If your key ring is like mine, it is full of Customer Loyalty Program FOB tags. Mine has several grocery store “club” tags, a drug store value tag and even one from my gym.
For a while, the gym FOB held my attention — scan it enough times at the front door and get a free pair of yoga pants. Once I got the yoga pants, that FOB tag became just like the others, a little boring.
So, when a Market Centre Group client asked my team to create a few new Customer Loyalty Program ideas, we decided to go a bit further than the old key FOB approach.
During our brainstorming session, it was fast and easy to create a list of tired ideas that are part of most Customer Loyalty Programs…
- Get a discount at the register
- Get a “club” email in your in-box
- Get a quarterly piece of snail mail and
- Maybe get invited to enter a special web site
None of these ideas really create COMMUNITY.
Marketers know that creating community is what brings your customers back. Creating community is what keeps your customers interested and it gets your customers to share.
A happy customer that feels part of the community experience at your store, restaurant, office or event is more apt to share that community feeling on social media.
A sense of community turns your customers into a team of virtual marketers.
How can you get your customers to invite their friends to the Community? You need to get away from the tired ideas and add some fun. You can pay a marketing or PR firm thousands of dollars to create a Customer Loyalty Program, but if the plan doesn’t contain a fun attitude, then your Loyalty Program will soon become as interesting as winning a pair of yoga pants.
Our Customer Loyalty Approach
A Market Centre Group client in Virginia, HomeBrewz, asked for assistance in creating Community and creating a Customer Loyalty Program. HomeBrewz is located in beautiful Nelson County, VA and is only miles from one of Virginia’s most popular year-round resorts, Wintergreen Resort.
HomeBrewz also sits in a community shared by other unique retail shops and one of Nelson County’s micro-breweries, Wild Wolf Brewing Company. Park your car and visit unique shops, taste some great micro- brew, dine inside or out and enjoy the views. This client has what marketers call “Site Advantage”.
The Market Centre Group had to capture that fun atmosphere and push it to the Customer Loyalty Program. HomeBrewz sells at-home beer and wine making supplies as well as a large collection of wine and beer themed home accessories.
Soon, the store will add an e-commerce web site for national shipping. The Market Centre Group was tasked to create a Customer Loyalty Program that would not only appeal to those who visit in person but also to those who only purchase online.
The fun atmosphere had to capture those customers that are hundreds of miles away. We needed to create a two-prong approach.
Our team broke down the customer loyalty program into manageable parts:
Start a wine and beer making blog and invite club members to be guest bloggers. Let club members share their tips and experiences in home brewing. Guest blogging always builds community. Tie the blog into the new e-commerce web site so far-away customers are encouraged to participate.
Host a special event for club members that encourage members to share and swap their bottles with other club members. Of course, the event will be held at HomeBrewz and home brew supplies will be discounted to club members during the event. A fun event always builds community.
Idea Sharing tied to eCommerce
Start a recipe share page. Homebrewers and winemakers love to share their recipes. Again, tie this into the e-commerce web site. Any idea that encourages sharing builds community.
Online Photos and Videos
Again, encourage club members to share their photos and videos. Social Media has been built around the idea of community and sharing photos and videos. I am a home winemaker myself, and a fellow winemaker loves to share her photos of her grapes growing in Canada. It’s fun and always a conversation starter.
Have a yearly wine tasting and competition. Let your customers compete to be the best and build a party around the competition. Friendly competition always builds community. For those far-away customers, plan a weekend of fun and provide information on lodging and area activities.
Coming together around food and beverage always builds community. The sister store to HomeBrewz, Zestivities, is a distributor for The Big Green Egg. Loyalty Club Members will be invited to visit and taste some gourmet food created in the demo area for The Big Green Egg. (a great cross marketing idea)
Loyalty Club Members Weekly Discount
Tried and True, a discount always keeps your club members coming back. This idea will be used on-site and on the e-commerce page. The Market Centre Group is suggesting a special twist to keep this idea fresh. We will be using a Loyalty Club QR Code. Scan the QR Code weekly to see the club special.
QR Code Marketing
The Market Centre Group is going to build a Customer Loyalty Program that goes beyond the boring key FOB tag. The special club QR Code will appear on HomeBrewz swag. Swag will be given to club members when they visit the store and included in the shipping boxes on e-commerce orders.
The Market Centre Group will create a club member’s mobile website using Myqrosites. The QR Code will also be included on all event invitations, on the web site and even on store receipts.
Mobile and Social Sharing
The Market Centre Group suggested a mobile site by Myqrosites because of the software’s “Share” feature. MyQRosites will let club members share the mobile site on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources.
Of course, there will be some prize giveaways to club members who share with their circle of friends. HomeBrewz will continue to create ways to get their customers to invite friends to the community.
The Market Centre Group will be using these ideas to create a fun Customer Loyalty Program for HomeBrewz. The program will launch with the store’s new e-commerce site and tie into Summer 2013 special events.
We believe in the benefits of planning and hosting launch events. As a matter of fact, our next blog post will be about Event Marketing.