Mean What You Measure

The problem seemed obvious and clear cut. Develop a Likert scale, a semantic differential scale, and a Stapel scale to measure store loyalty. Most people wrote reasonably scales. No one questioned face validity or construct validity because, in all likelihood, marketers constantly ask this question with a second thought. If ever a term needed validity, or at least a second thought, then it would be marketers' use of loyalty. Kathy Sierra makes the money-is-purchase-not-loyalty observation:

I would storm a bur­ning buil­ding to get my kids. THAT is loyalty. I would even storm a bur­ning barn to get my horse. But I won’t storm a bur­ning Best Buy no mat­ter how awe­some their Reward Zone program. I’m not going to become more loyal to a busi­ness no mat­ter how well-executed their Super Awe­some VIP Exc­lu­sive Con­tent Access Sta­tus Rewards Achie­ve­ments Gami­fi­ca­tion pro­gram is. Not even if Banksy made their badges.

Loyalty when discussed and measured is rarely if ever actually loyalty; it's use. Indeed, it is doubtful that many if even few consumers give loyalty to a retailer or a brand. Many consumers will a retailer or brand their business.

As a result, marketing research focus on transactions or relationships while ignoring loyalty.

It encourages use, not loyalty.