As we start a new year, and are preparing our loyalty programme initiatives for the coming months, it’s important to take time and evaluate the state of your existing programme. When was the last time it was refreshed? Is now the time to do it?
We’re continuously asked “how often should I change my programme?”, and our answer is always, “it depends”. While there’s no set timetable as to how often marketers should relaunch, on average, the brands we work with typically relaunch their programmes every three years.
To help evaluate if your programme needs to (or is ready to) evolve, consider the checklist below.
The first step is to assess your current loyalty initiative. Questions to consider for your programme’s evaluation are:
- Is the value proposition still compelling and competitive?
- Is the member experience memorable and seamless?
- Is the programme performing well, operationally and financially?
If the answer to any of those questions is “no” then it’s probably time to consider a programme refresh/relaunch.
The next step is to ensure you have the funding. Relaunches often create a need for technology modifications, which can be a costly endeavor. In addition to the technology updates needed, you’ll have several other costs, and one that’s top of mind is reward fulfillment.
During the relaunch phase, marketers often ‘up the ante’ on their reward fulfillment and shift from transactional to more experiential rewards which can significantly add to the programme cost. So be financially ready.
Make sure your key stakeholders believe in the relaunch and see the positive results that lie ahead. Share research or examples of other programmes that have relaunched with great success.
Also, involve them in your decision making of the key components of the programme so they feel engaged and part of the process. Once the programme is relaunched, consider having all employees join so they can experience first-hand the wonderful benefits of the programme.
Once you’ve established your budget and have leadership’s buy-in, the next step is to ensure you have a strategy in place. And it’s important to make sure your strategy is built for continued evolution.
As you’re developing your brand’s strategy, think of ways you can add more emotional components. In a recent blog post, we shared some ideas to keep emotions front and center: Data is your best friend when it comes to understanding emotions, being brand empathetic wins customers over, and it’s important to understand ‘the biology’ of loyalty.
There are so many articles published today on personalisation but marketers need to strategise and think about what’s behind the scenes of personalisation. It’s the emotional components that fuel the success of personalisation, or what we refer to as 1:You.
Start thinking of ways in which you can update your loyalty programme. A relaunch for your brand might not be in the books for 2020, but consider a refresh.
For example, focus on a specific area of your programme that you’ve been wanting to improve. As part of Nordstrom’s loyalty programme relaunch, they added the rewards of exclusive insider access to style workshops, first-to-shop select brand shipments, roadside pick-up and more. These have been well received by members and they go beyond the transactional point earn/redemption to an experience – something members yearn for.
In our e-book, we challenge you to evaluate how your data sets and technology applications support your brand’s current and future loyalty programme goals and set you on the path to 1:You. Download it now.