Sep 27 2009

Around Town



Reprinted with permission from The Free Press

Around Town by Mary Giuliano September 13, 2009 (Fernie, Canada)

Faith has been a constant in my life yet recently when asked how I start my day as I replied “with prayer” I realized that I had just set myself up for criticism.

Prayerful people should have attributes of a saint but reality tells me I’m far from that designation.

But a routine of scripture readings with petitions for help and guidance is equivalent to a good meditation that is definitely good for spiritual, emotional and physical health.

This introspection resulted from a conversation with a retired attorney who casually told me he’d begun his professional life as a devoted Roman Catholic monk. After six years he left disillusioned holding the belief the Bible wasn’t the word of God and wondering if God even existed.

So what brings an individual from a deep place of Faith to having none? Could it be that Faith really is a choice?

The Catholic missal says “We choose to believe, this involves risk, to believe in nothing is a form of death, to risk nothing is to die as a human being.”

A book titled “Why Loyalty Matters” has caused a lot of thought as well. “Loyalty”, say authors Timothy Keiningham and Lerzan Aksoy, “like any virtue can go too far and become toxic but it’s still an important fundamental value of life.”

Society has become less loyal today but research finds people believe they are loyal but are surrounded by not so loyal friends. The authors say that if we don’t find our friends to be loyal “odds are that we arent either.”

In the workplace long time workers are no longer valued. Companies going through tough times downsize and layoff although it has been proven that in the long run companies downsizing rarely realize the “cost savings or efficiencies despite the corresponding pain to customers and employees.”

Regarding loyalty in politics, government is successful when those entrusted with the honor of representing people work for the betterment of society, “compromise and honest discourse are the nature of political life, politicians shouldn’t practice extreme partisanship. Adding that sometimes loyalty to a group or cause can become evil, “never, ever ignore your moral compass.”

About religion, “emphasis on religious differences has led to some of mankind’s greatest sins such as the desire to root out heretics and to convert or eliminate heathens that ultimately led to an out group brutality. All too often, we have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”

In ending the authors state, “The most valuable thing you can give is not money. It’s you. There’s nothing more powerful than the human will, nothing more precious than the human spirit.

Through loyalty, we literally invest that will and spirit to create something greater than we can achieve alone.

Loyalties are signs of the types of people we choose to be, the foundation of our character; demonstrating what we value, believe and what we want our world to be.”

And so I choose loyalty to faith, family, friends and community.


© Copyright 2009,


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Sep 27 2009

Employee & Fan Loyalty

Not too long ago people would work at a company for 30 years and then retire with a gold watch.   However, in recent times people typically work at a company for just a hand full of years before embarking on other endeavors.   In a sense regular working people have become free agents in the workforce.   People are no longer “IBMers” for life; there is a decline in loyalty over the past 50 years, whether it be in our personal or professional lives. 

Similarly, people used to be loyal Yankee fans or loyal Red Socks fans.   However, die hard fans are now Jeter fans or Beckett fans.   Brett Favre is the perfect example of both points.   He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 and played for one season, his “opportunity” year out of college if you will, similar to accepting your first job offer.   From 1992 to 2007 Favre played for the Green Bay Packers, a long career in the NFL.   Then, staying with the recent times of company hopping, he played in New York for one season and now in Minnesota for his first season.   My heart goes out to his bewildered fans who started out as Green Bay fans and then became Favre fans.   Favre’s trade to New York was fine; one could still be a Favre fan and a Green Bay fan.   But, now can that same fan still be a loyal Favre fan in a purple Minnesota jersey and a loyal Green Bay fan?

Sep 27 2009

Do You Always Buy One Brand Of Gasoline?

Do you always buy one brand of gasoline?   According to a recent study by The NPD Group, a market research firm, which asked consumers just that question, only 28 percent of respondents in the first quarter of 2009 answered yes, as opposed to 34 percent of respondents in the first quarter of 2000.   Further analysis by NPD reveals that the most loyal consumer strata (those over 65) choose one brand of gasoline because of the firm’s credit card loyalty program.  

But this is not necessarily real loyalty.  Customer loyalty requires an emotional bond, connection with the brand in addition to purchase behavior.  The least loyal consumer strata (those 18 to 29) reported that loyalty is driven by convenience store offerings.  

David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD’s automotive unit, said, “It’s going to take best-in-class retailing, including fresh food offerings and a diversity of products and services to attract and retain drivers’ fuel purchases in the future.”   This is an interesting observation in that the over 65 strata is loyal because of discounts and perks provided through the loyalty program, while the 18 to 29 strata is loyal because of convenience store offerings, not price.  

One convenience store chain, QuikTrip, offers 24 different fountain products and encourages consumers to play with their drinks by providing drink recipes, such as: Kiss the Rooster, Blue Thunder, and Shake It Up Baby.   Just as important, QuikTrip’s mission includes a commitment to quality and a commitment to do things right through quality employees, quality store facilities, quality management, quality store precautions, and quality in community support.   Just in case they missed anything, the mission also includes, “Quality in everything we do.   We guarantee it.”   How many stores, let alone convenience store, do you know that are committed to quality store precautions (such as brightly lit lots and stores), provide endless drink options, and even have a mascot named “Wally,” who is labeled as “a certain kind of kid we all know”?   While Quiktrip has yet to expand to the East Coast, whenever this author is in the Southwest, you know where this author is going.


Sep 27 2009

Why Loyalty Matters Presentation at Fordham University

Fordham University, Schools of Business Session: Why Loyalty Matters

Want be a more successful leader, manager, employee, spouse, friend, citizen?

If you were to ask anyone what factor contributes most to being successful, you can be virtually certain that not one of them would mention loyalty. And that’s a problem.

Grounded in the most comprehensive study of loyalty ever conducted, Why Loyalty Matters proves that when it comes to business success, relationship success, and even our overall happiness, loyalty is the difference maker.

In their Why Loyalty Matters talk, renowned loyalty experts Timothy Keiningham and Lerzan Aksoy draw from the most comprehensive study of loyalty ever conducted, the landmark Ipsos Loyalty Study, to show why loyalty is critical to our success in all aspects of our professional and personal lives.

Participants learn:

How to leverage 10 relationship building blocks to shape your interactions at home and work
How managers can gauge and strengthen employees’ loyalty—and why they should
How to boost your company’s profits by finding and developing loyal customers
How to build a support structure of loyal friends and colleagues around you to ensure success
Making the connection between employee, customer, stakeholder, and my own loyalty

Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Venue: Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus
Lowenstein Building, 12th Floor
113 W 60th Street
New York, NY 10023

Speakers: Timothy L. Keiningham
Global Chief Strategy Officer
Ipsos Loyalty

Lerzan Aksoy
Associate Professor of Marketing
Fordham University

Luke Williams
Senior Project Manager
Ipsos Loyalty

Sep 1 2009

Do You Know What Your “Relationship DNA” is?

Every one us has an inherent style of how we build relationships with others.  Recognizing it can help us capitalize on our strengths and use it to our advantage… It can also help us understand the areas where we can focus on.

Click here for free resources on how to discover your RELATIONSHIP DNA and make the most of it!

Sep 1 2009

Midnight Chat With Joey Reynolds of WOR News Talk Radio

Joey Reynolds calls his show the “Seinfeld of Radio.”  He is a genuinely nice person and superbly interesting to talk to… Listen to our midnight chat with him and Myra Chanin about Turkey, Why Loyalty Matters and building relationships with people in our life!