So, my column has changed a tiny bit - in placement and design, mostly. If you're interested, click for bigger or read the text below.
The fact that it's important to reward consumers for being loyal to your brand is indisputable by now. But how do you do it? One of the most readily accessible examples is the loyalty program. Most are the same: The more you spend, the more points you accumulate and can then redeem for swag, airline miles or discounts. But what does this reward? Certainly not true loyalty; the primary goal behind these programs is essentially to stimulate frequent purchases. And the consumer knows this.Many, many thanks for Jean Aw of NOTCOT and Nima Abassi of WFG for their background on the Veuve Clicquot bit!
If you ask anybody outside of the industry what loyalty means, you'll get a different idea. It's not just about repeat purchases, but also a strong conviction and belief that your brand is worth being loyal to. Given this, why does a brand need a standardized program - why not thank good customers every once in a while, without asking them to prove their loyalty?
With the help of WFG Media, Veuve Clicquot flew NOTCOT's Jean Aw and other influential design bloggers to France, to immerse her fully in their brand's rich history and value on design. She was put up in a five-star hotel, treated to a multi-course dinner on the Seine, flown in a helicopter over Champagne after a tour of the vineyards, driven around in their custom Bentley and served lunch at Madame Clicquot's country house; all just to say thank you for being a loyal fan, customer and Veuve Clicquot supporter on the NOTCOT blog.
Understandably, it's not easy to perform grand gestures like this every day. One of the more replicable things that makes this example great is that Veuve Clicquot made rewarding loyalty about two-way, personal communication. There are creative ways that your brand can do this on a broader scale: Take the store club card, for example. UK-based grocery giant Tesco has a club program that uses tracked-purchase history to tailor quarterly mailings to its shoppers' needs and interests. This is a step in the right direction, because it shows that Tesco cares enough about the individual consumer to make things a little more personally relevant. As a result, Tesco has one of the most potent CRM programs out there.
Duane Reade has a Dollar Rewards club as well. What if they took advantage of the data they could be gathering through members' purchases? For example, if you have bought the same flavor of Orbit gum every couple of weeks for the past year, what if you came home one day to find that Duane Reade had noticed this pattern and mailed you two free packs of it? This goes above rewarding with a discount - it adds value and feels more like a two-way relationship.