When the relationship is commitment-focused, not transaction-focused (what have you bought from me lately?) between consumers and the company, it fundamentally shifts engagement. (Source: HBR, Why Social Marketing Is So Hard)
Sounds like we're back to the Home Depot model.
One of the first lessons I learned - and the one that's been fundamental for me - in school was from Home Depot. The idea was that each customer who walked through the door and bought something should never be looked at as a single purchaser.
If they are buying a $0.39 screw or a $200.00 window frame, Home Depot would treat them the same. The reason?
They didn't look at the customer for that single purchase. Rather knowing that over their lifetime, they'd likely be building / refurnishing a home. Instead of that one-time screw purchase, they'd actually be coming back time after time for new parts and advice and support.
That $0.39 weekend customer was actually a $100,000+ lifetime customer.
Commitment v. transactional.
Selling trust v. selling products / services.
Seems to make sense.
(This is an affiliate link to Amazon.)