May 25, 2012

The Loyalists Shall Take You To The Promised Land

Members pay an annual fee to belong to a retailer's loyalty program and they receive discounts on the retailer's most popular products, invitations to member-only events, and reward vouchers for reaching certain spending levels.
What other creative ways can this retailer reward its loyal customers?
Your customers are swimming in messages. And they’re being pursued by countless brands. How can you keep their attention, their time, and their dollar?
Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all loyalty program. Building a creative campaign that your customers will respond to can only begin once you have a clear understanding of their buying motivations. By using real insights you can cultivate stronger relationships customers so your brand stands out. Ultimately your message motivates action… then your bottom line.
Depending on what inspires your customers craft programs which also meet your internal objectives along with actionable metrics for program refinement. More common loyalty program objectives include:
  • Stimulate sales and improve gross margins
  • Encourage purchase of new and better/best products
  • Establish competitive differentiation
  • Motivate employee performance
  • Boost retention of high-value customers
  • Build stronger long-term relationships
  • Drive key behaviors
To understand what your customers truly value, conduct focus groups, one-on-one interviews and quantitative research. From this, determine the core elements needed to create a lasting relationship with your customers.
The mandatory requirements for an effective loyalty program are – Creative Conceptualization, Feasible Program Development, Systematic and Time Bound Program Execution and Measurement. 
Here are some proven loyalty concepts which can be customized to your customers buying motives:
  • Club Cards (pay for membership for regular discounts, points programs, reward vouchers)
  • Email Only Promotions
  • Premium Shipping Clubs (for ecommerce)
  • Subscriptions (asking customers to go steady and purchase product to be fulfilled at regular intervals)
  • Service Extensions
  • Recycling Programs
  • Loyalty Affiliates
  • Gift Reminder Service
  • Value Propositions (Not loyalty per se, but extremely successful in customer retainment; think Zappos.com and their exceptional customer service)
Marketers are racing to keep up with customer expectations for personalized services and wnhancements, and well-designed loyalty programs are a tremendous opportunity to communicate directly with enticing offers that will keep customers coming back.
"The dogs on Main Street howl
'cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land"
- Bruce Springsteen

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