5 creative loyalty programs to learn from

loyalty to learn fromWe’re all lured in by the possibilities of what a loyalty program can offer us. In Australia, 88% of consumers over the age of 16 are members of at least one. But in an environment saturated with points-based loyalty programs, there’s a need to provide more value to customers beyond a buy this, get that mentality.

How do you make your loyalty program stand out in a very crowded room?

Learn from some of the best.

Keep it simple. 

Globally we’re addicted to coffee. In fact, we drink 10 million tonnes of the stuff a year, which equates to a lot of different loyalty cards if you’re inclined to drink around. Now a newly developed smartphone app combats the need to fill your wallet with half-stamped ‘buy ten get one free’ cards. Using beacons positioned at point of sale, shoppers can rack up loyalty points at cafes using their smartphone. When a customer enters and opens the app, the beacon recognises who they are and serves up the store’s brand with their virtual card. Now that’s loyalty in the palm of your hand.

Make the most of what you’ve got.

Etihad Stadium found another way to approach loyalty with an app that ensures its Medallion Club members maximise the use of their seats. ‘eAllocate’ allows members to offer unused event seats to a list of their nominated delegates via push notifications. Unfilled seats are offered in order of priority and then on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis thereafter. Privileged delegates can even reserve seats via the app and are kept informed of any event changes at the same time, while having the ability to provide feedback on their experience at each game. It’s the perfect way to communicate availability, optimise utilisation and increase renewals by making sure members receive the greatest value from their investment.

Connect creatively.

How do you continue to evolve one of the best loyalty programs in the world? By finding new ways to connect with people. Tweeters in the US can now send a $5 Starbucks voucher as a gift via Twitter, by linking their coffee loyalty card with their social account. At face value, ‘Tweet-a-coffee’ just seems like a cool idea. And it is. But it’s also a way to further expose their brand in a positive light by ‘giving the treat of Starbucks’ via a method of delivery that is easy and highly visible. As a result, they are offering an innovative benefit to their members that spans far beyond their already loyal customers.

Make better choices.

We’re used to being rewarded when we buy stuff. But what if you could earn points by adopting a healthier lifestyle? Sounds like a win, win. On top of spend-based rewards, Walgreens’ Steps motivates members to make healthy decisions by offering points for hitting personal goals. Their mobile solution lets you can track how many miles you’ve covered, how much weight you’ve lost and the number of points you are earning while you do it. Given we all feel the need to lose weight and be more active at one point or another, this is an ingenious approach to creating an engaging loyalty program.

Be a trend-setter.

Urban Outfitters’ unconventional loyalty program, Free People Me, is about building a community. Their customers are encouraged to share personal pictures of products from the store so a wider audience can ‘heart’ them when they see things they like. The more they interact, the more rewards they earn – including the chance to design their own dress if they’re active enough. It also incentivises those who engage with the program with instant promotions, offers and advanced warning on sales. It’s not only rewarding loyal customers, but generating buzz around their brand at the same time.

In the ‘age of the customer’, in a lot of cases, a loyalty membership card just isn’t going to cut it anymore.


Sources: http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/world_food_consumption_statistics/world_coffee_consumption_statistics, mashable.com/2013/10/28/starbucks-tweet-a-coffee/, http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/30004833/new-app-gives-coffee-shops-a-shot, 2013 consumer study into Australian Loyalty Programs, Directivity and Citrus, http://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/2013/07/30/get-rewarded-for-your-loyalty-the-best-customer-loyalty-programs-their-benefits/#ixzz2nbH1FQtE, http://risnews.edgl.com/retail-best-practices/Urban-Outfitters-Gets-Creative-with-New-Loyalty-Program88515

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