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How Are Brands Thinking Outside the Box With Loyalty Programs? [Video]

Nearly 70% of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult to maintain than ever before.

Yet, so many loyalty programs feel similar.

You have to think outside the box when it comes to your loyalty program.

So, how are some retailers thinking about loyalty outside the box?

Let’s look at three trends related to this topic.


Strategic Loyalty Program Partnerships

A successful loyalty program adds value for your customers.

But can your brand add value by teaming with someone else?

We’re seeing more brands launch strategic loyalty program partnerships.

These are different than the coalition programs of the past that put the focus on the loyalty program itself of your brand and your customers.

Some recent examples of strategic loyalty program partnerships are Hilton and Lyft partnering together, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Shell.

Hotels and rides are complementary. So are gas and coffee.

By partnering together in a relevant way, brands can create even more value for their loyalty members.


Adding Social Responsibility

The next trend is adding social responsibility to loyalty programs.

Consumers expect companies to make an impact on social and environmental causes.

Especially millennials.

In fact, two-thirds of Internet users 18 and older said more brands should take a public stand on important social values. And more than half of them indicated that even if they disagree with a company’s position, that wouldn’t impact their likelihood to purchase from that brand.

That’s why we’re seeing more brands add corporate social responsibility aspects to their loyalty programs.

DSW VIP members can donate shoes and rewards through Soles4Souls. Target Circle members can vote to direct Target’s giving. GameStop’s new PowerUp Pro revamp includes the option to donate points to charity.

Most people will be more loyal to a company that supports something that is important to them and we’re going to see more loyalty programs incorporate this.


More Premium Loyalty Launches

We’re going to see more premium loyalty program launches.

In the simplest terms, a premium loyalty program is a loyalty program so valuable that your customers are willing to pay for it.

And almost 90% of millennials say they would be willing to pay for a loyalty program membership if their favorite retailers offered one.

When we look at successful programs like CVS CarePass, RH Members, Lululemon, and, of course, Amazon Prime, it’s easy to see why people love these programs.

They provide the best that the brand has to offer with a combination of instant benefits that can be used any time as well as unique experiences only available to premium members.

This trend is going to continue to rise, especially with Walmart’s recent announcement that it will launch a premium loyalty program.


Keep These Three Loyalty Trends in Mind

So, as customer loyalty gets more difficult to gain, keep these three trends in mind:

How can you partner with other brands to give your customers a better experience?

Are there any charitable causes that your loyalty program members can donate to?

How can you incorporate a premium loyalty tier into your program?

As we get into 2020, how are you thinking outside the box on loyalty?

Brian Carl

Brian is our VP of Marketing and leads the overall direction of our B2B Marketing and Marketing Operations Teams. When he’s not chasing his three kids around at home, he enjoys reading as much as he can about marketing, technology and leadership or playing video games when they finally all fall asleep.

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ebbo™ is an all-in-one loyalty company. With our data driven strategy, full-service approach, and the unwavering support of the people behind the platform, our dedicated team will work with you to understand your loyalty goals, innovate solutions and help you build customer engagement on repeat.

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