Emotional Customer Journey Keys Brand Loyalty at Nutrisystem

Emotional benefits are an extremely important component for brands today.
At Nutrisystem, those benefits play a major role in casting expansive brand loyalty.
“There is not much that is more personal or emotional than a weight loss journey,” Steve Mikulak, SVP for Marketing at Nutrisystem, explained to Loyalty360. “Because our program works, and our customers have success on our program, they become our best ambassadors. Their friends and family often follow. And, as all too often happens in real life, when they gain a few pounds down the road, our customers come back because our program worked for them previously.”
Nutrisystem’s culture resonates inside and outside the organization.
“Our culture is solution driven,” Mikulak said. “We find ways to overcome obstacles, collaborate, and help each other to become better each and every day. This translates to our customers, as well as to our charitable work with the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, as well as myriad community service projects led by our employees.”
Employee engagement is an integral part of Nutriystem’s customer-centric culture. Effective employee engagement can play a major role on customer engagement.
“We view engagement as really connecting the employee to the larger purpose why they come to work every day and how what they do connects to the larger goals of the business,” Mikulak explained. “When talking to our customers about what we offer, we teach our employees to discuss the solution, benefits, and features that our products solve. Not to sell the product itself. In this way, employees are incented to listen to our customer’s needs first and foremost, and then are rewarded when they’re able to solve this need through incentive and bonus programs.” 
One of the biggest changes Mikulak has seen from a societal perspective that has impacted Nutrisystem’s program is the continued growth of mobile.
“People have their phones with them 24/7 and are always connected,” Mikulak added. “As a result, they have high expectations—everything from speed and aesthetic to a seamless experience. We need to deliver what they want, when they want it, and even how they want it, and it is always evolving.”
Given the mobile-first mentality of so many consumers today, Nutrisystem’s digital app, NuMi, has become the center of its engagement strategy.
“We use the app to push content, contests, giveaways, and sales,” Mikulak explained. “This year we introduced NuMi Challenges, which have really resonated with our customers. Here’s how it works: Each week, we ask our customers to complete certain tasks, designed specifically to help them in their weight loss journey. Once completing those tasks, they can win prizes and/or discounts, as well as be eligible to win bigger prizes that we give away once a month. Engagement has been fantastic and success rates have improved as well.”

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