Secession vs. commitment

Leaving (and the perceived threat of leaving) is a powerful negotiation tactic. When the customer/partner/citizen could bolt at any moment, we act differently.

Street vendors know that the prospect is already standing, already on the street, already on their way out the (invisible) door. It changes the dynamic between them, making the short-term the only term.

And commitment is a powerful creation tactic. When the parties involved know that they’re committed to a future together, it makes it more likely that they’ll produce a positive new version of how that future can look.

Monopolies create unwilling commitment. The customer is trapped. Brands with loyalty earn commitment, and it gives them the freedom to invest in even better work.

Nations are now discovering that shifts in loyalty and the transferability of assets are a real issue going forward. One option is to make secession more difficult, the other is to increase the likelihood of individuals choosing to commit.

It definitely benefits all concerned to know which path the people you serve are on. And to act accordingly.


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