Reexamining Customer Relationships, Part 4: Research Briefing, on Loyalty Concept Exploration

Alan Brown, Shannon Urie, Surale Phillips, John Carnwath, Erin Gold, January 25, 2024

This one-hour session is a part of our continuing series on redefining customer relationships.

The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada commissioned WolfBrown in fall 2023 to investigate the nature of loyalty, with an eye towards critically examining the future of customer relationships. The study involved a review of loyalty frameworks, a field-wide inventory of recent experiments in customer relationships, and an exploratory survey of NAC ticket buyers.

In this Research Briefing for the Audience Outlook Monitor community, Shannon Urie, NAC’s Marketing Director, and WolfBrown staff will explain why NAC commissioned the research, what the various strands of research uncovered, and how the research might inform NAC’s work moving forward. Registrants will be emailed a copy of the WolfBrown research report, “Analysis of Experiments with New Customer Relationships,” which NAC has generously released for dissemination. This session is the fourth in a series exploring customer relationships.


  • Shannon Urie, Marketing Director, National Arts Centre
  • Alan Brown, Managing Principal, WolfBrown (moderator)
  • Surale Phillips, Principal, WolfBrown
  • John Carnwath, Associate Principal, WolfBrown
  • Erin Gold, Consultant, WolfBrown

Alan Brown is a leading researcher and management consultant in the arts and culture sector worldwide. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences, evaluating support structures for the arts, and helping industry leaders make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions. He has conducted studies for various cultural organizations and authored research reports for foundations and agencies. He also developed the CultureLab website and chaired the Cultural Research Network. He recently worked on the Audience Outlook Monitor COVID-19 Study, a longitudinal analysis of audience attitudes about attending cultural events during the pandemic, involving over 650 organizations worldwide. In the coming years, he will focus on guiding arts organizations through the research and development process toward new product lines in digital, immersive, and virtual spaces.

Shannon Urie is a highly experienced marketing, strategy development, research and leadership professional with more than 25 years of experience. In 2011, she joined the National Arts Centre where she managed the strategic projects such as the NAC re-brand, renovation of the 50-year-old building, CRM transition and modernization of Marketing practices. Shannon has previously worked in the private sector, where she developed brands and teams at companies such as Mead Johnson Nutrition, Corel Corporation and Procter & Gamble. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of Ottawa, where she occasionally guest lectures.

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