Year after year, for decades, brand loyalty marketing programs have demonstrated their potential to be extremely effective drivers of sales, word-of-mouth, and brand awareness.  

However, merely having a loyalty program by itself is not a guarantee that it will be successful.  This is not a situation where “if you build it, they will come.”  At least not necessarily.

In our years of experience at Brandmovers, we’ve found that much of the time the key is entanglement.  This means getting a customer/buyer so caught up in your program, through both action and messaging, that it’s hard to avoid or escape it.

So, we wanted to talk about entanglement, and how we apply it to brand loyalty marketing campaigns.

How to Successfully Entangle a Buyer in Your Loyalty Program

1 – Clear messaging alignment

A loyalty program must always by an organic extension of its brand, preferably to the point of inseparability.  Consider, for example, how entwined “McDonald’s” and “Happy Meal” are.  (After all, Happy Meals are a very simplified form of a loyalty-builder.)  This is such a successful example that it’s hard to imagine McDonald’s without Happy Meals!

2 – Consistent co-branding

Along with that, the branding for the loyalty program should be omnipresent.  If “Delta” is mentioned, “SkyMiles” probably isn’t too far away – particularly on promotional materials.  This co-branding helps create that organic-inseparable feel.  We made use of this concept in our own Nerf Perks program.

3 – Multi-channel messaging

The more channels mentioning the loyalty program, the better.  Packaging.  Billboards.  Websites.  Social media.  Pop-up ads.  TV ads.  Trade shows. Even emojis. The brand and the loyalty program should be side-by-side everywhere.

4 – Action, Action, Reward

There’s a key bit of psychology behind brand loyalty marketing.  Rare exceptions aside, the buyer should always take TWO actions before getting a loyalty reward: buying the product, and interacting with the loyalty program.  The two actions should become closely linked in the buyer’s mind.  A) buy, B) redeem points, C) get reward.  Make it a learned habit.

5 – Their work is never done.

There’s always a higher tier to achieve.  There’s always a reward that’s just outside their reach.  There’s never a point they can say, “Well, I’ve finished this loyalty program.”  There’s always something they can achieve with one more purchase, luring them back.

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