The Finish Line has a healthy amount of brand loyalty. But before achieving that lofty goal of brand loyalty, how does the brand start the process?

Imran Jooma, Executive Vice President and Division President of Omnichannel Strategy, told Loyalty360 that it all starts with acquisition.

“This means having a very good understanding of who your target customers are and being very purposeful about seeking them,” Jooma explained. “Our category is highly competitive and, by having an ownable brand position, it gives us the ability to break through with meaningful conversation. We continue to ramp up efforts in the ‘top-of-funnel’ to drive increases in awareness of the Finish Line brand as the destination for the latest and greatest sneakers. Timeliness and relevance of messages are the most critical factors here.”

From there, The Finish Lines breaks its customer retention strategy into three parts, as Jooma explained:

Know me: “Once acquired, we quickly work to get customers into our loyalty program, Winner’s Circle, through stores and via our digital channels. This allows us to build a rich customer profile that can be used for delivering value and customer experiences based on current and future needs,” Jooma said.

Show me you know me: “If the customer has taken the time to share information with us, we immediately have to put this information to work to better engage and connect with the customer,” Jooma noted. “This comes through personalization of content and product offerings from day one. Today’s customer is quick to recognize and reject mass marketing efforts. Relevancy and authenticity are requirements to maintain a customer relationship.”

Show me I am valued: “Retaining customers in the long run requires a level of value to be delivered on an on-going basis,” Jooma added. “For Finish Line, this goes beyond the traditional Winner’s Circle loyalty program reward and includes value based on the needs of the customer. We continually look for opportunities to provide value through exclusive access to events, timely free shipping offers, loyalty point and more. We push ourselves to provide interactions that lead to engagement and engagement that leads to a memorable customer experience.”

Customer experience has always been the foundation for successful retail, Jooma said.

“Today and into the future, the stakes are even higher,” he explained. “Our ability to deliver a seamless, frictionless, hyper-personalized and memorable customer experience, based on the ever-changing and fast-moving needs and desires of our target customers, will be the primary driver of our overall success and our ability to differentiate as a retailer. It is a simple notion to say that you put the customer first in everything you do. It is another thing entirely to do it in reality. At Finish Line, we have taken our focus on the customer to a new level in recent years, driving the ongoing development of our customer experience. As part of our recent efforts to update our brand positioning, we also continue to drive internal education on our target consumer muses. Our consumer-focused brand efforts and a singular mission to ‘Deliver the Epic Finish’ has led to a heightened level of employee engagement. This engagement has fueled changes in how we measure our results and how we prioritize efforts across the technology pipeline to support our customer experience enhancements.” 

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