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Where Subscription and Premium Loyalty works

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By: Bill Hanifin, CLMP™ |

Posted on March 19, 2024

Carlos Dunlap explains two case studies for Paid Loyalty in Retail

This conversation is the final installment of a three-part series on the topic of Subscription and Premium Loyalty. Carlos Dunlap-Beard, CLMP™ & VP, Business Development & Loyalty Strategy with ebbo has been my co-pilot throughout this series.

If you take time to consume all the information in these three discussions, you will have everything you need to understand when and where Premium Loyalty will work for your brand.

To recap, here is a summary of each installment:

The Truth About Subscription and Premium Loyalty

As most of you know, Subscription loyalty programs were brought into focus for marketers as Amazon built its Prime program into a core driver of its business. Since that time, most brands have considered incorporating a Subscription element into their loyalty and customer engagement strategies.

As the fever around subscription-based loyalty intensified, the body of nomenclature used to describe the tactic has grown, and it is easy to become confused by the plethora of buzzwords. Premium loyalty, subscription loyalty, paid loyalty, membership loyalty, tiered loyalty – are we in fact talking about distinct concepts or nuanced options of one core concept?

This discussion gives you a clear understanding of these competing terms and provides a solid foundation for those interested in learning more about this powerful customer loyalty strategy.

Pardon the Education - How to Know When a Subscription Loyalty Model is Right for Your Brand

A subscription loyalty model packages multiple benefits for customers into one program and charges a membership fee to enjoy those benefits. In case you are wondering, the key differentiator between a membership model and a subscription loyalty model is that in a membership model a customer must enroll and pay a fee to gain access to a retailer at all (Costco, Sam’s Club), whereas in the subscription model, customers must enroll and pay a fee to receive the special benefits of the program, but otherwise has access to the retailer’s good and services.

In this interview, Carlos talks with Bill Hanifin, CEO Wise Marketer Group about how to determine if Subscription loyalty is right for your brand. In our Pardon the Education format, we blaze through five questions in rapid fire succession to provide you a framework for analyzing when Subscription Loyalty is right for your business.

Wrapping up the Series with Two Case Studies

This final segment goes into detail on two case studies of brands which have used Subscription and Premium Loyalty to achieve their objectives. Carlos outlines two separate situations, the first a family of beauty brands and the second a women’s wear retailer. You’ll hear about the actual results achieved by both brands, and they are extraordinary in their magnitude and impact on the core business.

We wrap up by talking about how Premium (Paid) Loyalty can be incorporated into the marketing mix by retailers to achieve their goals around lift, shift and retention but also do this while making money in the process. You’ll have to tune in to the latter part of the interview to hear Carlos describe how the ebbo business model delivers this unique value for its clients.

Editor’s Note

We hope you enjoy this entertaining and informative series. ebbo is the newly branded company that many of you know as Clarus Commerce and Prize Logic. Clarus Commerce pioneered premium loyalty and paid enrollment offers where consumers pay a membership fee for enhanced loyalty benefits. The company’s history makes it perfectly positioned to capitalize on the current high interest in this topic.

Whatever you need to know to build a solid foundation in Subscription Loyalty, it is covered here. Of course, you will have more questions and we encourage you to engage Carlos here to go further in the details of what this strategy can do for your business.