For outdoor sporting goods and apparel merchant Moosejaw, one of the things it’s known for is its unique messaging, interactive and energetic marketing, not taking itself too seriously, and making customers laugh.

“Love the Madness” is the company tagline and an appropriate one because it’s embedded in Moosejaw’s culture. The company’s philosophy is that to create a brand that people will passionately love (and promote), you have to be willing to have some people passionately hate it too. 

Loyalty360 talked to Moosejaw President and CEO Eoin Comerford about his company’s unique approach and brand voice.

“The most underrated part (of Moosejaw’s approach to customer engagement/customer experience) is our brand voice,” Comerford explained. “Our vision is to be ‘the most fun outdoor retailer on the planet’ and that comes through in everything from our emails and marketing to onsite messaging and how our CSRs answer the phone. It’s an experience that most people enjoy and want to be part of. So, while we may be selling other brands, we are a brand unto ourselves, which is a key differentiator from me-too retailers. All other things being equal, wouldn’t you rather do business with a retailer that makes you smile?”

Maintaining that brand voice is an internal source of pride at Moosejaw.

“It’s the personification of our founder, Robert Wolfe, but Robert has not been involved in the day-to-day business for almost 10 years,” Comerford said. “To protect that legacy, we codified our brand into key value statements that we live by every day: Be Notable, Be Engagingly Engaged, Only Do What’s Cool, and Make Customers Love Us.” 

What’s more, Comerford said that a successful loyalty program should include two key assets.

“The key insight is that the loyalty program must be designed to be as transparent and easy to understand as possible,” he explained. “For years, our program was based on earning points that could be redeemed on a special website. It was a great deal for people who earned enough points to buy something meaningful−our biggest, most loyal customers−but the initial hurdle of understanding the program and earning enough to be worthwhile was too high to be useful in driving new customers to those critical second and third purchases.
If anything, it might have worked against us as people were initially excited to get 10 percent back only to find it was harder to use than it should have been. Now we switched to a dollar-based system and it can be used right away on the main website to offset some or all of their next purchase. The response has been phenomenal.”

Moosejaw employs a holistic view of the customer experience to include every single touch point that the customer has with the brand−from the website, to the store experience, to how their order is packaged and the text on the order confirmation.

“Promotional pressure gets ever stronger, with people continuously looking for a deal,” Comerford added. “Our improved loyalty program has allowed us to maintain full-priced business while still offering a great value that drives future purchases. The key with technology is in recognizing returning customers and adapting the experience. In the case of our loyalty program, we’ve done a lot to be able to recognize them through cookies or smart URLs from emails, so that the initial experience highlights their available rewards balance to encourage repeat purchases.” 

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