PhD-project: The loyal consumer? A cultural analysis of loyalty in practice

Mads Breddam

The project examines how loyalty is done in practice, specifically related to the loyalty program CoopPlus, driven by the Danish retail business and cooperative organization Coop, which is owned by the general consumers who is members of Coop. The study is based on an ethnographic fieldwork and empirical material, which mostly consists of qualitative research interviews with a number of members and co-owners and employees of Coop's headquarters.

The Thesis analyzes show overall, how employees, working with quantitative data to generate personalized targeted offers, as it is the logic that this creates or enhances members loyalty, and how these targeted offers are integrated in the members daily shopping practices. Moreover, the analyzes show how the fact that ordinary consumers as members are also co-owners of Coop, are involved in practicing loyalty.

The analyzes show as a whole, how it takes a lot of work by several different players to practice loyalty, and to all sorts of more or less surprising elements from both employees, members and shareholders; immediate daily days involved in making loyalty in practice: Loyalty requires a large and often difficult work to practice, and often loyalty is still volatile and fragile, because everyday many items can both enhance and interfere loyalty-enhancing practices.

This Thesis contributes to discussions on topics as user-driven innovation, user involvement, citizen involvement by showing how cooperation between different players, despite good intentions, can be difficult and challenging because cooperation of some of the parties involved, may also be a problematic co-optation rather than a good co-operation.