Read an Excerpt
The Only Shop in the Marketplace
The best thing you can do for your business right now has nothing to
do with new technology, economies of scale, or first-mover advantage.
It’s something simpler.
It’s something more dependable.
The single best thing you can do for your business is to build true
customer loyalty, one customer at a time.
Everything changes when a customer becomes a loyalist. To the
truly loyal customer, you are the only shop in the marketplace. All the
other brands and all the other vendors don’t even come into focus. Like
someone in love, the loyal customer only has eyes for you.
Few businesses realize how valuable customer loyalty is, and even
fewer know how to achieve it consistently. But a company of any size
can build great wealth and stability through customer loyalty. Businesses
with loyal customers grow faster than others when times are good, and
they have the most breathing room when times are bad.
At its root, creating loyal customers is about taking the time to learn
about your customers individually and then using simple systems to turn
that knowledge into enduring business relationships. In doing so, you
turn your offering into much more than a commodity—you turn it into
a personal relationship.
The primary threat to a business today is the perception by customers
that all you offer is a replaceable, interchangeable commodity. This
hazard stalks your every move: No matter how unbreachable your business’s
advantages may appear right now, whether they are advantages of
technology, geography, or branding, eventually your business model is
going to be knocked off. And, in this era of accelerating change, it will
likely happen sooner than you think.
Escape this threat of commoditization by creating enduring, loyal,
human relationships with customers. It’s the surest way to escape market
The payoff is huge.
Learning to create loyal customers has made all the difference for
the companies where Leonardo has been involved, including The Ritz-
Carlton, BVLGARI, The Walt Disney Company, and the new hotel
brands—Capella and Solis—that Leonardo heads up with his partners.
The principles that lead to loyal customers will work for you, too.
They’re simple, they’re solid, and they’re replicable. You needn’t work
in a luxury industry to apply them. Far from it.
As you’ll learn, Micah used the principles of loyalty to transform a
tiny manufacturing and entertainment services company he started in a
single room in his basement, with financing that consisted of only a
credit card, into a renowned and high-growth enterprise. His approach
built his company, Oasis, into one of the top players in its field, as well
as attracting attention in the business literature, including case studies in
such places as Success magazine and Seth Godin’s bestseller Purple Cow.
Oasis catapulted to success because customers respond with loyalty
when you treat them according to the principles and methods we will
Since then, Leonardo and Micah have been able to lend their
loyalty-based methodology to a great diversity of industries: from white
shoe law firms to restaurants to banks to organic flower farms; from
tour operators to independent music labels to convention centers to
hospitals. Loyalty pays off—measurably—for all of them.
The reward for using these principles isn’t only financial. As you
begin building customer loyalty, your pride in your profession, your
integrity, and your ability to build positive relationships (at work, and
even in your own home) will also bloom. This happens naturally, because
the process of earning loyalty involves caring about your customers,
respecting them, and thinking constantly about their needs.
Spending this time being deeply attentive will tone your personality.
Building customer loyalty will require your hard work and
thoughtfulness, but it is a refreshingly straightforward process. While
so many aspects of business are out of your control—exchange rates,
international tension, technological changes—the single most important
process, creating loyal customers, obeys predictable, stable rules that can
be mastered and then applied successfully for a lifetime.
We’re pleased to help show the way.