The loyalty strategists at Loyal~n~Save covered a lot of ground throughout September, providing informative, in-depth articles that ranged from branding to white labeling with a little holiday season marketing advice thrown in. In case you missed it, here's a recap of all that we went over this month.
On the very first of the month, we kicked off September by blogging about How Your Loyalty Program Can Powerfully Brand Your Store. Conveying your brand and showing consumers what your business is all about--from the products and services you sell to the values you stand for--isn't as straightforward as it sounds, which is why we dedicated an entire article to the topic. In it, we went over the best store branding practices and how implementing a customer loyalty rewards program can become the most effective strategy to brand your retail store.
Focusing on specific areas, we advised that business owners follow four key strategies to impact consumers and stay memorable in their minds. Summarized, those four strategies are:
- Include your unique story as part of your store brand
- Create a special identity for your loyalty members
- Surprise and delight your loyal customers
- Integrate your customer loyalty rewards program into your store's brand
The article then expanded on the last key strategy of integrating your loyalty program into your brand by offering these tips:
- Show off what makes your store and business unique
- Create a loyalty currency
- Hold special in-store events for loyalty program members only
For a deeper understanding of these strategies, tips, and tactics, be sure to read the full article.
The next September article we published to our blog defined and analyzed the lesser-known business tool called "white label". White labeling refers to products that are built by one company and licensed out to another company in such a way that the licensee can stamp their own brand on the product, therefore passing it off as their own.
Our in-depth article What Is White Labeling And Does Your Loyalty Program Need It? covered a great deal of ground, including giving examples of white label products, the various B2B relationships that involve white labeling, and the pros and cons of why you, as a business owner, might want to consider looking into white labeling to broaden your consumer reach and customer base.
The strongest business benefits that white labeling provides are:
- Increases brand credibility: by expanding the products & services you sell, your customers will value your brand more
- Builds customer loyalty: once customers become hooked on the white labeled items, they will patronize your company on a more consistent, deeper level
- Faster software launch: because the white label software solutions are pre-made, it will take you less time to get your branded version to market
- Reduced expenses: when you avoid hiring a developer, you save a lot of money
- Lower risks: if you license or subscribe to a white label software solution and find it isn't panning out for you, you can cancel without having invested too much money in the process
Most importantly, white labeling is a great option for retailers who are interested in upgrading their customer loyalty rewards program. When taking advantage of white label products for loyalty programs specifically, you will be capable of offering your loyalty members the following:
- Loyalty program mobile app
- Loyalty email newsletters
- Customized advertising that speaks to them
- Sales campaigns of the highest interest
We strongly encourage you to read the full article on white labeling if you'd like to learn more.
Not all customer loyalty rewards programs come with a "swag shop" where loyalty members can redeem points for specialty merchandise that isn't available anywhere else. Establishing a swag shop for your rewards program is a highly effective way to incentivize your customers to keep buying, which keeps rewards points circulating through your retail business.
Making sure our readers fully understood the benefits of having a customer loyalty virtual swag shop was the backbone of why we published our article What Is The Swag Shop? As far as getting down to business with implementing a virtual swag shop at your retail store for the purposes of strengthening and rewarding customer loyalty, we recommended the following:
- Utilize "the welcome gift"
- Establish exclusivity
- Offer tiered swag rewards
- Consider ROI when devising swag points
By implementing these four tactics, you will both attract new customers to join your loyalty program and motivate all members to keep earning, redeeming, and appreciating. But you won't know exactly how-to put these pieces into motion unless you read the full article, so we invite you to take the time to do that!
Our final blog post of September was all about helping you to gear up for the holiday sales season, which is right around the corner. It might even be a little closer than that, in fact. Our article Is Your Loyalty Program Ready For The Holidays? was written as a guided check-list to assist you in utilizing your customer loyalty rewards program to the max, starting with Black Friday and pushing all the way through to New Year's Day and all those fun "after the holidays" sales.
The only way to get the most out of the article's information is to read it, but for the sake of brevity, here is what we covered, starting with positioning your rewards program front-and-center within your holiday marketing.
The check-list for inviting customers to become loyal by enrolling newbies:
- Run a launch campaign--send a tailored message that outlines how your rewards program works and what customers can get out of it.
- Establish value with welcome points--the whole point of joining a rewards program is to receive a higher value for shopping, which means that stores that offer extra points to newly joined customers experience a higher ROI.
- Brand your program--they say the average consumer needs to see a brand 13 times before they realize they've seen it more than once. What does this mean? It means that first and foremost, the font, logo, colors, and slogan of your business must be uniformly branded in a way that's instantly recognizable to the average consumer no matter where they see your brand.
- Make your program visible--if shoppers can't find your loyalty program, they can't be expected to join it, so be certain to make your program visible on as many digital platforms as possible, as well as on your in-store digital signage.
The check-list for motivating loyalty members to engage:
- Regularly send points balance updates--no matter how frequently a loyalty member shops, it isn't possible for them to keep their points balance at the forefront of their minds. One of the biggest pitfalls of rewards programs is when they fail to alert customers to their balance which could be spent immediately at the store.
- Target your promotional campaigns--the key to effectively targeting your members, dividing them into segments, and advertising smartly to each segment is all about understanding your customer data.
- Offer bonus points--as the holidays approach, every consumer is going to want to save money as they spend in order to make every dollar stretch. Offering bonus points that are the reward for actionable steps is the way to go, so be sure to offer additional points whenever a member posts about your business on social media.
The check-list for creating community-building campaigns:
- Share your brand's story--you got into business for a reason and your story is highly personal so share it.
- Sell the best for less--it's imperative that you keep your prices competitive, but if certain items you sell or services you offer are extremely difficult to sell at a lower cost than your competitors, use your loyalty program to give those items and services away at rock-bottom prices.
- Surprise and delight--this catchy term, "surprise and delight" has been around for a while, but if you aren't familiar, the point is that you surprise your most loyal high-spending members with unexpected bonus points, savings, and special sales.
There you have it! In case you missed the informative topics we blogged about throughout September, now you have a quick-reference summary. But as we mentioned, nothing beats reviewing the original posts, so be sure to visit each as soon as you have time to wrap your business head around the strategies we recommend and take action!
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.