Growth MarketingStrategy and Innovation

How to create loyal customers: Value Me

WillowTree has identified four key user needs to consider to create an engaging digital loyalty experience:

  • Know Me - Customer Recognition
  • Tell Me - Transparency
  • Let Me - Empowerment
  • Value Me - Reward Loyalty

While the points thus far (Know Me, Tell Me, Let Me) define the foundation of loyalty experiences, Value Me is the icing on the cake that travels the extra mile to give the customers an experience worth talking about. Below are three approaches to value users.

VIP Experiences

To make your most loyal customers feel valued, invite them to enjoy a VIP, red carpet experience with exclusive access to products, services, sales, or member-only events. Key metrics to determine which users are your VIPs may vary across products and businesses, ranging from total spend to session frequency.

Progressive Insurance, which engages with customers at a low-frequency cadence, identified their loyal customers by tenure. They rolled out a loyalty program that offers dedicated customer rewards (such as accident forgiveness) to its most tenured customers. loyalty blog4 1


VIP-like experiences can also be achieved by celebrating user achievements. Nike’s Nike+ Run Club app celebrates great runs that crush their previous records and goals - including run streaks, fastest times, longest runs, and more. While badges may not provide any monetary rewards, the celebratory animation and gratifying achievement experience rewards users for their actions and motivates continued behavior. loyalty blog4 2

Surprise & Delight

Surprise your users with a small, complementary experience to thank them for his/her continued loyalty. It is an infrequent and unexpected, but thoughtful, experience to thank a user for their loyalty and brighten his/her day. This could take a wide variety of forms, such as an unexpected birthday message or a free coffee for a hotel guest’s early morning check-out.

Surprises tend to elicit stronger and more positive emotions than rule-based rewards. However, it is important to note that the unclear triggers for a surprise experience may increase the level of unfairness perceived by bystanders. While this may be beneficial in certain situations (such as celebrating high-tier loyalty members), it may discourage bystander engagement if there are no clear surprise triggers that the bystander can aim for. It is thus important to determine the desired level of impact and visibility for these surprise experiences.

While icing on a good cake makes the cake more delightful, icing on a poor cake is still a poor cake. Ensure that the foundation of the loyalty experiences (Know Me, Tell Me, Let Me) is well-established before investing heavily in the icing. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help improve your loyalty program.

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