Loyalty Sets You Apart

“In order to better serve you, our loyal customer, we’re making it even more difficult for you to redeem your hard-earned points for air travel.”  The email didn’t use those words, but that was the bottom line. In the past few months many of my loyalty programs – airlines, hotels, local stores – have changed their rules to make it more difficult or costly to use my accrued points. But the PR spin doesn’t work. I feel alienated and less likely to recommend these companies to a friend. Judging from the negative comments on blogs and Twitter, I’m not the only one.

Brand loyalty programs were designed to help companies convert their loyal customers into raving advocates for products and services. Brand loyalty is built when an organization fulfills its promises, over and over again. If an organization breaks its promise to you once, you’ll probably forgive them. But if engaging with them results in costing you more time, money and emotional energy than expected, you’ll probably go somewhere else.

The same holds true for your leadership.

Loyalty, the giving and showing of constant support and allegiance, is built day by day, promise by promise. Every interaction with a friend or coworker is an opportunity to build your own brand of friendship. Were you on time or late? Were you fully present or distracted by incoming texts? Did you really listen? Did you follow through after the conversation?

Gary Runn, my brother-in-law, has said the maturity is the ability to make and keep commitments to others and to myself. Maturity breeds loyalty. And loyalty as a leader will set you apart.

Deep down, loyalty is about character. When you are loyal you reflect one of God’s most enduring character qualities. The Bible constantly reminds us that God is good and that “his steadfast love endures forever.” Chesed, the Hebrew term for steadfast love, means covenant loyalty. God is committed. His support and allegiance are constant. That sets him apart.

What can you do today to demonstrate loyalty and set yourself apart?

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

4 replies on “Loyalty Sets You Apart”

Yes! That is so true. On the other hand, I just dealt with OtterBox and it was a completely different experience. No questions asked…how can I help you? and sending me a new OtterBox for my iphone. Easy. Very service and customer oriented. Believe the best about the customer. No hassles. I will rave about companies like that.

[…] Loyalty Sets You Apart  This comes from Ken Cochrum and his blog On Leading Well. “In order to better serve you, our loyal customer, we’re making it even more difficult for you to redeem your hard-earned points for air travel.” Truth, or what many people really feel? Just like in customer service, leadership loyalty matters. This is a good read. […]

Thanks for the positive example, Steve. I just had a great customer service experience with JBL on a full warranty replacement of some expensive speakers. That makes me want to rave!

Great insights! The same with making disciples. I’m reminded to demonstrate loyalty by serving and praying for couples in our online ministry. By God’s grace, we will serve one couple at a time. Thanks for this reminder.

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