• Loyalty Programs Need an Identity

    It’s no secret that more and more small businesses are taking on the services of a loyalty provider to bolster their sales and increase customer retention. There’s good reasons for this:

    1. It works for the big guys – Starbucks, for example has a well-known loyalty rewards program called My Starbucks Rewards. The coffee juggernaut credited the rewards program for an 11% increase in revenue the second quarter of 2013 – that’s roughly a 3 billion dollar increase in revenue.
    2. It’s now cost effective – Thanks to the recent boom in smartphone technology there are many loyalty providers out there. The costs have become reasonable as well. For as little as $50 and $200 per month a small business owner can receive a digital loyalty platform to connect with their customers.

    This leaves small business owners competing against their neighbor’s loyalty program. Many businesses pick up a program and let it run without doing anything different. But here lies the problem: just having a loyalty program isn’t really cutting it any more. Small businesses need to stand out.

    Small businesses owners are realizing that they need to build their brand. Having a brand is more than a name and a logo that customers see when they walk in the store or visiting the website. A brand is a business’s identity and what customers connect with; the reason a customer will choose one business over anssages every day. Being consistent with the message customers are being sent goes a long way to help build that identity. This goes as far as to *what* customers see when interacting with a program

    • Rewards should have a purpose – Rewards mean nothing unless they speak to a customer’s needs. It’s easy to just offer a list of items or services that seem fair on the books, but what’s the point if this does nothing for the customer? “Oh that’s nice” isn’t good enough, a reward should be a goal for the customer.
    • Personalization speaks volumes – Having a system that sends messages and provides rewards based on what individual customers want goes miles. If the customer is able to sit back and say “wow, these guys know me” when being rewarded then they are more likely to respond to the message. Just like social media or web based ads should be targeted to user preference, so should a loyalty program.
    • A brand is a unique selling proposition – A brand should end up being the reason a customer goes to a business, rather than simple products and services. Once a patron is able to relate to the brand and see something they cannot find elsewhere then the decision to come back becomes simple.

    So at the end of the day what arother.

    A loyalty program should reflect the business’s brand as well. Every action should scream “This is who we are, and this is why you chose us!” What can be done to accomplish this? It’s the little things that make the big difference.

    • Consistent messaging speaks to customers – Customers are bombarded with marketing mee you doing to set your program apart?

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  • The Newfound Importance of Customer Centricity

    Right now, we are living in the age of innovation. We have lived through the inception of the internet and computers, and continue to bear witness to technological advances made every single day. Everything has grown, adapted, and changed due to this, including business including products, which continue to develop at an unimaginable pace. This rapid evolutionary rate cause consumers’ demands to grow, and soon the advance in technology will not be able to keep up. As a result, business’ ideology must adapt and evolve as well, from a product-centric focus to a customer-centric one. Never before has customer centricity been as important as it is now. It is a completely different approach to business, however, for some cases it will be more worthwhile to change stances.

    First of all, it is important to understand that the customer-centric approach is a long-term commitment. It obviously takes time to build strong customer relations, and as a result, it will take some time to make the connections work to your advantage. The basis of customer centricity is evaluating customer lifetime value, which is essentially, determining how much value a customer will bring to your firm in the long run, by analysing data. However, each customer is different and accepting consumer heterogeneity is a very large part of a customer-centric approach. By accepting the differences in the different groups of customers that you cater to, you can more easily adjust your focus and put more effort into targeting the most beneficial group. Of course, cutting off the rest of the customers is not the point of this, but those with the highest CLV will be more loyal and, therefore, more advantageous to your firm in the long term.

    According to Professor Fader from the Wharton School of Business, customer centricity “is a strategy that aligns a company’s development or delivery of its products or services, around the current and future needs of a select set of customers in order to maximize their long term financial value to the firm.” In addition to what was said previously, Prof. Fader is saying the in order to be truly customer centric, you firm must solely base its decisions on the needs of the customers. Having excellent customer support at your store does not make you a customer-centric firm. Instead, a global understanding that you will function and orient yourself around the customers’ habits and behaviors is what does. An example of this is the data-driven model adopted by large companies such as Harrah’s and Tesco. They came out as leaders in their markets because they really analyzed the data behind the patterns that customers were creating. They developed a loyalty program to show that they knew what the customers wanted, and were able to, more readily, cater towards their needs. The loyalty program completed their data-driven business model and helped them become truly successful companies in their fields.

    The customer-centric approach allows your business to thrive in the long run. It is very different from the product-centric focus, and it will not work for all companies, but it is something that is gaining popularity quickly. Businesses can no longer out-perform and impress consumers as their demands grow, so they are forced to adapt. Loyalty programs have been proven to be very successful in offering firms with a customer-centric position in the market.

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  • What Not To Do With A Loyalty Program.

    Having a loyalty program may be the best choice for your business, as it creates incentive for the customer to return, however this strategy is not foolproof. Consumers can often be repelled by these offers because they are an everyday nuisance or brings no benefit to them. The ‘seven deadly sins of loyalty marketing’, (as described in this article:
    7 Deadly Sins), are the important factors in the failure of a loyalty program, and by focusing on a few key points, customers will be more likely to join the program.

    The first mistake is to base your program solely on discounts. Your goal is to form a strong relationship with your customer and should ultimately create a strong bond Discounts do not show that you value them. When creating incentives, the focus should be on giving the customer something that shows appreciation, something that is tailored specifically for them. TapMango can create a wide array of rewards, not necessarily discount. They can be as personalized as you’d like, which can create that bond between consumer and business. With TapMango, the relationship with the customer is the most important thing.

    Some loyalty programs can be too complex, for both the customer and the worker who is operating the system. The customer will not be attracted to a complicated-looking device, as opposed to a clean, easy configuration. Likewise, workers will not be able to offer the program to the customer if they cannot use it in its complexity. For the clean and simple system, TapMango takes complexity out of the equation. The system is completely set up and easy to operate, and the simple, elegant design is appealing to customers’ eyes. Consumers use their mobile phones to interact with the programs, and nowadays technology has been so well-incorporated into everyday life that this program is not out of place.

    Another important point is to keep in mind that customers want to be rewarded for their current actions, not something they might buy in the future. Considering this will help the consumer accept the loyalty program into their everyday life, and be rewarded for things that they have accomplished. This incorporates into TapMango’s system by sending out rewards that tailor to each person’s action, not as a whole. Consumers can also be rewarded for simply visiting the store and signing up, or referring a friend. This will help you to really connect with your customer on a personal level. Rewarding their actions as they happen, create the strong bond necessary for a healthy consumer-business relationship.

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