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One highlight from the 2019 Loyalty Expo was a breakout session entitled “Value Beyond Discounts: How Foot Locker’s New Loyalty Program Is a Step above the Rest.” In the session, Hope Tannenbaum, Senior Director of CRM, Loyalty, and Research for Foot Locker, offered insight into the design and launch of her brand’s new loyalty program, FLX.
Following introductions, Tannenbaum said, “A question I get asked a lot is, ‘Why did Foot Locker invest in membership?’ This is a journey that we’ve been on for a good two years. It took us a long time to get here, and [the program is] really built around this notion that our customers are very young. They’re changing. They’re moving at lightspeed. They’re digital natives, and they’re connected to the world around them.”
The entire framework of the program was designed to engage this young, connected audience. “As we went about rethinking our loyalty programs,” Tannenbaum said, “we started with a new way of thinking about membership and looking at membership within our family.”
Toward this end, she and her team created a platform that enables Foot Locker to better know its customers and then deliver the products and experience that they want. A platform where, as Tannebaum said, “loyalty is desired and engagement is coveted.”
She then introduced FLX to the audience, describing it as “a new membership program that’s going to celebrate the entire Foot Locker ecosystem and allow customer to earn points for their spend activities across the family, as well as engagement activities.” FLX creates a Foot Locker community, and the brand’s consumers are rewarded for actively participating.
Implementing the program came with some challenges. It rolled out in certain European markets in March, but in the United States, Foot Locker already had a loyalty program, which was tiered and based on standard discount rewards for spending. To let consumers know about changes in membership, Foot Locker focused its marketing on digital channels, especially email and social. Tannenbaum explained that these were chosen because the company’s data showed that its young audience largely consisted of digital natives.
That said, Foot Locker needed to ensure that its instore experience, which has always been at the heart of the brand, needed to remain in focus. For this reason, Tannenbaum and team included sign-ups in the physical stores. Store associates even dawned t-shirts that read, “Ask me about FLX.”
“Educating and training and training our associates was a really big part of rolling out the program so that they could talk to our customers throughout the engagement with them in their shopping experience,” Tannenbaum said. The brand also ensured that the onboarding journey was carefully considered. Consumers are first educated about FLX and then are motivated to spend.
Loyalty members receive points for connecting their FLX accounts with their social media accounts. They can earn further points by referring friends. Tannenbaum explained, “The sneaker community’s a really tight-knit one and one where kids have street-cred if they tell their friends about something that’s cool.” It’s all about giving the young audience something that suits its behavior.
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