TLF Gems Newsletter July 2024

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

We build our computers the way we build our cities—over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.

Ellen Ullman

What does "strategy" mean to you? It's one of the most ambiguous words in business, and it's easy to overcomplicate, but it does matter.

If you adopt a customer loyalty strategy things become a lot simpler. It means you have committed to building relationships with customers that pay off in long-term profitability. Your strategy then hangs on a few simple questions:

- What customers do we want?

- What do our products and services help them do?

- What's most important to them?

- How do we design our products and services to meet those needs better than anyone else?

- How do we structure our organisation and supply chains to deliver that design effectively?

Simple, it should be said, is very far from easy; but if you can answer those questions you have as much strategy as anyone needs.

Thanks for reading,


Here are 6 things we think are worth your time this month

Thinking Differently About Profit

Ignore the headline of this HBR article, because what it's really focused on isn't digital disruptors but the power of a loyalty strategy. Focusing on short term profits using measures like EBITDA is much less likely to lead to growth than prioritising Customer Lifetime Value and investing in the customer experience. Amen! But as the article points out, you need the right data and the right measures to make it work. "The customer experience is the North Star that should guide all of your data, AI, and digital initiatives. All of these should align around a vision for your future customer experience, and you need to map out the small steps that are necessary to make that experience a reality."

Assemblage Space

You've probably come across the "time cone" model for thinking about possible future scenarios. I've used it many times over the years in workshops, and it's always brought useful insight, but I think I may like John Willshire's "Assemblage Space" concept even more. It basically reminds us that our beliefs that populate the time cone came from somewhere, and that tracing those roots is important. " helps you think about not just a continuation of the near-past, but makes you examine further ideas which may have been lost to time with different technologies."

The CX Landscape

Nothing too revolutionary in this CallMiner report, but some interesting stats. One thing that caught my eye: people believe the main barrier to improving CX is lack of communication between departments. "We interviewed many decision makers whose organisation’s CX department is independent of other parts of the business, creating real and significant communication siloes."

Sustainability & Loyalty

I see a lot of connections between effective customer loyalty strategy and the green agenda. Both are about making short-term investments for long-term benefit, and both require real commitment, not just saying the right thing. This article looks at sustainability as a way to build emotional loyalty. "From eco-friendly packaging to fair labour practices, sustainability has become a key differentiator for brands looking to attract and retain customers in today’s competitive marketplace."

Protoype Fidelity

This is a little bit geeky, but interesting! It's really important to prototype and test new experiences before you launch them with customers, but how close to the real thing does the prototype need to be? Alistair Ruff shares his thoughts about 7 dimensions of fidelity, which are well worth thinking about next time you test. " is often made up of many factors, and if designers were more aware of these factors, we could make better use of prototypes to learn and communicate with others."

What I'm Reading: Asking For Trouble

Market research is a strange discipline. It's based on asking people what they think and do, and why, when we know that they lie, and forget, and make terrible predictions about their own behaviour. This is a book about asking better questions, making better interpretations, and getting more accurate insight as a result. Essential reading! "Asking is easy. The hard part is knowing what to do with the answer."