tms hosts brand loyalty event
On June 28, tms hosted a panel discussion, Brand Loyalty — Building relationships that last, based off our recent quantitative and qualitative research findings about what drives loyalty. The virtual event was led by our very own Sam Woods, head of international brand partnerships and Ryan Hedges, SVP of strategy and experience, and featured our clients, Mike Belcher, SVP business development and partnerships at T-Mobile, and Phillip Peacock, director of commercial delivery at Virgin Red alongside consumer behavior expert and psychologist Nisa Bayindir.
Knowing consumers are facing loyalty fatigue because companies constantly devalue their loyalty promotions by reducing the worth of points, tms surveyed over 800 Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X consumers in both the US and UK with the aim to uncover a deeper understanding of the current sentiment around loyalty and customer retention.
During the event, the speakers delved into those findings and discussed the loyalty programs they work on day in and day out. If you missed it, you can find a summary of the key takeaways, read stand out quotes, and watch a recording of the discussion below.
If you are interested in learning more about our research or would like support crafting your own loyalty program, get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of this page. We’d love to hear from you!
“Customers want a simple proposition between themselves and the brand. They don’t want gamification or hoops to jump through. They want good value for their loyalty and friendly and helpful customer service.”
Watch the webinar
“Customers don’t remember the average of the cumulative experience with a brand. They remember the highlights. We need to create peak, amazing experiences, maybe through acts of appreciation, random acts of kindness, or other types of similar thanks.”
1. Create value
First and foremost, consumers want two-way loyalty. In other words, they want companies to value them as much as they value their loyalty programs. According to the report, 74% of US and 63% of UK customers expect mutual loyalty akin to friendship, and this value can be shown in ways like white-glove level customer service and robust loyalty programs. 96% of US and 95% of UK customers state that it is important for their favorite brands to have loyalty programs, demonstrating the value of such programs for companies.
2. Aim for long-term connection
Another key takeaway from the report, customers pay close attention to loyalty programs and are acutely aware of any program changes, like devaluing points. Companies should aim to form long-term relationships rather than quick wins. 72% of US and 74% of UK customers join loyalty programs with the intent to continue the brand relationship for the long haul, signaling their awareness with brand happenings.
3. Keep it simple
Keeping loyalty programs simple while still providing customer value is another component to a great loyalty program’s success. Customers don’t want to have to decode program mechanics to reap the benefits, as signing up for a loyalty program is a commitment within itself. While things like gamification may seem like a fun idea, 73% of US and 81% of UK customers prefer simpler ways to earn rewards.
4. Make it memorable
Our report also finds that loyalty drives action if you delight the customer. Creating simple yet memorable rewards with no strings attached is a key component to success. We found that 68% of US and 63% of UK customers think surprise rewards are very important. Surprise and delight are extremely powerful tools if done correctly, and even small perks like samples or surprise gifts create positive sentiments.
5. Seek the right partners
Partnerships and collaborations are another tool to drive new customers to use loyalty programs and keep existing customers interested. Over 66% of customers love the idea of exclusive partner collaborative rewards and prefer programs with partner rewards that can be earned or redeemed. However, 50% of customers say that brands can go overkill with partners, demonstrating the importance of selectively choosing collaborations that bring value to customers.
“You’re only as good as the data that you have. Make sure that you’ve got your finger on the pulse, because ultimately if the reward that you’re offering has no value to them, they’re not going to engage.”
“We call it a customer appreciation program because we feel everything that we do is about showing our loyalty to our customers. And I think that’s really important because consumers have so many choices.”
Meet the speakers
Phillip has over 10 years experience in brand partnerships for some of the UK’s biggest brands. Prior to joining Virgin Red, Phillip was Head of Partnership at o2 Priority. He’s commercial & Loyalty lead at Virgin Red, driving strategic direction through critical strategic and commercial projects.
Mike is a visionary leader with over 20 years’ experience with world-class brands. At T-Mobile Mike leads a team of 150 people responsible for business development, sports and entertainment partnerships, along with T-Mobile Tuesdays- the award winning customer engagement and appreciation platform.
Ryan Kite-Hedges has nearly 20 years of experience across strategy, brand loyalty and building digital experiences. He learned the ropes working on brands such as Pepsi, Bud Light, and Universal Studios. He currently is the SVP, Strategy and Experience for tms and runs a team of Digital Experience experts working on marque clients such as T-Mobile, Samsung, and McDonald’s.
Nisa Bayindir is an award-winning integrated strategist, multidisciplinary research-insights expert and consumer psychologist. She blends insights with behavioral science and provides strategic direction to brands on navigating the shifts in consumer engagement systems.
Sam has 17 years of experience working in partnerships, media sales and commercial strategy for a number of broadcasters, tech start-ups and agencies including; Channel 4, MTV, Shazam and Soho House, all for whom he was responsible for defining commercial strategy and executing global strategic partnerships.