Once you have the opportunity, you must make the most out of your existing customers and keep them coming back for more. Research shows that your past customers are 9x more likely to buy from you than a new customer. What’s more, your existing customers contribute 31 percent more on average than new ones. Thus, having an idea about loyalty programs examples can help you build a strong and effective program.
Therefore, a well-functioning rewards system is a must-have to ensure customer loyalty and boost revenue through repeat purchases. In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 loyalty programs examples to leverage and apply the same to boost your marketing efforts.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive further.
Some of the Best Loyalty Program Examples
If you want a brand that is doing everything right, look, there is no better example than Blume. Their developing team got their menstrual and self-care-focused products into Sephora last fall as one of (if not the only) brands in this category for Sephora. So on top of having incredible products that simply understand the era that we’re living in, they have also been doing some incredible community building.
From sending an SMS to members with a unique code for a free Starbucks drink just because, to a game that they ran that urged customers to share pictures of their recent Blume purchases – but with their pets, the team at Blume have done an astounding job at making involving with their brand a rewarding experience – and we haven’t even talked about their rewards program yet.
A wonderful brand experience is a core to Blumetopia, where there is no doubt what brand you view an explainer page or rewards launcher and panel for. Astonishing sound effects to retro-inspired emojis (is MSN/AIM retro?), their points, VIP, and referral program is top-notch and really a delight for their whole community to engage with.
Another household brand that renewed rewards with automatic features sprayed in is the Gap, their new Gap Good Rewards. Some key differences are that Gap Good Rewards members and Gap Inc. credit card members are two sorts of members. So if you’re a regular member, you get 2% back, but if you’re a credit card member, you earn 5% back. Either way, that’s a pretty solid percentage back.
Those points then get automatically turned into discounts in $5 increments. So if you have sufficient points for $5, you get a $5 coupon, but if you keep saving and make enough for $10, the extra points get converted, and the $5 coupon becomes 10. The best part is that points won’t ever expire as long as you make another purchase within two years of your last one. Plus, if you’ve made enough to get converted to a reward, that reward is active for six months—overall an excellent earning potential, with a more forgiving expiry policy.
In 2021 there seem to be brand patterns that not only have wonderfully configured reward programs that are relevant for their customers, but they’ve done so in such a way that hooks even the most casual web visitor into a pleasant and usually whimsical brand experience – and Sukoshi is no exception. Sukoshi Rewards is aesthetically totally on-brand, but they have a reward experience that you don’t see anywhere else – rotating rewards!
Rather than the typical “spend dollars to get points then redeem points for dollars off” program, they’ve given their customers a program that gives incredible value (new, awesome products up for grabs each month) without having to make a discount-based loyalty program. The more points their customers have got, the bigger and better the rewards they can get.
Developing long-term brand loyalty that isn’t based on decreasing the value of the products or your brand takes some unbelievable brainpower and brand power. The team at Sukoshi has put together the perfect exchange of value with their customers.
Brands that make going up through their VIP tiers a really gamified experience are few and far between, but accessories brand Caraa has done just that with Caraa Insiders. Urging customers to accomplish goals that are just as precious to them as they are to you is only possible if you have a great sense of what triggers your customers and look at the perks available to Caraa Insiders (no matter which of their color-themed tiers you’re in) they have nailed it.
To assume that they shower their most loyal customers with bonuses would be an understatement. Bonus points for accessing higher tiers, bonus points for the end of the year, bonus birthday points, and the list goes on.
And for their most faithful members, they roll out the red, or oxblood, carpet. From VIP product and early sales and product deliverance access to VIP-only showroom appointments, Caraa makes involvement with their loyalty program a pleasure for customers whether they are back for their 2nd or 20th order, thus showcasing themselves as one of the best loyalty program examples.
5. Healthy Roots Dolls
The antidote to Barbie, Healthy Roots Dolls, has developed a community around their enthusiastically natural-hair promoting doll, Zoe. If you’ve ever questioned why there aren’t more diverse dolls, Zoe is probably the doll you’ve been looking for. With hair specifically designed to mimic real, curly hair, Zoe is “intended to celebrate the beauty of each child and teach self-love.” But with a line of potential friends for Zoe on the way, Healthy Roots Dolls is required to trigger brand loyalty without reducing the value of their product or the values the brand represents.
The Healthy Roots Dolls Rewards have designed that gamification that helps bring their customers back while making the experience equally important. Multiple ways to get points (purchases, social shares, birthdays) make it fun and interesting for parents to build a useable point balance. Then, they have possibilities that motivate customers to engage even more! For example, Zoe dolls have several accessories available, and what better way to encourage their members to interact with their brand than the chance to earn free outfits for Zoe?
Buyers want to be part of the community because of the incredible missions and values they portray. In addition, the reward program they present for their devoted community members makes the experience just that little bit more magical.
Scene has been there since 2007 and has made several changes to how the program runs along the way and turn their program into one of the best loyalty program examples.
Scene has modified how members can redeem their rewards and now lets members cash in their SCENE points for virtual gift cards at different retailers. Yes, you can now earn points by going to the theatre or just ordering popcorn from the concession, and then redeem those points for a Babies’ R Us or Home Depot. …because people weren’t going to the movies anymore.
The iconic Yes2U rewards program got a facelift in 2020, now called “Kohls’s Rewards.” While they might not succeed for name originality, they certainly are on a mission to make their customer’s wallets win. With a massive 5% back, this is one of the most rewarding rewards programs we’ve witnessed in a long time.
It comes with a catch, though, in the form of automatic points redemption and automatic reward expiry.
Customers will have 30 days to spend their Rewards-issued Kohl’s Cash. No brand exclusions. So customers are going to get points – fast! But then those points will automatically be changed to $5 coupons for them, which members have just 30 days to use on purchases, and those purchases will make them more points, etc. A viciously rewarding cycle if we ever saw one!
8. Air Canada
This list wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the ongoing saga of Aeroplan/Amia/Air Canada. Some quick history for the non-Canadian and uninitiated: Aeroplan has initially been a frequent flier miles program for Air Canada. However, it wasn’t owned by Air Canada. Then, back in 2017, Air Canada stated it would replace Aeroplan with its loyalty program examples.. After lots of false starts and negotiations, Aimia ended up selling its stake in Aeroplan to Air Canda (along with TD Bank, CIBC, and Visa).
So, in 2020, Aeroplan rewards are the same but diverse since its owners are different and have several goals (coalition loyalty vs. airline-specific loyalty). Then we’re also in the middle of a pandemic, and nobody is flying to get points or cashing their points in for flights. The bottom line is things are almost the same, and I am still redeeming my points for gift cards rather than airline tickets like I always have.
Usually, the best part of a rewards program is the referrals. Getting points for advocating for a big brand can be a tremendous win-win for businesses and customers. The brand has a referral offer that shows how much brands value their current customers and their recruits. Plant-based, vegan vitamin subscription brand GEM surely figured out how to make their loyal members feel like diamonds in the rough when they send referrals.
Their “give $20 get $20” model is one of the most worthwhile referral programs we have seen – and it further goes well with their customers. With almost 50,000 Instagram followers, they’ve practiced value-adding referrals to supercharge the growth of their brand community.
GEM has also added some VIP benefits. Members get points for orders, social engagement, leaving reviews, and more, and can cash those points in for free branded GEM merch – and who doesn’t like free merch? For their most dedicated members, if they can make 100 GEM rewards points, they can get the title of being “GEM Powered” and get a mixture of bonus points to their account and early access to new products.
One of the best loyalty program examples from the Golden Arches. Yes, they already have the McDonald’s Rewards program in place, but news has been gradually trickling in that they are going on a brand new rewards program that will launch sometime in 2021. They began piloting the new program in select cities right at the end of 2020, so how that went will likely have a significant impact on when it fully rolls out and the details.
From what we can learn from what little marketing material is out there, the new project will be named MyMcDonald’s and move away from the virtual punch-card style program they currently have and be a more full-fledged rewards program. Among other features, personalized rewards and meal suggestions appear to be on the menu, but until we understand more, it looks like we only get to whet our taste for what the rest of this program will look like. Stay tuned!
After reading this article, you may have understood how these brands offered their customers incredible rewarding experiences that made them the top 10 customer loyalty programs examples.