A couple years back, I was at the home expo and came across a vendor hawking a product I just purchased—dirt in a zip lock bag. It was a cool idea since the planting material makes a mess. However, when it came to close the bag, it didn’t work very well and I ended up just clipping the bag, like previous purchases. I casually told the representative my story and he apologized and took my card. A week later, I received a box of dirt, along with a myriad of other products and a letter from the CEO urging me to give it another shot. To this day, I go out of my way to purchase this product, customer loyalty for life.
By Jennifer Towne
Obviously this type of interaction is organic and can’t be replicated on a large-scale basis. But, the underlying tenets of the transaction can be applied to today’s loyalty programs—personalized recommendations (letter from the CEO), exclusive services (pretty confident not everyone received this box) and the emotional connection (wow, someone was actually concerned that I had an issue with their product).
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant’s 13,000 member club is shifting away from points and discounts to value and experiential focus and personal communication and experience. Using its vast data, Cooper’s selects certain wines to market to its segments. If a customer upgrades from the silver to gold club, they receive a personalized bottle with their name and anniversary date on the packaging. They also receive more incentives in the restaurants. This campaign resulted in more than $160,000 increased revenue from year 2 to year 3.
Galderma offers perks for both consumers and healthcare professionals who purchase its aesthetic treatments. Customers are offered the usual variety of rewards by earning points, such as treatment certificates, gift cards are cash back. There are also beauty quizzes and a boutique. The interesting twist with this program is that it includes the healthcare professional and offers a variety of different ways to brand and sell Galderma treatments. Besides offering patient information the healthcare professional can pass along, it also offers several perks such as the face visualizer app where you upload your own image and “try on” different filters that replicate the results of the treatments.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art offers different tiers of membership with a twist: once a member, always a member at any level, at least at its beginning level. The pay-what-you-can My Mia membership has increased member conversion from 3% to 11%, with an average gift of $98. Eric Bruce, head of visitor experience, refers to as the audience journey to loyalty. Each step on the audience journey illustrates what the customer wants, what’s in it for the museum and what it can offer to fulfill those wants. It starts with awareness, meeting basic customer needs such as “something to do,” and ends with allegiance meeting the audience needs of being part of something important and something they care about.
Jennifer Towne is a Staff Reporter at The Wise Marketer.
Editor's note: We're going to be spending more time and energy exploring the stories, the strategies and the tactics behind successful loyalty. It's too easy to focus on what's wrong with a given program (we hear those stories almost daily) but we believe its a lot more constructive to dissect what's working and why. The story above is our first foray into this effort so we would appreciate your feedback - and examples, if you have any to share. - MG