Translating your marketing into customer loyalty
It’s a competitive world out there, we all know it. Lots of the biggest brands battle to be heard against the noise of those around them. Many offer preferential treatment for new customers. This has created a culture of brand-hopping in an ever growing bid to get the best deal, try something new or get the latest reward. Yet companies are always looking for ways to ensure customer loyalty and prevent this cycle of constant change. This week Think OTB is exploring how you can translate your marketing strategy into customer retention. We’re going to help you encourage high levels of brand loyalty.
Create some sparks
The concept of loyalty schemes may seem a little outdated. It might conjure images of shabby business cards covered in coffee stamps that fill your wallet. Yet these days some of the biggest brands have redesigned the humble loyalty card with their own upmarket equivalents. They offer an array of tempting rewards in a bid to personalise your shopping experience.
Marketing Week have announced that M&S is currently trialling loyalty cards among a number of staff and customer research groups. The brand is planning to increase its personalised marketing. It seems likely that this new Sparks card will offer customers the chance to build up points in return for purchases. It’s reasonably similar to mainstream supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons. M&S is also rumoured to be trialling exclusive benefits and personalised offers for its members. This is perhaps in order to compete with its upmarket rival Waitrose and their MyWaitrose card.
Loyalty with a purpose
The benefits of customer loyalty schemes don’t have to only be for the customers. There are great benefits to be enjoyed by the company itself from encouraging a strong customer base that returns time and time again. According to Marketing Donut, it is important for a business to consider the specific goals it wants to achieve before implementing a loyalty scheme. Do you want customers to repeat buy a product? To spend more? To encourage friends and family alike to spread the word and buy into your brand?
Once this goal is clear in your strategy, it is possible to tailor and focus your loyalty-based marketing. Loyalty for the sake of loyalty does not create a strong return on investment or add value to your business. So, it is important to consider these goals before jumping in feet first. As Marketing Donut quite rightly stated, ‘loyal customers are good for your business because they become your best advocates’, and in many ways become your best advertisement.
Learn from the best
Are you looking to boost your understanding and creativity when it comes to translating marketing into customer loyalty? Then learn from those who have done it well! Supermarket chains are particularly well known for their simple approach to personalisation and rewards. But, there are many other brands that have got it spot. Take a look at who else is retaining their customers and keeping them sweet with rewards.
Virgin, through their Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, has created a great model which could inspire you. Customers can collect air miles as is often typical of the industry, but the brand goes further. Virgin offers a tiered reward system encouraging its customers to use their services time and time again. Rewards range from Club Red members earning discounts on rental cars, airport parking and hotels, while the highest Club Gold level can enjoy double air miles, priority boarding and even a pre-flight massage in the exclusive Virgin clubhouse. This personalised reward scheme teamed with Virgin’s iconic ‘flying in the face of ordinary’ branding. It paints itself as an adventurous, pioneering and upmarket airline company. This branding has worked wonders for this relatively small wing of Richard Branson’s ever growing empire.
Are you planning on earning the loyalty of customers through your marketing? It is important to remember that both the customers and the brand itself need to reap the rewards. Through a loyalty campaign appropriate to your industry and an awareness of competitor schemes, it is possible to generate high levels of customer retention. Use your marketing to keep your consumer base constant and your brand awareness high. If you need any help, please do get in touch.