Rethinking Loyalty Programs

Do you have a few loyalty cards taking up space in your wallet? Are you three punches short of a free sandwich or cup of frozen yogurt? This marketing tactic has been around for awhile, but Matt Hirst, former Brand Experience Leader at Google and former Director of Culture Marketing at Red Bull, says there’s a better way to generate loyalty from your customers.

Hirst was recently interviewed by about this topic. You can read the full interview here, and we’ve gathered a few key insights below:

“People know that loyalty programs are clever marketing tricks. … At the end of the day, if your product and services are not as good as someone else’s, then your brand or loyalty card is not going to do too much. …

There are certain ways of positioning loyalty as almost as a membership, which is a different idea. For example, people who like Costco, absolutely love Costco. People that have Soho House memberships only drink at Soho House. People that are evangelical about Uber, only use UberThere’s something there which bucks the trend of traditional loyalty.

At the end of the day, all of those businesses provide an absolutely exceptional service but they all approach it in a slightly different way. They have all started with a membership tribe idea as part of their starting proposition.”

The bottom line: People are loyal to brands that give them an excellent experience, from start to finish. Is your organization doing that?

For more inspiration on this matter, check out some of Jim’s posts on customer service:

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