Loyalty is one of the most admirable traits in business. As an entrepreneur, you need to strive to nurture loyalty in your clientele by offering incentives that motivate them to stick around.
While it’s true that the goal is to always reap maximum reward, sometimes, playing the long game is the best strategy.
As Henry Ford would say, “Business must run at a profit, else it will die. But when anyone tries to run a business solely for profit…then the business must die as well, for it no longer has a reason for existence.”
Having some loyalists by your side ensures that your business is always in operation. It is through customer loyalty programs that you can grow your audience and enhance your bottom line. Intrigued? Let’s have a closer inspection of what it all means.
What are Customer Loyalty Programs?
A customer loyalty program refers to a marketing approach that identifies and rewards customers who buy or engage with a brand continually.
You can offer incentives like perks, and graduate customers from one loyalty level to another. Oftentimes, when such goodies are offered, customers usually become regulars. The relationship can flourish so much up to a point where some elect to become brand promoters.
Some of the benefits you can give your clients include rewards, coupons, free merchandise, and early access to new products.
Importantly, you need to define your goals before you establish a customer loyalty program. If you happen to design a customer loyalty program centered on discounts, you’ll attract cheapskates. To avoid facing your downfall too early, you need to focus on attracting the right prospects. With that kind of thinking you’ll be able to develop profitable relationships in the long run.
While it’s true that monetary rewards are a great way to begin your campaign, you shouldn’t put all your energies there. Instead, try to understand the needs of your customers first, then, you’ll find it easy retaining them.
Some of the top brands in the world are quite adept at developing customer loyalty programs.
Here’s a review of the ones which caught our eyes.
9 Examples of Successful Customer Loyalty Programs
1. Uber’s Uber Rewards
Uber decided to lead from the front as the first ridesharing app to come up with a rewards initiative. Having already tasted success with their referral-only program, they decided to take things up a notch.
After launch, Uber Rewards concept received plenty of media and customer attention for all the right reasons.
Their program is beautifully tailored all round. Newbies can get up to speed on the initiative since there’s a dedicated page that demonstrates to customers how they can earn points.
The set-up is all-encompassing meaning that riders using Pool, UberX, and Eats can all benefit. The customer loyalty program has various progression steps. Riders can transition through Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tiers and gain access to awesome perks. Depending on the achievement unlocked, riders can access upgrades to UberBlack and quickly gain points.
With this kind of set up, it’s easy to see just how Uber has managed to keep ahead of the competition. Riders love the rewards they get because they’re already onboard to receive the gifts.
You can do the same for your clients by providing incentives on services that they frequently enjoy. It’s a great way to build loyalty.
2. Spikeball’s SpikePoints
If you haven’t already, we’d suggest trying out Spikeball. Having featured on the celebrated show, SharkTank, the volley-ball inspired moniker has worked in their favor. The show offered a great launch pad for their success. So impressive was the reception that the management decided to reward their fan base with incentives.
After deliberation, they launched their own customer loyalty program named SpikePoints. Since conception, the program has been able to give loyal customers plenty of reasons to keep supporting the brand.
Their initiative features various ways through with customers can earn points. The VIP tier is one of their most impressive offerings. Members are classed as Recreational, Intermediate, or Premier. For each segment, Spikeball awards members with different rewards.
Premier members are usually the ones who benefit the most from the deal. This is because they not only enjoy 5 points for every dollar they spend, but, their social shares and product reviews also gain a significant bump totaling about twice what Recreational members earn.
The exclusivity offered in the different classes is a brilliant concept in that fans usually work hard to enjoy the same benefits. In this way, Spikeball keeps the conversation going with members of their community. The members are usually eager to enjoy the game and get rewarded while at it.
In your bid to launch a loyalty initiative, it’s imperative to have a model that allows customers to track their points in real time. Doing so is sure to motivate fans to check out your offerings on the regular.
3. SweetLegs Rewards
Despite having started their rewards initiative not long ago, SweetLegs have gone ahead to establish one of the most impressive customer loyalty programs.
From the off, they set their eyes on building a deal that appreciated every one of their customers. They used a universal approach meaning that their rewards were available to customers after a transaction. This appealed to many since you didn’t have to buy in bulk or buy often to benefit.
The key behind their success is all thanks to the fantastic work they put into devising a VIP strategy that works. They made different layered tiers for their customers. Normal customers were rewarded with 3 tires, while bulk distributors earned 4 extra, exclusive tiers.
Having pointed that out, it’s worth noting that the biggest reward resides at their top level. This is where SweetElite distributors have access to fantastic perks like an all expenses getaway. You can come up with a similar tier system to provide your clientele with different buying options.
4. North Face
The North Face employed a clever concept for the customer loyalty program.
The more customers spent, the more points they were able to garner.
This became a big hit among their clientele because every time they purchased something from the store, they were awarded points. The “VIPeak” name was coined to further entice their followers to participate.
With a concise explanation on their page, they’re able to illustrate how their program operates. Customers earn 10 points for every dollar they spend at their premises. With both online and retail stores at their disposal, it’s super convenient for customers to access services. Those who shop at their various outlets get rewarded with 5 points for every dollar spent.
Since these points can be utilized for future purchases, the whole idea promotes continued engagement. They also devised a smart app where user can check everything right from the dashboard.
This kind of investment has seen the North Face gain a mass following. Many customers see the points they are awarded as investments on their end. Customers can quickly determine just how much their points are worth because everything is written out in black and white.
5. The Body Shop
Body Shop came up with an innovative idea for their business. Eager to tap into the trust reserves of their customers, they came up with one of the most distinguished customer loyalty programs. Cognizant of the fact that customers are likely to become brand loyalists once you appeal to them on a moral level, they incorporated animal welfare in their strategy.
Other than getting rewarded and accessing VIP perks, members are also able to donate their rewards to charity. From the outside, this approach may seem like simply came about, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
The Body Shop has highlighted environmental responsibility as one of its core values. Since most of their clientele share the same values, the ability to donate resonates well with many of them.
This brilliantly designed concept allows The Body Shop to connect with customers on a deeper level. This works to their advantage since it encourages spending whilst keeping true to their values.
As you seek to develop your own customer loyalty program, it’s important to incorporate your brand values. Having shared values with your customers encourages them to stick around long after the first purchase.
You can choose to go the Nike route by partnering up with other businesses to reward your customers. Such partnerships are beneficial not only to your customers but also to your business.
Nike’s customer loyalty program offers exclusive benefits. Their partnerships with companies such as Headspace, Apple, and Classpass has seen them develop apps that live true to their agenda, inspiring athletes around the world.
Nike also has a number of other training apps which facilitate their members to achieve their training goals. You can choose to jog on the Nike Run Club app or do a couple of strength routines on the Nike Training Club app. Whatever it is you opt for, you’re assured of getting rewarded. This is because for every physical activity you undertake, you’ll be triggering rewards.
Because people love associating brands and people to their success, Nike has cleverly tapped into a gold mine. The more targets clients are able to unlock, the more likely it is for them to become loyalists to their products.
You can partner up with other businesses that can offer your members some degree of flexibility. Vitally important, ensure that you market your product as a necessary ingredient in achieving their set objectives. The more you’re able to help your members achieve their goals, the more likely they’ll keep buying from you.
Sephora has one of the best customer loyalty programs. Using both a tiered program and point system, their program enables members to have access to a community of individuals espousing the same beliefs.
Inside the community, members are free to socialize, sign up for exclusive events and get inspired to pursue a particular route.
They have smartly used their program to come up with a community whose members are constantly engaging. The entire move was a masterstroke since they are able to get insights about their business. They can put these tips to good use as they contemplate product development and optimization.
You can borrow a leaf from this concept by coming up with a platform that allows for free member interaction. Ideally, you want them comfortable enough to seek inspiration, share ideas and give feedback. It’s a great idea that can be embraced by different brands irrespective of industry.
8. Starbucks Rewards
Starbucks was clearly ahead of its time when they launched the My Starbucks Rewards program. The idea was to offer their customers an easy way to access the service, as such, they allowed customers to run it from their app.
To get points, they made it necessary for customers to order or pay straight from the Starbucks app. By centralizing operations in this way, they were able to get plenty of information about customer preferences and mannerisms.
They’re able to keep tabs on all the popular habits like frequently visited locations, go-to drink orders, and other favorites with ease. From the data collected, they’re able to work towards developing relevant perk.
If you’re able to come up with an app for your store, make sure you do. It a fantastic idea to centralize all customer data. Alternatively, you can opt to use a robust point-of-sale system that tallies up data.
9. Amazon Prime
Amazon’s Prime membership program is one of the best structured. Members pay either a flat annual fee or monthly subscription and gain access to unlimited free one-day delivery on millions of items. The membership also grants users access to other amazing bonuses like their music streaming service, unlimited reading, unlimited photo storage and Prime Day sales.
Through their Prime program, they’ve been able to distinguish themselves in the market. Customers are likely to choose Amazon thanks to the convenience of their system.
Offering customer loyalty programs is a fantastic way to attract loyal customers. Doing so also helps elevate your brand profile.
If you want to be successful at it, make sure you take time understanding your customers. Once that is sorted, you need to focus on enhancing your products. Through value addition, you’ll be able to register more sales and boost brand loyalty.