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Each day when you make a purchase of a good or service, you are making a choice. With so many different companies and small businesses out there with similar offerings, customers have their own criteria for selecting whom they purchase from. For example, on a global level, some people will only purchase an Apple phone or computer. Others, on the other hand, will never purchase something from Cupertino and will instead stick to Androids and PC.  Get an Apple loyalist and Android customer together in a room and you can rest assured there will be some healthy debate over which products are better. Building rand loyalty is a fierce competition.

Locally, the best example of fierce brand loyalty is probably the cheesesteak. Anyone in the Philadelphia metropolitan area most likely has an opinion of who makes the best cheesesteak in town. It’s not just a debate between Pat’s and Geno’s either. There are a number of establishments in Philadelphia and South Jersey with very loyal customers that can lay the claim that they make the best cheesesteak. Even if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are options for you, like Blackbird’s vegan cheesesteak on South Street or Kitchen 519’s seitan cheesesteak in Camden County. Each place has its own loyal customers, but how do they become loyal customers in the first place?

This is what we intend to study in our final course of the “Unlock Your Potential” training series for small and family-owned businesses. “Creating Fierce Brand Loyalty for Your Business” is a one-day educational event that will take place on June 15, 2016 at the Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken, NJ. Rutgers University School of Business faculty members have partnered with business experts at Archer & Greiner to examine how businesses build brand loyalty and what steps small and family-owned businesses can initiate to generate loyalty to their own brand and products.

Participants in the course will learn how customers make decisions about whom they buy from and to whom they remain loyal. In many cases, it is not just a matter of quality, but an emotive decision as well. Something about the brand or business has appealed to the customer on an emotional level, and the end result is the passion you’ll see standing in line at Pat’s, or the sigh of relief a returning traveler has when he or she spots a Wawa again. How do businesses appeal to customers on an emotional level? In addition to discussing the importance of quality and service, speakers will also present on what makes for a good “tug” or “hook” to appeal to customers’ emotions.

Seating is limited, so we encourage all who are interested to register online as soon as possible. You can learn more about this final course in our small and family-owned business training series at