Apparently, CBC management is thinking about a “loyalty” program:

[T]he CBC is considering adding game-like challenges on its websites, offering reward points to keep people engaged with the broadcaster’s programming, an approach known in the retail business as “gamification.”

Setting aside my belief that most “loyalty” programs are creepy, I find this announcement troubling on a deeper level. Personally, I’d prefer that the CBC focus less on “loyalty,” and more on loyalty.

How exactly do you build loyalty? Consistently make quality stuff that people want and use.

I consider myself a loyal listener to lots of programs: On the Media, TAL, a bunch of 5by5 and Mule Radio and indie podcasts, Radiolab, Bullseye, etc.

What do these shows (and their respective distributors and networks) have in common? Certainly not reward points or “gamification.” Quite simply, they make quality stuff I want to listen to.

You can’t earn my loyalty by offering me 10 reward points for every episode of Dragons’ Den I watch (even if I can trade those points in for a DVD box set of Mr. DressUp).

You earn my loyalty by consistently making great stuff that I find relevant and useful.