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Posts Tagged ‘consumer loyalty’

Consumer loyalty as defined by marketers v’s consumers themselves

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

As a customer, the brands you consider yourself to be loyal to may be different from the brands that consider you to be loyal to them. Is this because businesses measure loyalty by statistics – the potentially biggest spending consumers are considered the most valuable/loyal whether they have an emotional attachment to the brand or not? These consumers are not necessarily the most valuable in terms of long term profitability or opportunity for the ‘word of mouth’ marketing (which is increasingly important during the social networking revolution). For customers, loyalty is more of an emotional concept and brand affinity is normal for defining who we are; subsequently we can become more susceptible to act upon the call to action or passing on core brand messages.

A lot of marketing campaigns fail to address this 3 dimensional element of consumer loyalty and miss the opportunity to reward and encourage consumers that whilst in business terms are not considered loyal, but in social terms most definitely are.

In the case of loyalty marketing is it not therefore important to not only reward the loyalty of high spending customers (through points schemes etc.) which of course should always be the main priority, but to also reward those who through their brand loyalty ensure continual use of the brand and bolster the positive associations with a brand?

Loyalty marketing or sales promotion has emerged as a mutually beneficial programme that seeks to appease both customers’ and businesses loyalty needs. From a customers’ point of view they are receiving what they consider to be a special discount – particularly in the current economic climate, this can be seen to help financial burdens. A percentage discount can ensure the reward is given in direct correlation to the amount spent, so everyone is rewarded for the amounts they spend.

It boils down to consumers needing to feel valued no matter how much they are spending – surely if your brand nurtures its consumers through loyalty marketing, its consumers will nurture your brand?

Contact Us if you are interested in loyalty marketing by featuring a discount in a loyalty and membership programme or discount club to improve customer loyalty by rewarding new and existing customers.

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5 ways to catch consumers’ ever-shifting attentions

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Consumer Incentives, Loyalty and Membership ClubsThese harsh economic times have seen a massive change in the way we all purchase products/ services. The taboo on bargain hunting has long been lifted and it’s all about the consumer trying to outsmart the business so they can get more for less. But this culture in turn has led to a decline in brand loyal consumers as they search around for the best deal available to them. The unsettled nature of consumer spending has helped superstores such as Tesco and Morrisons who can trade under the banner of value all under one roof – a one-stop-shop for everything, but surely this type of shopping experience is devoid of any emotional tie or specialist knowledge? So what can every other business do to compete and catch the attentions of the fickle consumer? Here are a few of our ideas:

1. Start with the basics! In recent years we seem to have forgotten that providing a service that’s good enough for customers to recommend is one of the best ways to advertise a brand. If a customer recommends a brand to their friends and then those friends recommend the brand to their friends the customer base could grow significantly. By neglecting your customers’ word of mouth promotion, all other marketing is futile. Providing a great customer experience is the easiest way to get talked about online too. Tools like twitter are all word of mouth based like real life – just to a much bigger captive audience. Plus in these harsh economic times it has become even more important to tap into the online and free marketing options.

2. A loyalty card is a good consumer incentive but it’s a big expense and a lot of businesses now have them so how effective are they? In today’s world surely customers want a consumer incentive that’s a little more immediate? One immediate option is a sale, but many sectors are already saturated with these. So how about rewarding consumers by working with a third party business? These consumer incentives can be anything from 2 nights for 1 at a hotel or free pampering treatment to a free 2 for 1 Movie and Game Rental Card. They can be vouchers that are distributed physically, online or virally.

3. Market your business and staff as specialists in the field – it’s doubtful that the checkout lady at Tesco knows anything about the electrical goods she’s selling. Make your product/service knowledge and customer service something that stands out from competitors and people might just choose you. Niche businesses will always benefit from the power of word of mouth too – but also consider well targeted campaigns like placing discounts and offers in a media that’s relevant to your industry!

4. If all else fails – if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. Offer your consumers more. Sell a loyalty and membership programme or discount club such as The Big Savings Club or The Entertainment Club to your customers, the non-competing brands will help give a good association and back up the products that you already offer. Consumers will see the loyalty and membership programme or discount club as a reward for using your brand and extension of the goods/services that you offer. One step further would be to make the club bespoke so all the discounts are presented under the umbrella of your brand, a good example of this is the JML VIP Club. Loyalty and membership programmes or discount clubs area a free marketing solution as they are usually set up or run by a third party agency. In fact it can be a way for large businesses to earn substantial incremental revenue, whilst a third party such as The Rocket Marketing Group manage the programme and its members (your customers).

5. Loyalty and membership programmes or discount clubs can be used to feature a discount and then distributed by other non-competing businesses. Your discount will be presented to a new sector of consumers in association with other brands encouraging new customers to become loyal to your brand. This is a quick and easy free marketing solution that is handled by loyalty and membership programme or discount club agency such as The Rocket Marketing Group. All your business has to do is offer an exclusive discount to discount club members.

Contact Us if you are interested in free marketing solutions such as developing a loyalty and membership programme, featuring your business in a loyalty and membership programme or purchasing rewards as a consumer incentive.

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The bespoke loyalty solution

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

With the state of the economy many businesses have realised the importance of giving their customers more in terms of offers and services, to ensure consumer loyalty and profit growth. Traditionally this has been the domain of businesses such as supermarkets and increasingly so in recent years as they have expanded into areas such as clothing, banking etc.

Not all businesses have the capacity to expand in this way but there are other ways to diversify and offer non-core products and services to encourage consumer loyalty. One option for businesses is to offer customers the opportunity to buy into a bespoke loyalty and reward programme which carries their branding but is operated by a third party such as The Rocket Marketing Group.

By a third party managing every aspect of the extra offering of non-core products and services through a loyalty and membership programme the business receives free added extras for the brand without having to commit additional resources.

These programmes can essentially offer non-core products and services at a discounted rate to customers who become members. The programmes can be fully branded with a company’s logo so that they feature under the umbrella of the one brand. The products the programmes offer can also be completely bespoke depending on what a business wants to offer customers. All of this means that a company’s customers don’t need to go anywhere else to complete their shopping experience. This has to help with consumer loyalty whilst providing an effective way for a business to gain profit growth through earning incremental revenue.

In the current economic climate businesses that offer the full service shopping experience at value prices are doing very well. A good example of this is the supermarkets that offer a wide variety of products and services at value prices and are reporting profit growth when many other sectors are experiencing a downturn.  Sainsbury’s profits have recently reported a total sales growth of 5.7 per cent in the preliminary results for the 52 weeks to 21 March 2009.

Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “Our business is growing because we have responded quickly and effectively to a rapidly changing environment. Total sales for the year were up 5.7 per cent and like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 4.5 per cent..In addition we have continued to drive cost efficiencies offsetting over 75 per cent of cost inflation and delivered further profit growth.

Fixing fundamental parts of our operation through our ‘Making Sainsbury’s Great Again’ recovery programme has placed the business in a strong position. Although consumer confidence in the UK has declined during the year, our performance improved as a result of the strength of the Sainsbury’s brand and actions we have taken to adjust our offer to changing customer trends.”

So producing a white-label loyalty and membership programme can be an effective way to compete with the full shopping services and consumer loyalty of businesses such as supermarkets. The programmes can act as a way to simulate the success of supermarkets by adjusting a company’s offering in reaction to changing customer trends.

Contact Us if you would like your business to offer non-core products and services to your customers through a loyalty and membership programme, encouraging them to stay loyal to your brand.


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Consumer spending during recession

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

If you believe what the statistics show, then staying in is the new going out. Over the last year the recession has taken hold of Britain and as a result the general public’s spending habits have changed. Through the real fears of redundancy, recession and rising fuel bills people have become more money-conscious. It’s almost no longer a taboo to collect discount vouchers, look for cheaper entertainment or seek discounts in shops and online. A lot of people find the easiest way to save money is to change their spending habits and stop buying non-essential goods and experiences. So how does this affect the businesses that offer these products and services and is there a way to make them affordable during a time of such uncertainty?

Research from Abbey Credit Cards conducted in January has revealed that: “British dining habits are being dramatically affected by the changing economic climate, with over half (56 per cent) of Britons cutting back on eating out.”

They also found that: “Dining ‘al desko’ is also gaining momentum with 17 per cent more starting to take a packed lunch to work in the last 12 months to save money.”

And it is not just the catering industry that is being hit by the public changing their spending habits and cutting back. Cheaper entertainment has seen an increase in business over the last year, as we saw earlier this year when companies such as Cineworld revealed their yearly figures, reporting a rise in sales.

On this, Chairman, Anthony Bloom commented: “Movies have an enduring appeal and a visit to the cinema is relatively low cost when compared with other forms of leisure and entertainment.”

People will continue to spend on large items but maybe less regularly, so what can these businesses do to encourage more regular sales during harsh economic times particularly companies offering experiences that aren’t considered cheap entertainment?

Price Reductions through a managed reward programme can reap good rewards even when people feel they have to change their spending habits, as they encourage a continuance of a certain type of lifestyle. In The Big Savings Club reward programme, The Rocket Marketing Group position companies that are larger, non-essential purchases next to everyday essentials and cheaper entertainment such as supermarkets and cinemas. For members the special experience or product doesn’t seem like so much of a luxury/ treat but rather a privilege of belonging to a reward programme. They need not cut back or go out less often; they can use it as an aid to maintaining a certain lifestyle because there are discounts on everything including Shopping, Entertainment, Travel, Health, Fashion, Kids and Motoring. It is a way for people to cut their spending without cutting back. Higher value products/services offering a discount include:

10% extra free on Theatre Tokens
10% free on Leisure Vouchers
15% off Virgin Experience Days
Up to 50% off Haven Holidays
15% off Champneys.

Contact Us if you are a company that would like to be featured in one of our reward programmes. It is a completely free marketing option; all you have to do is offer an exclusive discount for the reward programme members.

Offers correct at time of publication and subject to terms and conditions.

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