3 best practice brand loyalty programs to take inspiration from

As a business owner or marketer, you’re always likely to be looking out for the best ways to build customer relationships. Consumer loyalty can be hard to win initially, but over time, their repeat or increased spending – combined with powerful brand advocacy – can be enough to sustain and grow almost any business.

Customer loyalty programs are one proven tactic for growing and retaining a target audience. By offering relevant rewards for customer purchases or interactions, people feel more inclined to return for more. Research from Accenture states loyalty program members generate 12-18% incremental revenue growth per year than non-members.

And considering the fierce competition for customer attention in today’s B2C ecommerce market, an effective program can be what makes a buyer consistently choose one retail brand over another. The best loyalty systems offer bespoke experiences, not just cheaper prices, building an emotional connection that customers want to shout about.

You’ll know that observing the practices of other businesses is essential for maintaining your competitive advantage. So, without further ado, learn more below about three leading brand loyalty programs and what makes them so successful.

Beauty Insider Program – Sephora

Beauty brand Sephora offers an exceptional loyalty program built around each individual customer’s behaviours and the types of rewards they’re interested in. It’s always evolving based on customer and industry trends, preventing it from ever becoming stale.

Members earn access to private beauty classes, exclusive products and more, all within a tiered system built around their level of engagement. The more they give, the more they get back in return.

But despite the program’s individualistic focus, it’s also building a community. Members are able to speak with, ask questions and source inspiration from other members directly – offering a sense of belonging and building that all-important emotional connection.

My Starbucks Rewards – Starbucks

American coffee giant Starbucks boasts an app-based loyalty program with some 16 million active members as of March 2019. A key driver behind this uptake is the way it enhances the regular customer experience.

Customers can order and pay through the app before arriving at a store, allowing them to skip queues and get on with their day. Each transaction generates ‘stars’ that can be cashed in for free drinks, food and merchandise. Members can also send their friends gifts through the app – as well as discovering the music playing in store.

In return, Starbucks is able to gather tonnes of valuable data and improve their program offering even further. Everyone’s a winner.

Tarte rewards – Tarte Cosmetics

Tarte Cosmetics’ loyalty program ‘tarte rewards’ has built them a loyal following in a growing, competitive market. Members, affectionately known as tartelettes, can earn rewards through typical product purchases – but also by spreading the word to friends and family.

Even the act of opening emails can earn benefits, helping to keep the brand in the front of shopper’s minds. It’s another example of a successful program built on tiers too, rewarding the biggest fans with exclusive benefits not available to anyone else.

We’ve seen how integrating emotional, experiential and financial rewards can be vital in retaining customers. Could a well-crafted loyalty program drive your business forward?

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