First interactions with a brand can make or break your relationship with it forever. If you have a bad experience with a brand, it will always have a stigma attached to it unless you put the effort in to change that opinion yourself. And if your first experience is fantastic, you’ll be fond of that brand long-term, even if you don’t really need the service they offer. Think how many people you know want the newest Apple product, simply because they buy into the Apple experience?
The idea of ‘Experience Economy’ has been around for a good decade now, but the importance of it is increasing as the consumer base thins out and becomes more fickle. They need to be entertained and no matter what industry your brand fits into, you can be in control of the experience your customers receive.
Loyalty programmes form an integral part of the experience consumers have with a brand, earning a reward in itself is an experience. Unlike a simple cash discount people have a much more emotional response to receiving a gift, particularly if the gift is well timed and relevant, after all 77% of human behaviour is driven by emotion. A well-timed, relevant reward will help to create a memorable bond with your customer that remains long term and keeps giving.
Secondly, creating a loyalty programme in which users can choose their own rewards, set goals for themselves and follow their progress gives a much more tailored and personal experience. The physical act of selecting and redeeming a reward is a wonderful experience in itself!
Well-executed loyalty programmes use gamification techniques to create a sense of competition and fun, and when used correctly this forges further positive experiences for your users. Gamification can manifest itself in a number of ways; from progress bars, points targets and goal setting to achievement ‘trophies’ and ‘badges’. These tools will, in turn, move you one step closer to the end goal set when you started your loyalty programme, whether it be data collection, reduced churn, or increased sales.
Investing in the idea of Experience Economy could be the difference between your customers staying with you or going elsewhere. In the current climate where customer loyalty is hard to buy, can you foster an environment where the experience you offer is more valuable than the lure of your competitors?
If you would like to find out how to improve the experience your customers gain from your brand, contact incentivesmart on 0845 003 8765 and speak to our team.