How Can Businesses Improve Customer Loyalty with Branded Rewards?
Emma Author + Marketing Specialist
You knew it already…
People like free stuff, rewards and competitions. That’s why rewarding your customers from time to time is a great way to keep them close. It’s also a good way to attract them in the first place, often more effective than ads and sponsored posts. People are flooded with advertisements all the time and rarely pay attention to them anymore. Giving your potential customers a chance to try and test your product might make a difference. At that point, it’s all about the quality of your product. If people like it they will remember not just that it’s fine, but they will also appreciate the fact that they got it for free. However, once you got people to use your product or service, you should come up with ways to keep them interested. Having regular branded giveaways and rewards is an excellent way to do it.
Instead of giving regular customers discounts, you should consider providing them with some sort of free service. The math behind it is basically the same, but free service is definitely more powerful and memorable. Discounts are everywhere, and they have become meaningless, sometimes even harmful. Also, the fact that a product or service is on discount doesn’t at all mean that it’s cheap or even affordable. On the other hand, offering them a service that doesn’t cost you much and doesn’t take too much of your time for free, will make people remember you.
A good way to brand this whole process is to give it a little twist that will make people talk about it. You don’t have to put your watermark on something in order to say it’s branded. For instance, you can refuse to charge your customers for some services but at the same time tell them to feel free to contribute to charity instead; just put a box in your shop where people can leave the money for a cause. The word will definitely spread, your idea will be seen as fresh and original, and you will get a chance to help those in need.
Giving away merchandise with the name of your brand to loyal customers (or any customers, for that matter) is also a reasonable idea. It might seem a bit out of date to give t-shirts, pens or notebooks as presents but you can be pretty sure people will use them. At the end of the day they will appreciate this little gift as well, especially when it comes to things you can’t have too much of. It’s true that people don’t pay much attention to words and logos inscribed on t-shirts or coffee mugs, but having the name of your brand around is never a bad thing, especially given that the cost of it is really miniscule.
When it comes to stimulating people to buy more, some businesses choose to reward those who buy big quantities at once. This is not a bad idea, but it’s a short-term solution and it should be teamed up with rewards for those who use your products regularly, no matter how much money they actually spend. Setting up a loyalty program has several advantages that go beyond the simple act of giving free stuff to people. Firstly, it keeps your customers involved at all times. They are not just buying, they are collecting points and playing a game, and the good thing about this game is that the rewards are financially beneficial for them.
Furthermore, giving discounts and free stuff through a loyalty program is a great idea because the more often your customers use it, the higher their benefits will be. What they get as a reward depends only on their loyalty and the longer they use your program, the more reluctant they will be to switch to another brand. If your competition doesn’t offer anything radically better or different there’s a good chance they will stick to you. Not just as a result of a habit but because your customers also see this as a kind of an investment, they too are building something, and they won’t be too keen on starting over.
One way to use gift cards is to make them a part of a loyalty program. It’s fine to keep track of your points or credits via some sort of software or app, but it’s even better to get rewarded with an actual real-world present. It’s a small touch that tells your loyal customers that you care. Of course, you don’t have to use it as a part of a program; you can just give them away on convenient dates and occasions like Christmas or your company’s birthday, for instance. It’s easy to find customized and tailor-made gift cards online, with the logo of your company imprinted, so that people are reminded of your brand every time they use them.
All in all, rewarding loyal customers regularly is a very good idea for your business. In order to make it even more effective, make sure to be familiar with your customers, get to know what they want, what will appeal to them and what will make them stay loyal to you. Once you know that, it’s easy to make a plan and choose your strategy and particular ways to attract new people and keep them loyal to your brand.
Orana Creative Contributor
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She's a contributor Orana Creative and BizzMark Blog.