Customers can be classified into four groups according to profits obtained from them and loyalty.
These four relationship groups are Butterflies, True-Friends, Strangers, and Barnacles.
- Strangers: They are the least profitable and the least loyal customers. Their needs and wants don’t
align with the market offerings. As a result, they generate the least profits and are labeled as short-
- Butterflies: They are better than strangers as they are highly profitable. The downside of Butterflies
is that they are not loyal and don’t stick with the same company. Only their needs fit the company’s
offering but they are gone after a while. Companies capture value from them as long as they can. It
is difficult to build a strong customer relationship with them.
- Barnacles: They are very loyal and are said to be long-term customers. However, they are not very profitable. Their wants partially fit the company’s market offering. As a result, a large part of the company’s products is not bought by these customers.
- True-Friends: They are the best kind of customer. True friends are highly profitable and loyal. Their wants are very compatible with the company’s offering and they stick with the company for a long time. They frequently purchase products from the same company and spread the positive word- of-mouth & experiences with others.
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