National Arts Centre

Loyalty Concept Exploration with the National Arts Centre

NAC logo

Team: Alan BrownSurale PhillipsJohn CarnwathErin Gold

February 1, 2024

As Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts, the National Arts Centre (NAC) charged with WolfBrown to investigate the nature of loyalty. Through a multi-track research process, the WolfBrown team not only set out to better understand affinity and loyalty as theoretical concepts but to discover any implications that would concretely impact an organization like the NAC, which creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams across Canada.

 This research project set out to:

  • Understand what loyalty looks like from the standpoint of current and future visitors 
  • Elucidate what engenders loyalty and what does not 
  • Explore different models of loyalty and take note of any best practices 

To achieve these directives, the research was broken into three conceptual phases of work. The first was to conduct a literature review of loyalty frameworks, the second was to create an inventory of new and experimental customer relationships, and the third phase was to design and decimate an exploratory survey to recent NAC ticket buyers.

graph of building loyalty

The project culminated in a day-long convening in Ottawa, Canada, the home of the NAC. During the meeting, WolfBrown team members presented findings from the loyalty literature review and results from the exploratory survey. The findings from the field scan of customer relationships were disseminated prior to the convening in the report, “Loyalty Concept Exploration, Part 2: Analysis of Experiments with New Customer Relationships.” NAC has generously released the report for wider dissemination.

What came out of this convening was a new definition of loyalty and a conceptual framework for building loyalty:

Loyalty is the sum of all the bonds and connections that people make with an arts organization and its artists, programs, spaces, and formats.

Image with team members and blue audience image

Research Briefing: Loyalty Concept Exploration

While this research project was uniquely conceived to assist the NAC in how it should consider interacting with its audiences moving forward, both parties recognized this research’s value to the broader field and so on January 25, 2024, Shannon Urie from the NAC and the WolfBrown team co-presented an online research briefing on the entire project and its outcomes, as well as how the research might inform NAC’s work moving forward. This one-hour session was a part of a continuing series on redefining customer relationships.