Branding Your Loyalty Program

As a marketer, your natural inclination may be to “brand” everything that passes through your office. You understand the value of marketing far beyond the coupon codes, and wiz-bang strategies that the sales department loves. Yes, the “brand” is your baby, and come hell or high water, the new loyalty program is going to fit into that brand. So how do you go about branding a loyalty program effectively?

Value Alignment

Good loyalty branding begins with purpose. Loyalty is about data and behavior, so you must find that bridge between the behaviors you want from your program participants, and the emotional and psychological profile of your brand promise. Every company’s brand promise is different, so the branding of your loyalty program should fully align with your specific brand promise. If it does not, you’ve created friction and the two competing sets of values and behaviors may end up costing the company more than they bargained for.

For example, if your brand promise is around 100% customer service, yet your loyalty program focuses on providing low price, you’ve created a conflict. Now the minds of your most loyal customers have shifted to cost thinking, and moved away from the main reason they liked your service in the first place. The same thing is true the other way. If Wal-mart decided to launch a customer experience based loyalty program, how well do you think it would do? Right, that is why they are releasing a savings based program.

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My ___ Club

Fill in the blank. How many “my___ clubs” do you belong to? The idea is right, but the execution leaves a ton of room for improvement. You want your member to feel a part of your company, and view the benefits of belonging. But don’t lose a unique concept and settle with the “My” brand for your program. People are more than just selfish. “Mine” is a game 2 and 3 year-olds-play. (I know, I’ve got two of them). Try to brainstorm around ideas that apply to the mental alignment of your brand promise. In our example above, if customer service is top priority, than an “MVP” type brand might be better suited. But don’t try to deceive anyone with your loyalty program brand. Keep it clean and straight forward and appeal to something more aligned with your goals for the program.

If you need help branding or thinking through the launch of your loyalty program, contact New North today and we can help you through the process of alignment in your marketing and loyalty program to increase your overall ROI from your loyalty program.

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