Officials at American Girl sought to reward their loyal customers for their engagement with the brand, as well as boost retention.

Enter the American Girl Rewards loyalty program.

Jenifer Warrell, senior director of marketing, American Girl, told Loyalty360 that customers had been asking about a loyalty program for quite some time. Less than a year ago (July 2016), American Girl delivered to its loyal customers the American Girl Rewards program.

“We developed the loyalty program because customers were requesting more from American Girl and wanted to be rewarded for their engagement with American Girl,” she explained. “In our customer research, it proved the same desire that customers wanted to be recognized from AG. We also wanted to increase our retention and remain competitive, which led us to our loyalty program. Our goals were to develop a program that wasn’t just monetary-based, and it had to reward both audiences we target, girl and mom.  The rewards had to be with emotionally relevant, one-of-a-kind, brand-right experiences.”

Here’s how the program works: For every $1 you spend, you earn 1 point. When you reach 200 points, you receive $10 in rewards. Points can be earned through purchases or “play” (dining or activities in store restaurants). Customers can earn up to $50 per month and $500 per year. Each $10 reward certificate does have an expiration date, so it must be redeemed before it expires.

Additional rewards accumulate with the number of points earned. Silver rewards (0-349 points) also include a birthday gift for your girl and members-only surprises. Gold rewards (350-699 points) include all Silver benefits plus early access to select sales and events, and exclusive members-only experiences and events. Berry rewards (700 or more points) include all Silver and Gold benefits plus a VIP surprise and bonus benefits.

Points remain active if one qualifying purchase is made during a 12-month period.

“The program is points based and the more activities (not just purchases) you do with American Girl, you are given points,” Warrell said. “There are different tier levels to achieve in the program: Silver, Gold, and Berry. Consumers have provided positive feedback and excitement about having a program and we have many testimonials.” 

Warrell explained that American Girl set objectives and goals and worked closely with its partner, Baesman, to ensure it’s heading down the correct path for its consumer. 

“They (Baesman) have years of experience with loyalty and we have very loyal, engaged consumers, which made it the perfect match!” Warrell said. “It took about one year from beginning to end to launch the program. Internally at American Girl, we developed a brand creative guide for the program so that it ladders back to all of AG assets and elements of the core brand. We also have research panels ongoing, which allowed us to test and redesign to ensure our program was going to have success.”

Year 1 membership goals were exceeded in the first month and American Girl’s six-month redemption goal was eclipsed in the first month.

“We had built up demand from our customers to provide them with recognition for the activities and engagement they have with our brand,” Warrell noted. “We will continue to learn and refresh the program based on consumer feedback and research. We will also balance this with our business results to ensure what we are adjusting in the program will still achieve our goals. Mom and girl are the primary audiences for American Girl, therefore, we have her and the girl at the center of the program.”

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