Retention Branding

How To Use Your Loyalty Program To Highlight Your Brand Values

how-to-use-your-loyalty-program-to-highlight-your-brand-values

One of the most universal human traits is to be identified with a group that reflects your values. And, this phenomenon also comes into play when we’re making buying decisions. Whether we notice it or not, each brand represents various values. Through owning their products, we automatically associate ourselves with those brands. In other words, “you are what you wear”.

Our recent research found that 68% of customers purchase from brands that share their values. The Harvard Business Review also states that shared values are “the largest driver” within the decision-making process.

However, shared values are not only about bringing new customers. Starbucks founder and CEO, Howard Schultz, says, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.

Showing how you’re aligned with your customers builds loyalty. So how can you build stronger and longer-lasting relationships with your customers through sharing the same values?

1️⃣ Define your brand values

To win your customers’ loyalty for the long-term, you need to show how your values are aligned with them. Ask yourself what do you believe in, what you are passionate about, and what you stand for. Try not to pick a side to stay on-trend, customers can spot inauthenticity a mile off.

For example, Lively, a sophisticated leisurée brand, defines themselves as a company “inspired by women with wild hearts and boss brains”. This statement shows that Lively cares about what empowers women today: being smart, healthy, active and confident.

Through addressing like-minded women, Lively was able to create a strong brand community. A tactic that helped retain customers as our study found that 47% of customers are loyal to a brand if they’re welcomed into a brand community.

To build emotional connections with their customers, Lively designed a tiered loyalty program structure made of three levels: ”Bestie”, “Total Boss”, and “Powerhouse”. By creating tiers that their customers could aspire to, Lively increased the customer lifetime value by 39%.

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2️⃣ Back your values

Our study shows that 89% of customers would switch to a brand that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality. This is fuelled by Millennials increasing their spending power. As the largest digital buyers, 73% of millennials are willing to spend more with stores that are socially conscious.

But, be careful. You also need to demonstrate that you “understand the difference between rallying behind a cause and standing for a purpose”. In other words, you need to implement your brand values into every part of your site.

For example, REN Clean Skincare, a global leader in the skincare industry, is established on the idea of “clean to skin, clean to planet”. All the ingredients within their products and their packages are also sustainably-sourced. And, by 2021, they aim to make all their packaging 100% recyclable.

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Our study shows that 66% of customers are motivated to join a loyalty program to create ongoing relationships with the brands they like. To enhance their brand community, REN  also created a loyalty program called “Clean Collective Rewards”. Through creating a tiered loyalty program structure, REN enabled members to progress across three levels: “Ally”, “Advocate” and “Activist”. This motivated their environmentally-conscious customers to spend more to reach the next tier while supporting a cause they believed in.

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Through this strategy, they have seen a 63% higher repeat purchase by loyalty program members compared to non-members.

3️⃣ Communicate your values

It is critical to reflect your brand values across all channels and platforms. Use your social media and email marketing to communicate who you are. This will allow you to build relationships with micro-influencers that stand for similar values.

These customers can then act as patrons of your brand and subsequently encourage others to become a member of your program.

Annmarie Skin Care promises its customers “organic and wildcrafted” products that are sustainable and cruelty-free. This mission is woven into the foundations of their loyalty program. When customers sign up, Annmarie sends an email highlighting their brand values and how members can contribute to those causes.

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Annmarie also designed a top-tier membership that enables subscribers to join a Facebook group where kindred spirits share anecdotes and wellness advice. They also use this as a way to educate members on social causes and to notify them of new product launches.

Thanks to their communication strategy, Annmarie’s members now spend 140% more than non-members.

👉 Key takeaways

  • 68% of customers are motivated by knowing that a brand shares the same values as them
  • 66% of customers are motivated to join a loyalty program to create longer-lasting relationships with the brands they like. Create a loyalty program that is consistent with your brand values and strengthens your brand community
  • 89% of customers would switch to a brand that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality
  • 47% of customers are motivated to be loyal by becoming part of a community of like-minded people. Use your email marketing, events, and social media to create an engaging community with your customers

If you want to find out more about how to drive revenue from your existing customers, read our Loyalty: Up close and personal report.  Not got time to read the report? See the results of our research in our infographic.

This article originally appeared in the LoyaltyLion blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.