Interestingly from grocery stores to fashion, to electronic chain or even premium food chains have designed their loyalty programs. And every time you visit them they promptly ask you if you have membership with them, if yes then give them your card or share your contact no and they will fetch you your account if now they may request if you would like to have one and along with it is the laundry list of benefits. Periodically they will send you SMS alerts and emails to update you what more you can shop, or they have missed us!
All of this put together with sometimes exciting or boring communication, mostly well designed and always have something exciting to share. In most cases you tend to ignore them as soon as they arrive and sometime you have an occasion and you end up at the store.
Is this really the crux of the loyalty program. I can understand that the brands have invested heavily on developing CRM applications, bought SMS and Email Applications, hired a creative agency and spend months of work behind this to make it work.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and it is working for some of the brands. However that is not same as delivering ownership experience. The customer of today has evolved beyond recognition, every individual who has the capacity to make a purchase is very well versed with these programs and they relate to this as sales programs. These programs have been developed to generate incremental sales which means additional expenses and you have the notion of saving money.
So where does ownership experience starts?Truth is ownership experience can drive loyalty but not the other way round. And Ownership is not more incremental sales, ownership is an experience which allows you to get the most of your purchase. Ownership is an emotional relationship and not govern by transactional relationship.
The best way to sells is to sell your customer nothing, but make them a part of you and they will buy it automatically buy and stand for you even when a competition is better than you. The history of brand building has many such chapters. Points can never create belonging, but relationship does.