8 Ways to Entice Customers to Stay Loyal in 2016
By Fergus Koochew on June 29th, 2016
You are probably aware of the importance of increasing brand loyalty – that’s what has compelled you to read this, right? Businesses devote significant resources to acquiring new customers and with competition growing constantly, many struggle to keep revenue strong and customer acquisition costs low. Strengthening brand loyalty is a continuous challenge that must be taken seriously and a crucial part of this is knowing what consumers want.
With every new year comes new trends and predictions for brand marketing. In the past, marketers told consumers what it was they apparently wanted – cash cards, digital rewards etc. Today, however, consumers are the ones driving brand marketing through their clear ideas of what breeds loyalty.
Today’s consumers are telling us that loyalty programs work. You can see this through impressive individual company results. But with so many companies now offering loyalty programs, brands need to think outside the box to create entire solutions for loyalty marketing.
What consumers want
Depending on your industry, your customers may find value in non-monetary rewards. Promotional marketing company Minc Marketing connect with brands for this very reason, helping brands build strong relationships with rewards that get people talking and memorabilia customers can hold onto forever.
Peace of mind
Consumers want to know they are not running the risk of wasted money when buying a new product. That’s why Schwarzkopf offers a rapid rebate system in which a product can be refunded should you not like it.
Starbucks has built one of the most popular mobile payment experiences in the world. It’s easy to use, accepted at most Starbucks, and is attached to a loyalty program. The concept of the experience is simple… 1) Go to any Starbucks and buy something, 2) Get a star added to your app, 3) Earn 12 stars and trade them for one free beverage of your choice, no questions asked.
Strategic partnerships can be super effective for retaining customers and growing your company. Referred to as a “crossover rewards program”, both companies stand to gain new customers while entrenching loyalty from their existing customer base. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Delta Airlines and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, customers who fly with Delta enjoy added hotel benefits when staying at SPG.
Ideas for solutions you can offer
Bearing all this in mind, at Edge we work with brands to tailor-make consumer promotions, rewards and incentive programs that work to generate maximum engagement at minimum cost. We offer our clients a complete solutions package, from creative concepts and graphic design services to web development and customer service support. Here are some powerful promotional solutions we may suggest.
Cashback offers instant gratification. It works by encouraging customers to spend a certain amount in order to get dollars back in the form of a gift card or digital gift card. For example, they may spend $100 to receive a $10 cash card that allows them to choose their own reward in store.
2. Try me for free
Offering consumers peace of mind can pay dividends and the easier you make it for them, the more likely your ‘try me for free’ campaign will work. Let’s say a customer buys your new product and they’re not happy with it. They can simply go online to a fully branded website to lodge their details and receive money back in the form of a card or digital gift card.
3. Gift with purchase
Offering a bespoke creative product that only becomes available with a certain purchase or purchase value can be a fun, creative and cost-effective way to get consumers to buy. A carefully thought out promotional product serves to continually remind your customer of your brand, fuelling loyalty to your name. Alternatively you could partner with key studio partners to help unlock the power of blockbuster movies for your next promotion. This works particularly well to market a singular product, say “purchase any box of X cereal and receive your free movie ticket”.
4. Access to rewards
Keep consumer engagement at peak levels with a loyalty and incentive program that customers can monitor and gain access to exclusive deals, national offers and instant discounts. Once customers sign up, a whole new world of bonus value opens up. Why go anywhere else when you offer such value?
5. Trade in, trade up
Trade ins and trade ups allow customers to freely purchase despite the possibility of a soon-to-be released upgrade. Let’s say a customer buys a laptop from your brand only to find a new release six months later. A trade in, trade up program allows them to return their laptop and upgrade to the newer version.
6. Money off the next purchase
Encourage customers to spend again by offering them the incentive of a gift card they can put towards their next purchase. The difference between cash back and a money off loyalty program is that customers must spend again in order to use their card.
Giving customers the opportunity to build on their purchase with the possibility of double-value can be a great way to encourage customers to spend. Let’s say they want to buy a case of wine. With each purchase of a case of wine, they go into a draw to win a gift voucher for another case!
8. Trade incentives
To gain value from your customers, you need to offer value. It’s a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of deal. Let’s say a customer shows their loyalty by spending $500 with you over the course of six months. Reward them with 6 months worth of free movie tickets to say thanks.
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