Customer Advocacy Programs III: Creating Brand for Loyalty Programs

Oct 21, 2020

Our language is known for many phrases that sound similar, but carry a nuanced distinction in meaning. To “be funky” means something very different from “being in a funk.” A monk might have a “habit” of meditating while wearing his “habit” (customary clothing).

Earlier in this series, we discussed the advantages companies garner from developing brand loyalty programs. But in this post, we’ll deep dive further by discussing how to maximize the benefits of those programs by creating branding for brand loyalty programs themselves. Indeed, in order to fully capture the attention and engagement of your target audience, and to develop the long-term loyalty that makes these programs effective, customers must be able to identify with the brand a program represents. Every rewards and loyalty program should be designed under the guidance of one golden principle: serve as a seamless extension of a company’s brand, not an (unbranded) island unto oneself.

But how to go about this process of ensuring brand consistency? Should the loyalty program’s branding exist as a “fractal” within the greater company branding? If the loyalty program were to have any variations in tone, would it seem funky, or smell funky?

To make your life easier so you can get back to doing what you do best -- delighting your customers with exceptional products -- we’ve put together a few tips to help you succeed in branding your loyalty/rewards program:

  1. “What’s in a name?”: Name your program something memorable, succinct, and entirely on brand. Whether your rewards program is designed for customer loyalty, employee appreciation and incentives, or new customer acquisition, make sure that the name and introduction clearly emphasize why someone would want to join. Make sure the name stays true-to-brand and conveys the essential themes of your program: rewards, benefits, distinction, and premier service.
  2. “Delight is in the details”: Ensure that every aspect of your program, from top to bottom, is thematically consistent with your brand. This includes the selection of rewards available to program members. With a rewards platform like Tremendous, you can carefully craft the rewards options members can access in order to stay on brand -- including which digital gift cards comprise the selection, and whether to include Visa cards as an option.

In addition, make sure that members can access your program with intuitive onboarding. The language guiding them through every step of the program’s process should match the company’s brand voice. Everything should feel cohesive; for example, if your company provides food-delivery, ensure (1) that the rewards selection includes digital gift cards for restaurants, (2) that the process to activate program membership is as easy as ordering food itself, and (3) that the messaging is as complementary to the brand-at-large as chips to guac (the greatest food complements of all time!).

  1. Use content as a superpower: Every loyalty and rewards program aims to better engage its audience, and to more deeply align with its audience’s needs. A great way to boost engagement while maintaining a defined brand identity within the program is to create meaningful, on-brand program content. Consider creating a newsletter for your program that serves fresh reminders for members, updates them on point status, notifies them about new rewards, and contains useful or insightful material. Content can become a brand experience within a rewards program, and positive brand experiences are among the strongest drivers of word-of-mouth.
  2. Create something recognizable: Establishing brand recognition is one of the strongest ways to prevent prospects from considering your competitors. A reliable way to develop recognition is to ensure consistency between all communication. If branded program content is a lever you decide to pull, spare extra diligence to confirm that your team is on the same page and that your messaging is part of one unified story.

Not to sound to meta, but we hope -- tremendously -- that these tips will help you build your brand within your brand, and indeed, the most effective rewards/loyalty program for your customers. Feel free to share these recommendations with any fellow marketers and brand-buffs, and take a look at the wide rewards selection available on the Tremendous platform.

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