Let’s talk relationships: No easy wins, no fast tracks, but real relationships. 

Philosophers define friendship as the lively interaction between sympathy and trust. Indeed, no legally binding contract exists to enforce a friendship. 

Yet friendship bonds people. It can be stronger than the most airtight legal contract. 

Sometimes, we’ll even go to the ends of the earth for our friends. 

It’s the power of shared moments, memories and time spent together that makes acquaintances grow into friends. 

90% of sports industry retailers and specialists claim they’ll focus even more intensely on the client in 2017, according to the latest SAZsport Trends 2017 survey. Respondents claim that digital technologies and reliance on Customer Relations Management tools (CRM) give them greater insight into clients’ needs and desires. Naturally, clients deserve to be at the center of attention. However, it’s not enough to simply unleash technology and automated processes on consumers.

If a business wants to cultivate great customer relations, it can’t just rely on generic algorithms. Instead, it must continue to seek innovative answers to the question: “Why did my client choose me?’  If friendship is the interaction between sympathy and trust, what is it that your customers love about you, the retailer, what keeps them coming back to you, again and again? Is it your shared passion for mountain climbing or surfing the snow?  Whatever it is, cultivate your shared passion and honesty. Stay true to yourself and your clients. 

Go ahead and use technology and CRM to enhance the trust of your customers. You’ll easily manage the job with some detailed preliminary research before collecting data and applying the data efficiently. But when I think of customer relations, I think of my best friends and the moments we’ve shared. It always helps me to stay authentic with my clients, like a good friend. 


Julius Geis is a renowned expert in identity-based brand positioning for retailers and manufacturers. As CEO of JULIUS GEIS – BRAND AESTHETE® he consults globally successful brands in the sports, fashion and outdoor industry.