With the stagnating economy and increasing competition, what does the future of loyalty look like for global brands?
In the old world of loyalty, points and miles were the mainstay of any popular relationship programme – and to an extent this is still the case today with many brands finding it difficult to progress from outdated business models. Although clearly there is a place for reward propositions that include miles or points, in today’s digitally connected world, brands across all sectors need to evolve their loyalty strategies and raise their game or risk seeing their loyalty strategies become outdated and overlooked.
Brands risk losing vital customers if they fail to innovate and differentiate their offering over competitors. This could include embracing the complex, interconnected benefits of the evolving social media world. Customers already love and include online social communities in their everyday lives, so brands that understand how they can play a more significant role within their customer’s social community can create a much deeper emotional connection.
It should also include the multi-dimensional opportunities aligned with the mobile channel – now much more sophisticated than just SMS due to the proliferation of smartphones. Location-based marketing is now a vast opportunity for brands to engage with customers in a completely different way, capturing their interest at point of sale and further enhancing the customer experience.
Brands also need to focus on building more customer-centricity. Online retailers like Amazon have, for example, introduced incredibly successful customer relationship techniques that harness the power of suggestion. Personalisation of the customer experience to encourage greater loyalty should be a key part of any brand’s future customer relationship strategy.
To this end brands need to initially look within their own organisations, as they already hold a vast amount of data and information on their customers. However the difficultly, and indeed the real trick, comes in how to make the creative leap from insight to innovation.