Modern loyalty programs are built on far more than transactions and points. In fact, a Capgemini study noted that 44 percent of shoppers feel loyalty program rewards are irrelevant. Rather, it’s been found that loyalty is deeply affected by a brand’s values that most resonate with customers. 

According to Wunderman, 89 percent of customers stay loyal to brands who share their values.  But wait, there’s more, HBR research showed that, “of the consumers in our study who said they have a brand relationship, 64 percent cited shared values as the primary reason. That’s far and away the largest driver.” 

Values need to be part of your brand’s DNA, and they should be clearly and authentically communicated to your audience. Consider these strategies from brand loyalty leaders to intertwine your corporate values into your customer experience and build loyalty that lasts.

Build Advocates (Not Point Banks)

The brand values of craft beer authority Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom are clear from its mission that encourages “striving to offer beer styles for everyone, at every level of beer expertise.” The company prides itself on “guiding guests through the craft beer journey,” and its unique and wildly popular World Beer Tour — a cornerstone of its loyalty program — exemplifies these values. By building a program through which these loyal fans can share their enthusiasm for experiencing new craft beers, Old Chicago has created an army of loyal customers and true brand advocates.

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve (or Shoes)

Action sports lifestyle brand, Vans, values active lifestyles, youth culture, and creative self-expression. Its Vans Family Loyalty Program not only gives members entry to exclusive contests, active experiences, and sneak previews of upcoming product releases — but it takes it a step further by letting loyal customers express their creative side with access to exclusive patterns to customize their Vans footwear and accessories.

Authenticity is Key

It’s also worth remembering, it works both ways — brand values can quickly be called into question if they don’t feel authentic. For instance Facebook, which aims to “build social value” saw its users’ confidence in the company plunging by 66 percent after the Cambridge Analytica scandal (CBS News April 2018).  You need to pay more than lip service to your core mission and values.

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