Guide: Community Loyalty - What is a Community Based Loyalty Programme?
Let’s explore the role and benefits of community loyalty programs; how do they work exactly? What are the steps in creating a solid community-based loyalty program? And in what ways can a substantial solution help you stand out from the competition?
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Community Based Loyalty Programmes are growing in popularity daily. Why is that? Emotional loyalty is on par with monetary, the feeling of belonging must be created to have a successful community-based loyalty program. It is time to understand what precisely makes them unique.
What is a community based loyalty programe?
Arguably a unique loyalty program, mainly being found as an add-on to other loyalty programs, creating the incredible potential for new touchpoints to your loyalty programme framework. Community loyalty programmes focus on providing the opportunity for customers to interact with like-minded people, helping you reinforce your relationships with your customers.
By becoming a member, customers gain access to discounts and rewards or sometimes just the opportunity to join a community of similar people (we can take an example of sports club). In addition, members can be part of a safe space to transfer tips and tricks, guide other members on how to install and discuss upcoming events! Or sometimes it could be about getting to access news first or being part of a special club.
Communities are designed to foster maximum customer engagement via community-level bonding, providing brands with a unique way to stay competitive in the fierce industry competition. Take Sephora as an example; the introduction of their loyalty programme “The Beauty Insider” in 2007 changed their position in the industry, by creating a community of like-minded people who engage with their platform on a regular basis.
Benefits of a Loyalty Community:
Engage Customers Through Their Preferences:
Communities establish a special environment for customers to discuss your products and get the interested members to participate with others. They create an opportunity for businesses to create another initiative that aligns with their beliefs, for example, a specific sustainability initiative can be created and protected within the community.
The important thing to understand with community programs is that customers will only join if the community syncs up with their personal preferences and interest. You aren’t going to join a group you have no interest in after all! When creating your community it is vital you understand your customer and carefully consider what will be the interesting subject of the platform. Essentially this would be done by further analysis of large volumes of customers data you already have.
Understand your customers like never before:
While not all your customers will become members of the loyalty community, you will have an opportunity to get a better understanding of your customers. This will further enable you to create more personalised offers for the members within your community; and with customer experience only growing with importance, it seems silly to not take advantage of. Despite this, you must ensure these personalisd offers are created in sync with your brand, as that is what they signed up for.
Build Brand Image:
In the current industry, brands are swiftly starting to realise how crucial it is to constantly maintain a positive brand image. By attracting customers having specific interests via your loyalty community, you build the message of your brand being linked with a distinctive sense of belonging. This projects a positive image of your brand, creating stronger customer loyalty while also maintaining a competitive edge.
Develop an Exclusive Loyalty Program:
As we mentioned earlier, community loyalty is often added on alongside an existing loyalty program, by doing so, you are effectively strengthening your ongoing program. By creating this combination, let’s call it a hybrid program, you are adding an extra element of interest, providing more reason for your customer to opt-in for your loyalty program.
Grow Customers Loyalty :
Brand loyalty is vital. We all know that. A sense of community helps transform your existing customers into marketers for your brand! By creating a group or platform for your customers to share ideas and do a lot more interesting things with other members, you are actually winning their affection. Subconsciously, happy customers automatically become encouraged to share their emotions of delight with their friends and family; spreading a positive message about your brand!
By creating a loyal community, you are encouraging and nurturing these customers more, motivating them to share their happy experiences further. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool.
Overall, with emotive rewards becoming equal to monetary rewards, a community-based loyalty program provides the key stepping stone to creating a strong and dedicated community, which creates brand-loyal customers.