Loyalty is gained over time through engagement with customers. It entails them to become advocates for your brand, ultimately influencing them choose your brand over another one. Loyalty is more than just reward points and discounts. Brand loyalty comes from experiences, quality products, and benefits. In order for a brand to develop loyalty, it should engage its customers with the best experiences. Prior to a company launching a new loyalty program or reshaping an existing one, it is crucial it comprehends what would incentivize a customer to be loyal to its brand.
1. Define what a loyal customer looks like
First, ask yourself, what is your brand’s definition of loyalty? Loyalty is perceived differently from brand to brand. For some companies, it means that you are in the top 5 brand choices when it comes to making purchases, for others, it entails that customers buy weekly. Second, ask yourself, what behaviors do loyal customers display? Are they shopping all segments within the brand or are they only choosing specific segments? What channels do they use? What type of purchases do they make, bulk or small? Third, ask yourself, what actions should customers be taking? Are they recommending your brand to family and friends? Are they engaging on social media? Are they creating positive traffic?
2. Understand the value of a loyal customer
In order to get the best results from your loyalty program, it is key to identify which customers are the ones with the highest likelihood of continuous re-engagement. Focus on identifying the most loyal customers, along with their communication and shopping behavior. Understand what those customers find most valuable. Once identified, you can attach a numerical value to your customers; are they worth $25 or $60? Figuring this out will allow you to calculate the cost of potential marketing.
3. Determine the factors important to you and your customers
Making assumptions about customer needs can create a loyalty program that can lead your company in the wrong direction. Directly asking your customers what they want can be an effective way of getting this information. This information will allow you to create a program that aligns with the preferences and prospects of your customers. Both the company and customers can gain from a successful loyalty program. The company can gain insights on consumer data, increased sales, and repeated patronage. The customer, on the other hand, can receive awards for their engagement, insider services, and personalized offers.
4. Build a deeper relationship with your best customer
Guiding customers through the engagement continuum can allow for a deeper relationship between your brand and customer. A customer may choose to initially engage with your company because of a special promotion but a customer stays engaged because of your product or service, experiences, and the relationship they created with your company. The engagement continuum is separated into three stages: transactional, relational, experiential. In the transactional stage, you offer promotions like “spend and get cash back” deals. In the relational stage, you offer product recommendations and build personalize conversations. In the experiential stage, you offer private in-store events and concierge services. Promotions, will grab the attention of your customer, provide the right experience and your customer won’t just be stopping by, they will support your brand for the long-run.