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The Long and Winding Road'?¦ That Leads to Brand Loyalty

Today might be the worst day for an artist to release an album, unless you are The Beatles. 40 years after the group split and 10 years after the launch of iTunes, The Beatles are now available for digital download. Apple teased the launch on 11/15 with their announcement that 'Tomorrow is just another day. That you'll never forget.' Speculation around the announcement ranged from chatter about a cloud-based subscription service to Ellen DeGeneres' latest tweet: 'Apple says iTunes is making a big announcement tomorrow. If it's a baby, I hope they name it Ellen.'? While I'm excited to purchase a new digital version of Yellow Submarine, my favorite Beatles songs are already on my iPod. Or in the words of @adamisacson 'Today, Apple is announcing to the world that millions of baby boomers still don't know how to rip mp3 files from their record collections.'? I was looking forward to the 11/16 release of my favorite American Idol, Lee Dewyze's new album ' but 12 hours after it should have been available on iTunes, it is still not there. Lee has been patiently thanking fans today via Twitter for their support while iTunes figures out why his album isn't available yet'?¦ In a recent tweet he is reminding fans that his album is available right now on other online sites. And yet here I am still waiting for iTunes to figure out their Beatlemania before I jump ship and purchase elsewhere. I'm mostly waiting for the ease of iTunes & iPod syncing, but apparently I'm more loyal to Apple than I ever realized. I don't own an Apple computer, or even an iPhone although I do have more than one iPod, love a good Justin Long commercial and I'll be the first in line for a Verizon iPhone if it ever happens. As a marketer I know brand loyalty is important, but today I have seen firsthand how impactful it can be. If I remember today for anything, it might be for realizing the true effect of brand loyalty. Oh and for Lee's new album, which as of 12:05 PM is now available on iTunes. Congratulations @LeeDewyze! PS. Does this mean Garth Brooks is coming to iTunes next? That will be the day that my iPod will never forget.

Welcome to more choice, more control, more speed.

Author's Note: Comcast is an AMP client, but we are not involved in their direct mail marketing and I am not involved in the account. Just wanted to share a positive consumer experience, which happens to be from one of our clients. It is safe to say that most apartment building mailrooms have a collection of junk mail/direct mail pieces filling up the recycling bin. There are days that I don't even read the title of the latest mailer ' if there are 3 other copies of it in the recycling bin, I promptly add mine to the collection. If 3 other people thought it was junk, that's all I need to know. I recently received a piece of direct mail with a cool red graphic on the front ' and when I glanced in the recycle bin, no one else had tossed theirs, so I kept it. The front read 'xfinity. Welcome to more choice, more control, more speed. And more HD than ever before.' After reading the xfinity mailer, I was pleasantly surprised that they weren't trying to sell me more choice/control/speed or HD. Apparently while I had been traveling, xfinity had snuck into my cable box and left me with a complimentary system upgrade. I was skeptical (how much would this free upgrade increase my next bill?) but this 'junk mail'? actually made it out of the mailroom and up to my apartment. Later that day, I was setting my DVR for the next Yankees game, and before I could select it to record both the game and the post-game show (this is how I've been recording the 'end' of the game, since the Yanks usually go beyond their scheduled time'?¦), xfinity prompted me with something like: 'This program might run over, do you want to extend this recording and for how long?' Amazing! Yes I do want to extend it, and hey xfinity, you just saved me from doing it the long way, I appreciate that. Other new xfinity features included searching for programs with an on-screen keyboard to enter the program name, and significantly quicker searching (remember how you would try to advance a few hours forward in the guide menu and you would end up on next Thursday? Totally fixed.) All of this positive xfinity energy had me updating my facebook status that night, following @comcastcares on twitter and sending a few texts to spread the news. I might be a more avid DVR user than most, but I appreciate the $0.03 that xfinity probably spent on my non-junk mail, because I am hooked on the new experience. While these are not ground-breaking DVR features, (obvious even) they have successfully changed my DVR experience. If xfinity had under-delivered on this promise of more control/more speed/more choice, as marketers often do, it would have been just another piece of junk mail. But now I find myself actually looking forward to the next piece of non-junk mail from xfinity, as long as it's not another Triple Play offer. So marketers, the next time your brand has something to say ' whether it's via direct mail, on a social network or at an event: make it catchy, keep it relevant and most importantly, deliver on your promise. You will have friends and fans in no time. Hey xfinity ' talk to me. I'm listening. And watching.

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