Welcome back to a new #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! As mentioned in our last write-up, our #SundayMusings will continue on a bi-weekly basis and each one will focus on a key topic of interest. This edition will focus on the various aspects of loyalty – from setting up a loyalty program, to specific rewards programs, and several other unique angles or pillars that all fall under the loyalty umbrella.
#1 – “Sochi Olympics Shows Us the Future of Marketing … and It’s Very Cool” – via LoyaltyLab.com
Premise: The Olympics coverage has leveraged a new way to understand and interact our customers through video data. Those that are already integrating video data with the information they are receiving from their loyalty programs are creating powerful tools and information to analyze. This of course assumes that those marketers have the right loyalty program in place, collecting the right information to improve their respective businesses.
Thoughts: To be honest, when I first decided to move to a bi-weekly format, I thought for sure we would be covering the Olympics through a branding lens in this week’s edition. However, I spent all of about 10 minutes watching this year’s Olympics and didn’t find it to be of much interest.
This felt like a good starting point of talking about loyalty programs based on the caveats the writer mentioned. Anyone can initiate a loyalty program. It is what type of information you collect and how you use that can really separate you from your competition. Set your goals, think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there, and be open-minded enough to consider what changes may need to be made as the program progresses … without annoying your customer.
#2 – “Five Reasons Why You Should Create a Customer-Loyalty Program” – via MarketingProfs.com
Premise: This write-up looks into the “why” you want to consider setting up a loyalty program, with five key reasons: Permission, Privacy, Process, Profitability, and Purpose. You want to build stronger loyalty with your customers. Following these five steps will help you better manage the program.
Thoughts: The fourth “P” here (Profitability) is a tricky one and I don’t want anyone to assume that setting up a loyalty program means you will automatically become profitable. If used correctly, it can certainly assist you down the path to profitability, but there are a number of moving parts that aren’t tackled or really suggested here.
I do however wholeheartedly agree with #5, Purpose. You’ll need buy-in from everyone in the organization to do their part and share in the common vision of building stronger loyalty and more profitable customers.
#3 – “Jamba Juice Debuts New Jamba Insider Rewards Customer Loyalty Program” via CustomerInsightGroup.com
Premise: Jamba Juice has initiated a new rewards program (“Jamba Insider Rewards”) for customers of the smoothie and health-conscious food maker. Customers can sign up with their phone number and receive an immediate $3 coupon off their next purchase. Members will earn a point for every $1 they spend, as well as receive personalized deals and discounts.
Thoughts: Have you ever had a Jamba Juice smoothie? I seek out a kiosk when traveling through airports as I love them. Unfortunately, there isn’t one near my house or office. This rewards program, for me at least, is a no-brainer. It will be interesting to see what Jamba Juice does with their data, how they tailor promotions to the individual users, and how they use technology (web and mobile) to grow the program.
#4 – “7 apps to take your customer loyalty program mobile” via ZDNet.com
Premise: The author offers up seven different mobile platforms to consider in order to take your loyalty program away from a card or piece of paper and into the world of mobile. There is a blurb on the size and scope of each app, along with a few personal thoughts from the writer.
Thoughts: Anything that relies on a QR code has already lost me, so ignoring those apps that are referenced, there are definitely a few to check out on this list if you aren’t using or considering them already (from either the personal or business side). Belly and Front Flip certainly sound intriguing for a business and we have covered off on Foursquare here in the past a number of times – the size and scope of the platform make it appealing from the get-go.
#5 – “How Do The Best Companies Deal With At-Risk Clients?” via ClientHeartbeat.com
Premise: Losing a client is tough, but what if you could predict that a customer was unsatisfied and adjusted the necessary means before they were lost? The author puts together five steps to leverage in order to better satisfy your current customers/clients. Starting with a customer satisfaction tool and progressing through internal and external reviews, as well as continuous adaptation, you will learn more about what the positives and negatives are in your customer’s POV.
Thoughts: This pivots the conversation of loyalty a little bit and puts the topic in a slightly different perspective. Sure, this can be applied to a business – consumer relationship, but this ties more closely to a business – business relationship. Also, just a note that the author includes a separate link for more information on each of the steps along the process in this article.
#6 – “4 Reasons Employees Are Your Best Brand Advocates” via AlleyWatch.com
Premise: Who are, or at least can be, your businesses great advocates … your current employees. This write-up focuses on the benefits that can be achieved by leveraging your employees in order to build a stronger brand/company.
Thoughts: Again, this pivots in another direction under the loyalty umbrella – focusing on strengthening the appeal of your business amongst your own employees. Engaged employees can lead to a stronger business, as they can help build your brand, deliver new leads, and create new business without having to spend a small fortune on marketing and advertising.
Are you doing anything to better understand how your employees feel about your business? How engaged are they with your line of work? Are you trying to make improvements in areas of weakness? All of this can be better understood by measuring and understanding your employees’ thoughts and opinions of your business.
Tweet of the Week:
— Mark Johnson (@MJohnsonLoyalty) February 25, 2014
For those that aren’t already following them in some capacity, Loyalty360.org does a fantastic job of creating and aggregating loyalty-specific stories on a daily basis. Their inaugural awards conference will be held in Florida from 3/17-3/19. There are five categories with four tiers of awards within each. Definitely keep your eyes open for more news and the winners next month!
I hope you enjoy the new set-up for our #SundayMusings with more focus on a specific topic per write-up. Several months ago I made a note to myself to consider a new series of write-ups on ShoreBranding.com that focused on ‘Brands I’m Loyal to’ and this week’s write-up has helped push that decision further along. Look for the first entry to come next weekend!
With that in mind, what brands or businesses are you loyal to? Let us know in the comments below!