Many people love a discount. Paying with a coupon can provide a little relief when checking your grocery bill. A BOGO (buy one get one free) at your local supermarket might even elicit some unexpected joy. Rarely will these ideas engender much loyalty for a specific brand.
The reason traditional customer benefits aren’t as effective these days is that customer loyalty has had to change with the times. Customers feel motivated when a brand speaks to them beyond the product or service. They are motivated by what the brand says about their lifestyle and how discussing it will reflect upon them to others.
Providing loyalty program incentives which are fun and engaging to the customer requires you to be equally as fun and engaging. Here at Social&Loyal, we have some ideas to get you started so you can reward your customers in a more meaningful (and valuable) way.
1. Free Product
We’ll start with a simple, yet effective prize offered for loyalty. While some offers might include a discount or offer on a company’s product, there is nothing as good as a customer getting the thing for why they do business with you in the first place.
Of course, you won’t be a successful business for long if you keep giving your product away. However, if you have a healthy customer loyalty platform which is reaping dividends, your profitability should allow for valued customers to receive something for their support.
This is wholly dependent on your brand. Starbucks will be happy to give away a free coffee after repeat purchases. Lexus might be less inclined to do the same with their cars.
2. Bring Two Worlds Together
Partnering with another company to join forces on loyalty rewards is a stellar proposition. It works in a great “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach to customer satisfaction.
The best way to do this is to use your customer loyalty program to find the interests of your demographic. Not to stereotype indie rockers, but you could take a page from Edinburgh based independent music label Song by Toad Records who paired with brewer Barney’s Beer to combine fine craft beer with records on the imprint.
Their endgame wasn’t necessarily customer loyalty, but it is a great way to encourage sales with two different products aimed at the same market.
3. Make them Feel Part of the Team
When your brand speaks to your customer’s lifestyle, they will want to show you off. Loyal customers will want to be associated with you and brand merchandise can be a great way to reward them. Key chains, T shirts and stationery are almost expected these days. Being a little more inventive can make a little go further.
For example, if you sell food, dish ware with personalized messages not only reward the customer, but keep you in their mind when used at mealtimes.
4. Memories Last Longer
Free swag is all well and good, but it is hard to put a price tag on an unforgettable experience. By offering loyal customers the chance to have a related experience to your product or service, they will see that you take their appreciation seriously. The experience doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. A relaxing massage or even memorable ‘escape the room’ experiences can be perfect ways to show you care.
5. Make it Easier to be Liked
So far these customer loyalty prize ideas have worked great for products, but services can equally profit from providing customer loyalty incentives. For airlines, queue jumping is a classic customer reward which can make stressful air travel that little bit easier. For your service, finding a way to make use of it easier and more enjoyable will be a thoughtful way to show you value your customers.
6. Provide Something Just for the Fun of It
This is when you reward customer loyalty with something completely unrelated, but which works to make your brand seem like you are at the very least happy to provide some enjoyment. A free flash game (branded or not) can be a good idea, but so too can a physical playable game. The only limit is your imagination.
7. Provide Advice
While making the use of your service easier can be great for one-off occasions, rewarding your customers with valuable information can be useful on into the future. Depending on what you provide as a business, inviting customers to seminars or classes can be a great way to keep you in people’s minds.
If you are a software company, inviting customers to an afternoon where you can show off your product’s potential will be mutually beneficial. If you sell food, a cooking class might show them the value you can offer.
8. Make them Feel Special
Informative and helpful classes are a great way to bond with customers. However, they can still be work, as fun as you might make them. A way to show you appreciate loyalty for straight up enjoyment could be a special VIP event such as a wine tasting or party. Customers will improve loyalty to your company as they will associate you with good times like these.
9. Build Global Communities
As Millennials are more inclined to buy from “corporations and brands with pro-social messages… and ethical business standards”, you have the opportunity to reward loyalty while doing some good at the same time.
By providing charitable donation, funding for a social welfare program or donating your product in the customer’s name, you can show your customers they are right to invest in your brand. Don’t just do it, mean it. Invest in improving your company’s ethical standing not just for ROI, but because you should be doing it anyway.
10. Let the Customer Choose
We end close to where we started, but not quite. While providing free product can be a great way to encourage loyalty in your customers, something which is almost invaluable will make you stand out: choice.
Give your customer a range of choices from some of these options (or others) and incorporate it into a points based reward or referral scheme. It will show that you’re more than a one trick pony and you have a greater chance of providing something they will truly respond to.
If you want to learn more how your brand can reward users for their loyalty set up a consultation call with our loyalty experts here.