Start me up! Build customer loyalty like the Rolling Stones

Hold the old-guy jokes. The new movie Shine a Light, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a delight to watch. With perfect Dolby sound, high-quality digital picture, and the Rolling Stones at their finest, you will be smiling and dancing. This simply is the best you will ever see of Mick and the gang, complete with back-up musicians and singers to round out the sound. I'm hoping that they do a follow-up concert tour soon.

I saw them a couple of years ago when they did A Bigger Bang, which sold out in every city it played. The Stones simply have the most customer loyalty of any rock group in history (Grateful Dead excepted, of course. But then that's a lifestyle choice)

So how do the Stones do it? In a business that is known for "one-hit wonders" and "15 minutes of fame," how have they built the Rolling Stones into a brand that has lasted over 40 years? Here are some of the Stones strategies that can provide an idea or two for your business. The Stones:

  • Build a fan club. The best way (and in some cities the only way) to get tickets is to be a member of their fan club. Anyone can join online for $100, and the Stones then have the names, addresses and e-mails of potential buyers. Would a fan club, winners circle, preferred status, work with your customers? People love to feel special. Offer special scheduling to frequent clients, discounts to repeaters and bonuses for continued loyalty.