Too many businesses today misunderstand what customer lock-in actually is.

They think it’s based on scarcity (we’re the only vendor in town!), or fear (if you leave us, you’ll lose all your points!) or flimsy partnerships with unrelated brands (looking at you Verizon Wireless Rewards). If any of these tactics were used to keep a marriage together, it would be considered an abusive relationship.

TRUE lock-in is a feeling of relief and trust for both sides of the transaction.

It’s a customer saying “I trust this brand/product so much that I never have to shop around again.”

It’s a business knowing they can count on their customers through thick and thin.

It’s having so much love for a brand that you tell your friends and family about it unprovoked.

Real lock-in is when your customers are truly sad when you’re no longer around.

Photo by Mario Azzi