IBM Business Partner

News and Updates

Reinventing loyalty programmes to drive authentic brand connection

Increasingly companies are looking to transition loyalty programmes from a materialistic ‘you buy you get’ foundation to an experiential connection that builds the customer’s overall perception of the brand.

In reality, far too many reward programmes are simply discount programmes which reward customer purchase by giving away margin. We believe that true loyalty programmes create authentic brand loyalty based on a coalescing brand experience that deepens over time.

“This is a big shift’ says Jon Edmonds, General Manager of Digital, “We’re moving from loyalty programmes that simply offer set rewards for purchasing behaviour, to something that is meaningful to the customer. This is a shift from transactional reward programmes to interactive, customer driven and customer focused loyalty programmes.”

“We’ve seen an increasing focus on brand loyalty in 2016, and the big challenge for marketing and brand managers is to create truly customer centric loyalty programmes. Decision makers need to ask, how does this improve the customer experience? How is this customer centric? Do our customers believe that this loyalty programme is valuable to them; and will this help to drive loyalty and customer advocacy?”

“Transitioning from traditional discount programmes to brand loyalty programmes requires customer insight, and the right tools.”

In the past loyalty programmes just meant more cards in the customer’s wallet. It’s time to move on from simply offering rewards for purchasing behaviour, to customer-led loyalty programmes.

True loyalty cannot be bought; it must be earned. If your rewards programme focuses on discounting or ‘buy 10 get 1 free’ offers, customers will move when another brand offers more rewards. Brand loyalty is built on great customer experiences, and relevant rewards offered at relevant times for the customer.

Edmonds explains; “Interrogating real-world customer feedback will reveal what loyalty really means to your customer base, empowering your company to build durable brand loyalty that influences the behaviour of your target market, and becomes self-perpetuating. Brands like Apple have evolved brand loyalty to the point where it is customer driven and totally independent of customer rewards.”

“Touchpoint MX Loyalty enables the creation of a loyalty programme which isn’t just about price.”

The customer engagement insights provided by TouchpointCX, Ipiphany and TouchpointMX enable managers to collect customer feedback, analyse interactions and identify ways to meaningfully build customer loyalty. Much more than SaaS, TouchpointMX combines CRM, email, sms, surveys, promotions and loyalty to provide a global view of customer satisfaction and engagement data.

Transactional loyalty is dead – long live interactive loyalty.

Customer feedback analysis provides insights that can inform a loyalty programme which drives and rewards customer behaviour for interactions like giving feedback, visiting a store, and recommending the brand or product on social media. A loyalty programme should drive retention and reduce the cost of converting new customers. With TouchpointMX Loyalty, even interactions like giving feedback on a bad experience, or calling the help-centre for support can be rewarded to reduce customer churn.

True brand loyalty drives customer advocacy which in turn results in increased profit, customer satisfaction and longevity, and is created by understanding your customers and acknowledging or rewarding them based on their needs or interactions with relevant, timely and personalised offers.

“A local book retailer recently used two years’ of data to profile their customers. They used these insights to send tailored personalised emails with dynamically driven content; marketing directly to the individual with relevant local information and offers based on a customer’s previous transactions or online/in store behaviours.”

Interactions in-store, online, in-app, via print promotion or on social media can all be tracked and acknowledged or rewarded strategically. Brand loyalty is no longer channel specific – we live in a multichannel world!

TouchpointMX’s DDMA (data driven marketing and advertising) insights make it possible to swiftly identify levers which can refine customer interactions and deliver more successful customer experiences. These powerful analytics combined with the three-month onboarding engagement window in Ipiphany ensure that each customer understands the benefits of brand loyalty, engages with the loyalty programme and gets rewarded in a way they value.

Benefits of brand loyalty programmes

Features of MX Loyalty software / module

Contact the team at Touchpoint to discover how MX Loyalty can reinvent your brand’s loyalty programme.