what are we loyal to? You know, outside of marketing, we’re very loyal to people. We’re very loyal to causes, we’re loyal. To our beliefs. Almost all those things become emotional. They’re very emotionally attached. When we say we are law to a brand, it tends to be very emotionally attached. Mm. Yet most larger schemes work on a rationality approach.

It works on the idea. I buy something, I get, um, awarded points, and then I get a reward for, for using those points. And some of those are very good, next fantastic at making that a very seamless transaction. Mm. Uh, my least favorite one, which is one of the petrol companies, makes it very painful. . Um, so, and the app never works.

Yeah. And we’ve seen that move from cars to apps. So that is a very rational thing. And if there’s any emotion, it’s probably, there’s not even enough to make it, breath you know, you, you just think, Oh, I’ve got a few points, I’ll cash it in. Yeah. But I think one thing I see missing in a lot of these is the emotional engagement.

The bit that really ties it in and the bit that links it through a community. I haven’t yet come across a loyalty scheme where I feel I’m part of a community. Yeah. Of that loyalty key. And I would like to see that. I’d like to see someone make that I’m really part of that community first. I’m emotionally engaged, so I think we need to move from a, stop selling at people. Stop being rational. Yeah. To engaging communities, being more emotional and actually making people far be feel part of that, you know?

Paula: Yeah, yeah. And, and you’re absolutely right, Chris. Um, and, and on this show, I guess we, we would definitely, I suppose strategically, um, you know, regularly acknowledge the move from transitional loyalty or transactional loyalty to emotional.

Yeah. So I think as, as a strategy, um, the community of loyalty professionals, if I use the word of everyone listening to the show, I think everybody’s very clear that that is the, the way it needs to go. While I think we’re struggling, Chris and I do have one example and I’d love to hear any you have. I think the question for most of us is how? How do you connect emotionally with people who are super busy? You know, resent probably a lot of the, you know, personalization that you alluded to earlier online. Um, definitely in much more cynical, rethinking all of our values, as you said, post crisis pandemic period. So the only example, and I will kind of make sure that we link to it in the, in the show notes. So one brand that spoke about this, um, in a very passionate way, and we must get them back as well, was IKEA.

And I think what, you know, a beautiful brand like IKEA has managed to do is realize that as much as they’ve got the beautiful showrooms and we all love to go and see how they would suggest we design our homes, there’s also, you know, a huge population of people who love to advise each other. So they did embrace this concept where, you know, they don’t need to be the people saying this is how you use the, the furniture.

So I think it’s mainly done within maybe a Facebook context. I can’t remember the execution, but to me that was a brilliant insight because if I am kind of gonna go, Oh my God, I wanna figure out my kitchen, I’d love to talk to other people about how they did theirs. So that’s my favorite example. Do you, do you have any favorite examples?

Dr. Chris: Um, I think, I think it’s a good example in the sense I, where I come back to certainly with community, is that if you think what the word community means, it’s unity through commonality. And that commonality tends to be very strongly when there’s an emotional commonality. So it’s a cause and interest, a passion, a belief, advertise someone like I care.

Analyze that and say, Well, what you’ve got is a group of people who are very passionate about interiors, they’re passionate about, Yeah. How they express themselves through their homes and are very willing to share that. And therefore you can create quite a, a good community around that. And then obviously try and link that to your loyalty scheme.

Yeah. Um, I think where I’m seeing a, a great opportunity is for brands to try and enter this space and find commonalities of, of interest that they can tap into. There’s two ways of looking at it. Some brands say, Oh, we’ll create a community. The worst way to do is coming in from a social media point of view, because most people will say, Most groups of people on social media aren’t necessary communities.

They’re collectives. Okay. And I was reading a very good report saying, Don’t collect people, connect with them instead. Nice. And it, and it was a criticism about, um, supermarkets thinking that social media was the same as engaging with rural communities. And they’re not. This was from Cambridge Department of Sustainability.

Yeah. So it’s a very incredible source and I think that’s a very good philosophy that you can build, I mean, a hundred thousand people on Facebook is not a community. It’s a collection of people. Yeah. Yeah. It only becomes a community when that community starts to interact. So with the IKEA case mm-hmm.

you have people interacting with each other, advising people, and therefore you’ve got effect what is building a community. Mm-hmm. , I think the challenge right here is how could you make the majority of the users actually fill part, of that community. Cuz if you look at the iCare card, it’s large in the case, it’s happening with quite a few brands down like Tesco’s. Mm. This is, if you’re a member of the of the scheme, you get this price. If you’re not, you get that price. So it’s a two tier pricing. Same as trade tends to have, you know, you can buy paint, you get different price from the consumer. Yeah. And so a lot of them are going on this principle of being very discount led.

Yeah. Um, and the two tier pricing system and iCare is very much so. It’s a two tier pricing system. You get the iCare family price and you get the non iCare family price. But to connect the two is a challenge. I think. Therefore, linking into the, I think what you’ve gotta do is you have to start with the people first, not with a brainstorm on a Thursday afternoon.

Cause I have to say , I mean there’s nothing shallow than, than the Thursday afternoon brainstorm using the PR department going, Mm, let’s do this and we’ll go out and we’ll have this wonderful idea. And it hasn’t been thought through. It hasn’t been checked. Yeah. You have to go into the community. So yeah, last week we were working with a br, a retail brand, and they’re launching their new store.

They wanna engage the community and they know that by engaging the community, they will develop more loyalty, more emotional contact between them and the consumers in this area where they’ve got five competitors. Ok. So we went into that community, we talked to people, we met people, we’ve been engaging with people, and there’s not a shortcut for that.

You know, you just gotta really get down there and roll your sleeves up and sometimes jump on the train. Totally. Especially if it’s geographically based. Um, if there’s other areas, you’ve gotta get into it. So I think the key thing is start with people. Don’t start with an a kind of, you know, distant viewpoint from the top of the tower.

Yeah. It’s only when you get close to people and. One of the criticisms that have been leveled a lot of brands at the moment is that they’ve been so obsessed with data and other things that they’re losing touch with a consumer. Yeah. You, they almost forgotten what a consumer is. This is very true in the world of, of, uh, sustainability and purpose, which I work a lot in.

Yeah. Um, that they are forgetting that there’s a consumer out there.

Paula: Yeah. And interesting, I was chatting with a guest last week, Chris, and she said exactly this, that, you know, every manager, senior manager, you know, even the board should be picking up the phone and speaking to five customers every week.

Yeah. You know, like that level of, um, you know, staying grounded I think is, as you said, totally undervalued. You know, we know the, the scalable approach in terms of doing surveys and there’s always a way to do it more efficiently, but I think you miss the nuance, which is what I’m, I’m hearing you are saying is that when you genuinely care, people, first of all feel that I think that’s actually something that we miss is that they notice and then once they notice you get something that you can almost even, I suppose, evolve the thinking to make sure that the, the nuance is clearly articulated, I guess, and translated into something that will work at the grassroots level.

Dr. Chris: And, and you use the language, I mean, the area that a lot of brands obviously focused on at the moment is purpose sustainability. Um, personally I’ve suggested we should get rid of that word sustainability and just sort of, you know, socially conscious brands is a much better term to say, or socially conscious, which is what people use.

Um, it’s only, it’s, it’s a CSR language. Sustainability and in recent survey revealed that the vast majority, like massive, like 82% of people don’t understand what it really means. Um, and although they thought it has associations and where they surveyed a load of CEOs, most of ’em thought it just meant environmentalism.

But if you look at the STGs, sustainable development goals, they are about everything. In fact, environment is only about quarter of it. You know, the rest is about humanity. Yeah. Yeah. Where brands, can connect as well in the growing awareness of consumers who are becoming more conscientious. And this is across all the board, There’s a bit of a myth that Gen Z’s are the most conscientious.

That is not true. They may be slightly more aware, but when it comes to practice, it’s actually the over forty fives, which are hugely more practicing it and have huge loyalty to brands that actually are practicing what they preach. Yeah. The Gen Z generation from local research that’s just coming out has shown that they, they are mu, they’re very aware.

They talk about it locked, but actually the talk doesn’t always translate into the walk party because of financial, Yeah. They’re very trend orientated to that age. So therefore, if the trend is to buy something very e eco, ethical, then yes, I’ll do it. Mm-hmm. But if the trend is to wear a certain outfit, they won’t care about where it comes from.

It’s just, that’s the cool thing to wear. the other thing as well, it’s just very key, is that, With, with their loyalty. They’re not very loyal. Gen Z’s are not a very loyal group of people. Yeah. They will jump ship very, very quickly. And that’s part of the way that people develop. When you get mature, you tend to become more loyal to things cause you’ve tried and tested things.

Yeah. And you’ll find that among car buyers, you know, you get to the 4 45 plus and they’re more like to buy the same brand of car, whereas at, at very young age, or buy whatever you can get your hands on. Mm. And move through different cars. And I think you do find you’re older, you become more loyal. So we’re seeing a massive amount of loyalty being created by sustainability issues and about how. Uh, these values are being projected, but there’s a really big problem that’s happening here is that a lot of the agenda around, uh, ethics is being driven not by marketing, who tend to be more interfacing with the customer, but by CSR and corporate comms who’s interfacing with the shareholder. Yeah. So what you see is what works for the shareholder doesn’t always work for the consumer.

Wow. And a good example is net zero. Lot research is showing that net zero does not resonate with consumers for three reasons. One, they think it’s jargon. Mm-hmm. two, they think it’s greenwash. Yeah. And third, they don’t even understand it in many cases, . And third is most of the targets, like one supermarket was we we’re gonna be net zero by 2014.

You go, Well that’s 18 years. And there’s one person in research said we’d all be extinct by then. Yeah. So, you know, and uh, BXG who are company who evaluate businesses, they worked out the, one of the supermarkets was losing potentially 5 billion pounds a year because they got their ethical messaging wrong to the consumer. That’s a big cost.

Paula: Wow. Wow. And it comes back to, for me anyway, Chris, I’d be interested in your opinion, but to me it comes back to the principle of integrity. Indeed. Integrity is the reason I got into loyalty. Like, I was thrilled to find a brand at the time it was O2 in Ireland. And you know, I think that’s still, you know, working extremely well with the priority program in the UK.

But certainly, you know, what I loved was that here was a brand who genuinely wanted to give back to the customer. Yes, they had a churn issue. Yes, they had shareholders and there was commercial pressure. But you know, certainly the marketing people, we did everything we could to make sure that people felt that we appreciated them.

And I think that’s an important distinction you’ve just made that if you’re focused purely on the shareholders, it’s just a box ticking exercise.

Dr. Chris: Oh yeah. I mean a term, um, token, uh, tick boxing is something that’s going around, you know, and it’s like, uh, a lot of these eco, um, certificates of what we call badges on the wall and token tick boxing is becoming very common.

Yeah, I think you’re right. There’s a big difference in companies who say it, and there’s companies that believe it. And there are certainly companies, even some of the more established ones where there are groups of people within. And oh, two’s a very good example actually of where people are very passionate and they’re allowed to have their voice and they’re being allowed to rise to the so top and actually dictate and, uh, influence the agenda.

But there’s a lot of companies where you’ve got group of very passionate people within them, um, across all the ages by the way, um, that actually are not being listened to or being pushed down and sub and not allowed to have a voice. And those are the companies which are most likely to be threatening themselves for the future.

Cuz I think there’s no doubt about it that as Gen Z is certainly aware as they get older, they are gonna become very, very keen on becoming the next, you know, hardcore ethical consumer, uh, group.

Paula: Yeah. And I guess the reason that many companies, you know, haven’t maybe allowed that voice to arise is maybe it’s just not, you know, sufficient awareness around the commercial costing.

I mean, you just quoted a huge number there, Chris. Mm-hmm. in terms of, you know, getting the, the messaging wrong. Um, you know, specifically around, I think you said environmental or certainly ESG. Esg, yeah. So around the whole area. So I almost feel like, you know, those, uh, marketeers who are clear on the commercial priority perhaps, don’t have the evidence, don’t have the language, don’t have the seniority to really convince the C-suite and the leadership team that this is the reality and that their future is reliant on it.

Like it’s a bit dooms day-ish. You know, it’s, it’s quite dramatic and, and clearly you and I agree on this, but, I do think, you know, a lot of CFOs are sitting there going, Oh, you know what, we’ll worry about it once we’ve, you know, got through the GDPR crisis or the covid crisis, or do you know what I mean?

It’s not that they’re bad people, it’s just that they’ve got so much else to worry about that this becomes a lower priority.

Dr. Chris: It’s true. I mean, someone said 10 years ago, the other CEO might have spent half a day worrying about ESG’s as we call ’em now. Uh, Environmental, Social, and Governance. Yeah. Nowadays it can be three days a week.

Um, and because some of this is the legislation, some of this is regulations, some of this is requirements. For example, if you wanna be. We tell your product through certain dis distribution networks like supermarkets and online. Mm-hmm. , they require you to meet certain certifications even if they’re not legal.

So they’re constantly having to make sure they get things right. And there’s a lot of focus at the moment on supply chain, for example, and retailers going, well we wanna know short, make sure you are not getting involved in slavery and exploitation and pollution, all the rest. So they are more focused on it.

The interest thing is, where is e partly environmentally is fairly well sorted in the sense there’s a lot of legislation, a lot of regulations that they can abide by, they know what they’re doing and most CSL’s are quite clued up on it, the S is the mystery area for them. They don’t really know. We’ve talked quite a lot of brands, um, Uh, about a hundred last year we surveyed looking at CSR and marketing.

Mm. And most of ’em really don’t really know how to put the finger on it, on the S bit and the societal bit, you know, what is we should be doing in society. You know, should we just be given to food banks? Should we be given to charity? Should we be creating our own projects? Mm-hmm. . So that is an error. That is quite a loss for them at the moment. They’re scratching the heads, trying to work out not only what they should be doing, how do they measure it? There’s no real measure for return on purpose at the moment. You know, very little out there to judge to truly know if it’s successful or not.

Paula: But surely that’s the opportunity, particularly for a loyalty program, which, you know, requires people to identify themselves, behave in certain ways, they get re rewarded.

So, so I think what I’m hearing, and correct me if I’m wrong, but what I often feel like is the ESG, uh, mandate might sit in a different area of the business to the loyalty team. Yeah. So there’s the problem of the siloed structure, whereas what I’m thinking, you know, if I’m, you know, sitting at, you know, now as a loyalty director, you know, it’s probably the opportunity to, to to, to work across the business more broadly.

You know, say, Look, you’ve got this mandate. I’ve got this audience. You know, let’s put our heads together and combine our skills to make sure that you can deliver on that business mandate. But using the tools that the loyalty industry has been evolving for the last 40 years.

Dr. Chris: Oh, absolutely. I think, I mean, If you were to start looking at your customer base, you can very quickly start to profile them and find out what their interests are.

If you’re, we always say, you know, that there’s a balance between people and planet to simplify the E’s and S’s . And we, we did a test actually where we, um, we had an event where we put wine on, on two, uh, trays. And one, there was actually same wine and one was all about this wine is doing great to save the planet.

This one’s doing great to save the people. Yeah. And two thirds of the people took the people one. Nice. And despite the fact that we are very conscious of environmentalism, just, you know, we got, we just had a big case here in UK, we’ve got numerous groups running around, protesting about the environment. Um, yeah, making a lot of noise, causing a lot of disruption, upset a lot of people.

And probably from a marketing point of view, not doing it right cuz they’re just not annoying people, not actually getting the message across. Yeah, and no politicians will talk to any of them. Um, we do know that that’s very high on the gender, but we also know that when it comes to societal things which are more emotional and more tangible for the consumer, they are very high up.

So you might have, you know, BP has another oil spill, kills lots of wildlife. Yes. That’s terrible. Or lots of nasty, oil everywhere, but BP has got a sweat shop while you’ll get a kickback. And when you look at company like Boohoo, who are a fashion retailer, very much into the Gen Z group, actually Mm. Um, got caught out the other year during the pandemic with sweat shops.

Not in Bangladesh, but in England. And those sweat shops were not only underpaying people, exploiting people. Wow. And they weren’t even safe in their ear. You know, they weren’t even having masks. The backlash was massive. They lost half their share value overnight. Wow. The influencers jumped ship, their customers jumped ship and they took a while to rebuild themselves back up.

Wow. But they got a massive kicking for it now, I don’t think if they’d been seen. You know, negative on the environmental front, they would’ve seen anything like that. So people is really big. So my advice to all marketing directors, and especially in loyalty is find out what your customers are interested in and find out what they’re loyal to in the, in the aspects of society and environmentalism.

And when you look into that, you need to dig deeper to find out what aspect, Cuz there’s many subdivisions. Yeah. And then, I mean, some companies are starting to look at the STG’s, so they’re 17, then they break down into more. So it ends up about 90. But find out what customers are really interested in.

That’s what you can key into. And that can create a very strong emotional link. Yeah. If they can see you are generally concerned about that. And possibly the reward program can actually be allowed to further help whatever it is your targeting.

Paula: Yeah. And I, and I will make. Sure that we link to the Sustainable Development Goals, Chris, in the show notes as well, because, you know, I’ve had, uh, even some friends again, who are taking action just personally because they want to show up in a different way in the world, and we’re looking for ideas on how to do that.

And to me, the thinking’s been done in terms of what, what the problems are that globally could be and should be prioritized. So again, for, for anybody who wants to, you know, convince maybe senior management on what they’re gonna hang their hat on, I think when you do a line to something that’s had that depth of, of thinking, uh, I think that’s a, a really good approach.


Dr. Chris: I, I think there’s, I mean, more, because up until now ESGs have been quite hard to evaluate, but they are becoming more attempts to evaluate them, I think, companies, especially at CEO level, are realizing that there is a cost of doing it badly. Yeah. We’ve seen a, a bit of a backlash against this fad for purpose.

You know, when writing purpose statements Mm. What has amazed me is how wrong most of them got it. Partly cuz they went to the wrong people. Not surprisingly, their ad agency said, Oh, we can do this. Their PR just says we can do this. And I spoke to several experts in the marketplace like myself, saying, Well actually, why didn’t they come to us?

Because it was easier to do it that way. And they didn’t think of how important it was to get it right. And now there’s a kind of purpose, 2.0 of everybody now redoing their purposes and realizing that they got it wrong. Yeah. Um, talking to Gen Z, they are, very, very untrusting now of brands making ethical claims, purpose claims. Yeah. They just don’t believe them and it takes a lot to convince them. I don’t think they’re unique. Yeah. This research I’ve just seen on Gen Z’s and a lot of Gen Z’s, but I think it’s probably true across all age groups that we’ve become so greenwashed and purpose washed now. Yeah. But we just don’t trust them.

And of course social media is very quick to say, Ah, but you know, this big brand is telling you this, but this is the truth. I think when you look at the SDGs, you can be very good in one or two areas, but inevitably you’re gonna fail somewhere else. So it can be a bit of an unfair thing, but Mm. Uh, and there’s a lot of brands out there, you know, P&G, you know, leave are striving very hard to be more ethical and be seen, so, Yeah.

Um, but there’s always that danger that, you know, you, you, you’re so focused over here, you forget, you know, you, you got slavery going on over here, you know,

Paula: clearly not something that you would imagine anyone would actually not notice or forget. It’s quite bizarre how that unfolded. Yeah.

Dr. Chris: Well that’s because the, the problem we find in companies is the silo mentality.

Yeah. So what you see is you got these, this silo mentality going on and, CSR and corporate comms are not necessarily communicating very well with marketing. Yeah. You know, when we surveyed a hundred companies for an article for campaign, we found out non vasture, they weren’t really talking to each other.

We had a couple good examples like um, Direct Line where Mark Evans, who’s had marketing, was very much working very closely with the head of CSR and therefore there was a very good relationship there, but we got a lot of companies where we’re saying, No, we don’t, we don’t think on the same level. We have different values.

Yeah. You know, and all that kind of stuffs.

Paula: Yeah. Competing priorities. Yeah. Yeah. And again, we’re all busy and we are all trying to do what we’re working on as best we can, but as you said, if you take your eye off the ball, unfortunately you will be called out in this, you know, uh, current climate, I guess. So I guess my next question, um, was around this Gen Z, chris, because as you said, you’ve had lots of wonderful research and I’m dying to hear any other insights that you can share.

So, I do think this idea that yes, probably more vocal, I, I definitely agree that I’ve heard a lot of, um, well intentioned, um, arguments and, and you know, convincing happening. As we’ve said, the behavior doesn’t always follow. And the only research I’ve seen, I think from a loyalty perspective would be the YouGov research, which again, I’ll make sure that we link to in the show notes.

And just generally, it said what you referred to earlier, Chris, which is, you know, older people, more mature, um, having been through a couple of cycles and, you know, I suppose understand how the world works and maybe actually, you know, I have my own theories on this, but tend to be more loyal to brands. And I think that’s perhaps just because, you know, there is a spend that is worth tracking and you know, you’ll get something out of it.

Whether it’s the household budget with the groceries, for example. Whereas Gen Z sometimes just don’t have the spending power. So they’re not the frequent flyers, they’re not going to be likely to get a huge amount, um, of rewards. So as a result, there’s the cynicism, as you said, around e ESG and making sure that that’s really what a brand is standing for.

There’s cynicism around loyalty because they’re just not seeing the point and it just doesn’t seem to be resonating. So what else are you hearing or any tips that you’ve got in terms of driving loyalty with this essential, you know, demographic of up and coming consumers?

Dr. Chris: Well, I, I think the first thing is that the, the, the term Gen Z is an incredibly broad term.

It’s like talk, saying music, you know, is that broad. Yeah. Um, we work with one client and we had a breakdown of 140 different groups within that Gen Z. Oh my God. Right now, of the kind that the media like to talk to, they represent only about, I think it was about 7%. Okay. But every generation, if you go back to, you know, to your grandfather’s days, you know, the teddy boys and the mods and all that, you know, uh, you go back to a little bit later, punks in the street.

Now media would have us believe during the seventies that every person was running around as a punk with a big, weird hairdo. Yeah. And they weren’t, it was a very, very small percentage of people. It was the same during the sixties with the hippies and everything. These are always very small groups of people.

Yeah. The vast majority of people throughout history tend to just be quite ordinary. And there was a gap survey done with, um, Google Street mapping that looked at people and it realized that most people are ordinary now, cuz I’m doing some teaching down at Bournemouth University on the MA course in advertising and I teach creative strategy.

Mm. Um, what is very interesting is you see some of the stuff you get from the colleges and we’ve worked with the N US as well in the past. So we’ve got a lot of insight. The vast majority of people aren’t much different from the last generation, the last generat gen generation. They tend to be quite ordinary.

Also, we’re seeing more people coming from other countries. So it’s interesting to see the global spread. Mm-hmm. , So one group I was teaching the other day, we had probably, nine different countries there. So it was very interesting, but there was some commonality and some difference when I talked to them about ethics and environmentalism.

There was like, Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And if you take, put your hands up, who thinks it’s really important? Yes. They’ll tick the band. They’re very good at filling out surveys and going, You know, we are passionate about this. Yeah. That’s the, that is the, the misdirect that we see. Yeah, . So most surveys go out there and they go, We know what to say.

Yeah. Now what then happens is when you say, Okay, now tell me some evidence you’ve done this. And they go, Ah, um, actually, uh, so do you shop at this brand, which is not very ethical, or do you shop at this brand or we shop at that brand. Why? Where’s cheap? Yeah. You know, uh, why do you go there? Oh. Cause it’s fashionable.

Yeah. Do you ask about is that fashionable, ethical? Well, we don’t care. Yeah. So, although they will tell you they care, and although they will tell you that they’re, this is important, the reality is the conversion into action is much poorer. Yeah. When you get to the era of forty fives, you’ll find the conversion to action is very high.

Yeah. You know, so there’s a, there’s a difference between that gap. Yeah. And that measurable gap is quite important. Um, this is the same with lots of different areas of market. You know, intend to convert it into action, you know? Yeah. Talk a lot about that. You know, Well, why did they intend to buy but they didn’t actually buy?

I think what the gen Z, there’s two things which are quite influential on them. One is fashion, you know, they are fashion led. It’s just part of how our brains are at the age. We are pack animals, we tend to follow the herd. And you see it in college, you look around and everyone’s wearing pretty much the same clothes.

You know, all the chews are dressed differently, but all the kids are doing, you can spot a chew your a mile off cause they’re dressed independently and the kids are all like, oh, they’re all wearing the same outfit, you know? Um, and they’re all pretty much doing the same thing. So there is a lot of that kind of packed behavior.

And there is an opportunity in this because for brands to tap into developing the packed behavior is a very good way of moving people into the right area because you can trade off that. And one, one group that has done that very successfully, so vegan society that’s made veganism very trendy. Yeah, that kind of works.

Previous year they had a lot of people went vegan, january. Mm-hmm. gave up all within 10 days because it’s not very easy being vegan . Um, and then there’s also a lot of health issues about it. And then this year had anybody did it. And when I asked them why not, I said, Well, that was last year’s fashion. Oh wow.

So the danger can be if you do go fashionable, that it goes outta fashion. And then they said, Well, actually we’ve discovered all the bad things about it. So now they’re getting very informed. Now I will say one thing about Gen Z. They are very good at being inform. They are quite good interrogating. So when a brand makes a claim, they’re very good at interrogating it.

They have the access, they have the will and they will dig. And their networks are often very quick for sharing that. So if a company comes up and says, Oh, we’ve just launching this wonderful, super ethical product X. Yeah. Dozens of will go and dig around and sudden going, but yeah. But product X isn’t telling you this.

Yes. So marketers beware as they say the X factor, the truth is out there and it damn well is . So some people in court very quickly, you know, have made a quicker announcement and then quickly had to withdraw that. Yeah. And you take, take someone, like for example, we tested the, uh, supermarket’s claim that, uh, Saints had a poster up that said we’re gonna be net zero by 2040.

Mm-hmm . So he gave it to the students and said, What do you think of this? And they went, This is shocking. So, Okay. Tell us. I said, Well, we’re gonna be extinct by then. He said, Well, this isn’t a commitment, This is an excuse, you know, 18 years. There are brands out there already. Net zero. Yeah. And this is only, And why can’t there be net zero within five years?

I mean, they, they all understood. It’s not an easy process for some, but they were saying, Why can’t this not be now? You know, where’s the effort? Why They’re not saying, Okay, we’re gonna do this and then this, and then this. We can do stages. Yeah. Said that is what politicians say when they don’t want to do anything.

Yeah. And they also, I mean, the ad itself got ripped apart by, The ad people. Cause they said it was a terrible ad anyway. Yeah. But irrespective that they really did not believe that was a claim that was credible. But the really bad news for Saintsbury’s was that ad made them think less of Saintsbury. It actually turned up against Saintbury’s.

Wow. They said, this is a company that is not committed. However, you go and read the CSR side of Saintsbury’s, they generally believe this is the way forward. Yeah. So there’s a massive disconnect and I talk a lot to brands about values disconnect and values disconnect is what happens when you are talking about one thing and the consumers in another area and they’re just not connecting.

What marketing’s frustration is that it sees a lot of CSR and corporate comms driven strategy and bear mind. These guys often sit higher up on the packing order in the company. Yeah. Often sitting on the board when marketing doesn’t. Yeah. They are driving this agenda that then is handed to marketing, who says, Marketing, go and sell this.

You know, we’re all about net zero and marketing’s going, uh, it doesn’t align. Marketing starts from the consumer and says, What are the values consumer holds? How can we align with those? Yeah, so you’ve got this massive crash in the middle where CSR and corporate comms, gender tends to create a massive values disconnect.

Mm-hmm. and where marketing is looking to have values engagement. Yeah. And therefore what you’re happening is not only you’re getting disconnect, but you’re getting distrust and you’re also getting a fact that you are losing the emotional connectivity between your brand so you can actually be trashing your brand in the process.

Yeah. So in some cases, going down the purpose and the ESG route has done more damage to brands. Yeah. And let’s be honest, part of our loyalty is an emotional trust issue. You know, do we trust somebody? I’m very loyal to my brand of guitars. You’ll see some in the back here. Yes. I’m very loyal to maybe my brand of car.

Mm-hmm. . And we see a lot of people are very loyal to brands and that is built out to trust and some of ’em are killing it. Absolutely killing it. So on the other level of loyalty, they’re destroying the emotional brand loyalty.

Paula: I think what I’m hearing is the importance of testing the messaging, um, because there’s no easy answers. Uh, for sure. Um, you know, you know, I think some brands have gone about it, you know, in a, you know, more understated way to, you know, show progress. Um, that could also trigger frustration, I guess. So yeah, I think brand by brand it’s important. As you said, go out and check the values, see which of these big topics you’re gonna hang your hat on, and you know exactly what kind of messaging and where the role of loyalty again comes into that so that, um, there’s a more, more coherent strategy, um, across what’s happening because yeah, pretty scary. You can do more harm than good sometimes.

Dr. Chris: I think it also opens up a new area, free thinking. We talked about, you know, the idea of non-transactional loyalty. Mm. Um, but transaction doesn’t have to be about money. It can be about actions. Yeah. So I think you, there’s the opportunity to create loyalty, which is about you taking action.

It delivers a benefit. You get a benefit, someone else gets a benefit. And I think there’s a great opportunity. Yeah. To do that. Um, for example, you know, coffee shops I worked with, um, Starbucks many years ago and we were working with the idea of, you know, encouraging people to go out and do things in the community and get rewarded for that. Lovely.

Yeah. You know, and so the reward was the action, not buying the coffee. Yeah. You know? Yeah. And I think it’s far better to go down that route. And there as a, there’s an organization called Investors In Community, um, started a couple years ago and they’ve been very much about this idea of trying to get people to invest in doing stuff in the community and therefore getting a kind of payback through points that then improves their CV and their job opportunity. But for companies, it improves the image. Cause the company can clock up lots of points. Yeah. Through their staff doing actions. Yeah. So, That also makes the staff more loyal to their, to their own organizations. It makes customers more loyal to people they’re helping.

Yeah. Um, and I think there’s a great opportunity to be looking at it, sort of with fresh eyes. Uh, yeah. I’ll just be, I just did a presentation last week called Rethink How We Think About Thinking. Yes. Uh, which is part of a new series of training exci, um, workshops. I’m doing actually, one of which is called Think Like a Dyslexic.

Paula: Okay. So that’s our, our next topic. But just to finish on the last one, Chris, I did do an interview, and again, I’ll make sure to link to it in the show notes. Um, in India, uh, Phenomenally impressive guy with a program that that does exactly what you’ve said, where they identify at a local level. And these are generally rural communities where, you know, particularly younger people are identifying things they can do.

They’re being incentivized to do that. It’s at least being measured and tracked. And it might be as simple as an internship or going and, I don’t know, shopping for an elderly neighbor. But the whole point was to build a social profile, which would improve their future employability and credibility. But again, done at a rural level and all based on WhatsApp, like the entire program and, and last time I checked, I think there was over a million people on it, Chris. It was absolutely.

Dr. Chris: That’s amazing. I mean, At the end of the day, if we, we drill down to the granular level, loyalty is about keeping you for loyal to your brand and your customers loyal. Yeah. Because at the end of the day, it makes more sense, you know? And sometimes that gets distracted into seeing it as a process.

Yeah. I think one has to sometimes rethink how you’re looking at it and come back to the basics and go, Actually, we’re in a different world now and we’re definitely gonna go into different world in the future. Yeah. And therefore we may wanna think about it in a completely different way. Look at it from another point of view.

And this is what, you know. Yeah. I’m trying to teach people to do at the moment,

Paula: Amazing. Well, I saw one stat, first of all on your LinkedIn, Chris, which I’m gonna just quote and then you can tell us too, you know how we can think like a dyslexic, because I’m definitely fascinated, and the statistic you shared was that 50% of the people who work at NASA are actually dyslexic.

Indeed. And that I think is just incredible because I know you are dyslexic and you see it as a superpower. Um, and I think there is a positioning piece that, um, certainly you are leading the charge, you’ve convinced me two years ago that it is a superpower. So tell us, you know, the value of thinking like a dyslexic as you do.

Dr. Chris: Well, I, I mean, one of the interesting stats as well is there’s a very, very high number of entrepreneurs or dyslexic, um, and in fact and billionaires, high percentage, uh, billionaires are dyslexic. A lot of the, this problem solving people, the, the innovators, the inventors, artists, uh, general, um, across whole air entrepreneurs business and everything.

Do you find a very, very high level of dyslexia also mixing with ADHD, which I am also as well. Okay. NASA started employing dyslexic because they found they were very good at two things. One, seeing a problem in a different way. Mm-hmm. and second was, And as well as solving that problem was actually that they could connect, uh, the dots in new ways so they could see opportunities that others couldn’t see.

Yeah. So one thing we do now is a fantastic problem solvers. Companies need problem solvers. Yeah. Uh, I think it’s, baes came up with a stat that 82% of problems in a business are never solved. Oh my God. Yeah. Now that may be a small problem that hard even notices, but it, you add all that up that contributes to it in efficient company, you knows, like having, Yeah.

Watch has many cogs, but if every little cog is not quite running properly, the, the clock starts losing time. Mm-hmm. What they tend to do is companies focus on the two big cogs and they’ll look at the 15% and they said about half of those are actually not that well solved anyway, so the problems aren’t necessarily satisfactory.

And that’s a problem solvers is one of our big aspects. Um, connecting the dots, seeing opportunities. Um, we always say we think in 3D where most people think in 2d and certainly your, your average bureaucrat, which we’d call neuro linear, tends to be very two dimensional. Mm-hmm. . Um, whereas we tend to be much more three dimensional and therefore we’re able to, to see things in a kind of strange way of linking things.

And that’s very common among dyslexics, which is why they’re quite good at inventions and uh, quite good in technology areas. They’re quite good at business cuz they just see those opportunities. Um, also we have an ability to look at things in a fresh different way. And I’ve always found that interesting that when everyone’s talking in a very straight way, um, I said, Well, have you looked at it from this angle?

You looked from this angle. And this is the thing I teach called dice theory, which is if you look at a dice, you can see three faces. That’s the maximum you can see it once. Um, but you know, there are six mm-hmm. , so you’re looking for the three you can’t see, and I train a lot of people who don’t think naturally like us to look for those other three.

Mm-hmm. . And that makes enormous difference because if you, your mind stops at three Oh, had three ideas, that’s enough. But you say no on the other three you haven’t seen, but you know, are there Yeah. And we, we’ve, we’ve had three training programs been working with clients and it really came out to the fact that I realized that often clients themselves need some help in the way they, they think because you, you, you come from an industry that’s very creative, we’re asking clients to, to, to take unusual route and new route is scary. Mm. So we started doing training programs and I did load of arches where we train clients to think much broader and more openly and less fearful. And we challenge fear is one of the big things we do. And the difference was, they bought the ideas, you know, without problems. They were able to write better briefs.

Yeah. Rather than settling there and accepting clients in a kind of, what often becomes very neuro linear, cuz most corporates are very neuro linear, on their approach and it’s very process driven. Very, you know, you have to seek this box. We got ’em to think outside the box and, oh do I hate that cliche , but it, so we, we, we created one called Dimensional Thinking, which helps ’em think from 2D to 3d.

We developed a thing called Bird Cage, which is the idea that, you know, there’s no point teaching a bird to fly. All you need to do is take away the cage. Yeah. And most of us, we take away the barriers fly and then there’s Flip, which is part of a book I’ve yet to publish, but it’s almost finished now.

Okay. What’s gonna be published in the pandemic, but due to pandemic didn’t. And that is again, getting people to look at things from fresh ways and looking at things, you know, back to front, inside out, new ways of looking at things. We brought that together and we normaly thought, let’s call it thing like a dyslexic, because I’m very big into the neuro diverse area at the moment, and there’s a lot of interest in neurodiversity. Mm-hmm. . But the good thing is that people are recognizing that within companies, neurodiverse people are often a major talent that can be tapped into. Totally. The problem still is HR, most are stuck in the old world of seeing the disability and the disadvantage.

Totally. Whereas actually senior management are looking for the advantage. They’re looking for the Richard Branson, they’re looking for the Einstein, they’re looking for the James the the Dyson. Yeah. They’re looking for those mindsets. Yeah. And they want to cultivate those. And we said, Well, okay, we can do that.

And there’s a lot of charities doing in groups, doing stuff around awareness. But we said, What if we can tap at that talent? But more importantly, what if we can help the rest of the talent? Yeah. A bit the 80% who are dyslexic, , how can we help them think a bit more like we can. Yeah, because it wouldn’t that help the company better, you know, rather than having this big gap.

And we tested it out and people said, Wow, nobody’s thought of it that way around. We said, Well, of course it wouldn’t ask us we do . So I’ve had a massive really good response. However, I pitched this to company last week and the head of sales said, Great, I wanna put my sales people on this course.

This is fantastic. Really brilliant. Yeah. And he went to HR and HR said, Oh, uh, no, no, we can’t do that because we’re already tied up with this charity that does neurodiversity. And he said, It’s nothing to do with neurodiversity in that sense, this is getting my team to think like super thinkers. Yeah. And she couldn’t see beyond the, she saw the word dyslexic and said, Oh no, we have a contract with this charity that does all our awareness of neurodiversity in helping to create a better environment for new, diverse people.

I said, It’s not the same thing. Yeah. You know, and it, it’s frightening when you get people who like that. So you had to go back. I said, I’ve got this new course I wanna sell it, which is think dimensionally. And I go, Oh yeah, okay, we’ll sign that one off.

So, I dunno.

Paula: I do think it’s important distinction, at least for me, Chris, you know, because the, the, the Richard Bransons of the world, you know, there’s, there’s a very clear role for them and you know, they’re taking responsibility for creating value in their own way.

Yeah. Rather than compromising a corporation, like I’m thinking banks and, you know, you know, the, the, it’s a very different culture so, I guess I was just really impressed by the idea that, you know, an organization like NASA with, you know, the, the essential factors of reliability and consistency to me is counterintuitive to thinking differently.

Like that, I would’ve thought that the structures and systems would serve NASA, whereas what you are saying is actually no, we need the problem solving much more importantly. So I guess that’s why that, that statistic impressed me even more than the entrepreneurial association, because I can be entrepreneurial and, you know, not that many people will be upset if, you know, it all comes crashing down around me because it’s my business, you know, I can do what I want.

Dr. Chris: Yeah. In this case, talk about space flight and exploration. Yeah, the, I mean, they’re not the only organization. GCHQ hires a lot of dyslexic, and ever since Alan Turing of the second World War became the big code breaker. He was dyslexic, probably autistic as well, but they were hiring a lot of people. They found out a lot of people are very good at code breaking cuz we are very good pattern thinkers.

Okay. Um, were actually, uh, dyslexic and so they, they recruit quite a lot of technology companies now and innovation sectors recruit dyslexic, some recruit, um, autistic, but in a very different field. So they both have their skills but very different. Mm-hmm. . Um, what is interesting though is if you look into these companies, a lot of them are doing this around the basis of psychometric profiling.

Now for those who are not familiar with psychometric profiling, this is where people, a lot of big companies do this. They look at the different profiles of people’s mindsets. They look at the team and say what makes the best team? Mm-hmm. Now, uh, for example, I run a number of agencies, um, and when we looked at it, we said, We’ve got a lot of good creative minds here, but who’s gonna make things happen?

Mm-hmm. you, Who’s gonna do all the legal stuff? Who’s gonna do the finances? So I can’t have creative people doing that. Well, not unless I wanna cook the books. So , I then have to employ people who are on the opposite scale of psychometric profiling. So where we are, the big, big picture thinkers, the creatives, the innovators, the problem solvers, connecting the dots.

I actually need people who don’t do that. I need people who are very neurotypical, who like process, who can understand reading through a 20 page form can fill out complicated, you know, stuff. And then I also need people who can then run the company. So I need people who got, you know, a combination of big picture thinking but are, are very driven along the ideas of making tough decisions and getting the business running like the MDs.

So you might have us in one side, we’ll have the neuro, uh, linear, neuro typical, very opposite to the right, where have the people to run the company. Then we need the more empathetic people cuz we need to have a human element. So there tend to be to the left, so you have to blend it. What you find that with companies that are very driven about innovation, exploration, discovery, they need a higher percentage of people who are in that sort of big thinking area, super thinks if you’re a bank, you don’t need that. Cause you don’t want it. You just want lots and lots of process people. So psychometric profiling is something we’ve tapped into recently a lot in actually looking at the skill sets and saying, how can we move more people into this area? Yeah. That will help solve problems.

How can we give everybody the chance to be a problem solver? And if even the person accounts can become a little bit more, you know, switch over to more maybe neurodiverse thinking, they see a problem, they solve that problem, all those problems get solved, that companies can be hugely more efficient and probably more innovative.

And today companies have to be more agile, more competitive. They have to, they cannot, be laggards. You know, there are three kinds of companies, the laggards, which will fail. We’ve seen a lot of those go down, those who are agile and actually adapt agile adapters. And then those which are basically mold breakers. Who are the new companies? The startups who come along and disrupt and steal. Yeah. Yeah. Disrupters, say steal a percentage of the market, you know, like they go the, the market prime for that moment is toothpaste, , We have three laggard brands in the toothpaste defending the toothpaste market. Yeah. Someone’s gonna come in the next five years and absolutely steal 15 to 25% of that market.

Paula: I’m sure. I’m sure. And just as you were saying that, particularly I suppose with the bank example, I was trying to, um, you know, figure out, you know, what about the loyalty professionals in the bank? How neurodiverse, how dyslexic should they be thinking? Like genuinely, because that’s the challenge you know.

Dr. Chris: Well, I think, I mean we’ve seen in the banking sector there’s two sides isn’t there? Theres a traditional or old school banks and then there’s the new startup banks, the neuro banks. Yeah. And they are certainly taking massively, the younger generation, I mean, Gen Z are coming in, they have no loyalty to what their parents are loyal to. Yeah. You know, this, this idea of trans of transferrable loyalty isn’t happening anymore.

You know, more or not, we’d buy what our parents bought, we’d vote for, our parents vote for. Yeah, that was probably true 20 years ago. It isn’t true now. It’s almost the opposite. Yeah. So we’re seeing among Gen Z’s, definitely a kind of, I’m gonna go in a different direction. Mm-hmm. . And we see most chances, when I asked about banking, most of ’em were working with, you know, things, you know, the new near banks, hardly any of them had a, had a old school bank account.

And they, and they, those organizations, the old ones are so stuck in their ways. They have no ability to even start to rethink how they think about thinking. , you know?

Paula: Totally. How you’re gonna fix that one .

Dr. Chris: Yeah. Yeah. I’ll probably just not work with banks .

Paula: Totally, totally. So, um, I’ll ask you in a second now, in terms of how people can access all of this type of, um, all of these ideas that you’ve got and education about how to think differently.

Uh, cuz I do think it’s important that we rethink how we think. But my final piece, just because we’ve been focusing on Gen Z, I just wanna mention I love Seth Godin I’m sure, um, you’ve, uh, followed a lot of his work as well along the way. My favorite marketer. But he made a point in his blog recently, that the next generation, like what, you know, should they be called Gen A?

Just because we’re back to the start of the alphabet. And actually he said, no, it should be Gen C, C for climate, C for covid, C for community. So I thought you might like that because I do think we’re going from Gen Z to Gen C. Um, so yeah, I just thought that was super clever.

Dr. Chris: I think actually Gen C for clever as well, I think, you know. Yeah, it does strike me that because they are very well informed. They’re actually, yeah. Probably clever in many ways. Um, they’re certainly very well educated. Totally. Um, not everybody, but I, I think there’s a lot of, you know, the people I deal with in, in university are very smart. Yeah. I think what is very interesting is we are seeing that, for example, kids coming from other countries probably got better education systems than we do in the UK.

Wow. Um, I’ve got some Indian, uh, people and they are amazingly educated. You know, I’ve had one Iranian girl and, uh, Iran’s got one of the best education systems in the world. Wow. Um, and so, you know, education around the world is really, really going up. I think UK’s lagging behind and we are very much lagging behind in creativity.

Yeah. We’ve actually got rid of a lot of our creativity in schools and it’s now being outsourced, but I think we are seeing a clever generation. They’re smarter, they’re wiser, they’re more informed. Um, and they have that access of knowledge. Yeah. Which their parents, and their parents did not have. So, you know, I think probably add a seat to Clever would be

Paula: Fantastic. Fantastic, well, listen, that’s my final question, I guess. Um, was there any other point that you thought would be important to talk about today, Chris? Because might be another two years before I catch up with you. So tell,

Dr. Chris: Well, it’s for an observation actually. I’ve got a, I’ve got two older kids, but I’ve got a six year old and I’ve been looking very much at how six year olds get, become very loyal to gaming and uh, and apps and things like that. And there’s a lot of educational apps our kids are all doing. And yeah, it’s very interesting watching the, the simplicity, almost stripping it back to the rewards. You know, that even on something my son doesn’t think a word is, and he learned to read about just under a year ago. So he’s, he’s got a very wide vocabulary and it’s, you get like a, uh, crossword and you get seven letters and you have to write, how many words can you write for seven letters? And often it’s up to 20. Wow. And he’s very good at it, but for me it’s just, I’ll do the game and keep playing it. But for him, he loves the fact that every time he completes, he gets points. Ooh.

And, and every now and again he can catch those points in for hints to how, you know, for cheats to how you know, Will I give you a letter here? Give you a letter today? I like that. Yes. And it’s very interesting cuz here we got a six year old, you’re seeing how loyalty works at a very simplistic reward level, you know, or, you know, play, Get a, an award. Get that reward. You know, it’s, it’s a simple cycle and it is very interesting to see that and how they’re building that into education now. Mm-hmm. , a friend of mine’s daughter’s just gone to secondary school. Mm-hmm. , and they just adopted an American system, which is all based on loyalty’s technology and thinking on how to get the kids working hard and staying on the subjects.

You knows it’s all that kind of do, award, reward. Yeah. You know, and so they actually, it’s very interesting that we’re seeing the philosophy of loyalty Yeah. Being used in some very positive ways, you know?

Paula: Yeah. And again, I’ll just refer back to a previous episode because we had one of the world’s leading, um, thinkers on gamification on the show recently, Yu kai Chou.

And what he told us is he’s been consulted by the government of ukraine because they are literally considering that they have a blank sheet of paper that if they can reinvent their education system using the principles of gamification. Yeah. And that blew me away that first of all, in the depths of the war, they’re already thinking to the next phase.

So you’re absolutely right. The mechanics and the work that we do as loyalty professionals, they’re super powerful. So very inspiring to be thinking about all of the ways that we can use them going forward.

Dr. Chris: Absolutely. And the new Ukraine’s very interesting cuz they, they’re completely rethinking everything.

They’re the only country that’s gone, uh, crowdfunding, . Incredible. Absolutely. Yeah, I think very, it’s great cuz in a situation it’s made them rethink everything. Yeah. And they just, you know, then if you look at the battle, you know, you got Russia and it’s very newly approach, process driven and do Ukraine gain got an open campus, we can think in any which way. And it’s great to see the fact that they’re looking at things like that. You know, how can you use gamification and loyalty thinking, yeah, in education. Brilliant.

Paula: Fantastic. So listen, um, will you tell us where people can get in contact with you, Chris, because I do think we’re gonna be provoking a lot of interest.

Um, our audience is growing all of the time, so I’m sure there’s plenty of people will want your perspectives as I do regularly on, on what’s happening. So where’s the best place for people to find you?

Dr. Chris: Um, the best place to find me is probably on LinkedIn under Dr. Chris Arnold. Um, cause I’m a doctor of business so I use it on there to separate myself.

Yeah. Um, we also, some people access me through dyversitylab.com, but that’s spelt with a y dyversitylab.com. Yeah. Um, or Connect 2, which also on or Creative Orchestra. So you have a choice, but probably LinkedIn’s the best one to touch base with me on because Yeah, you’ll have a chance to see my profile and I’m always happy to talk to people about new ways of thinking, how they can apply that to business and marketing.

Paula: Wonderful. Great. And again, we’ll make sure to link to that from the show notes. So after that, super interesting, uh, conversation. Dr. Chris Arnold, Strategist, Creative and Ethical Marketing Specialist from Connect 2 and Dyversity Lab. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Dr. Chris: Thank you, Paula.

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