We’ve all been there: Two seasons into a binge watching session and you wonder, “Is the coffee at Central Perk really that good?” Or, “What would it be like to play, ‘Haaave you met Ted?’ with Ted and Barney at McClaren’s?” The establishments in our favorite TV shows often develop a loyal following without even needing a storefront or serving a single cup of real coffee. However, I went ahead and imagined what loyalty programs would look like for some of these fictional establishments. If you’re looking for inspiration to rev up your loyalty program, read on.
Personalizing the Cheers Experience
Cheers may already know your name, but think about the doors that open when another layer of personalization is added into the mix. Owner/bartender Sam Malone would benefit from a personalized mobile CRM program – and not just to his little black book – allowing him to send relevant recommendations and timely discounts based on patrons’ order history and specific behaviors via push message and SMS. With every purchase, program benefits would scale; after a set number of transactions, Cheers customers would receive free menu items and highly customized coupons. The program would also include a surprise-and-delight element, such as branded beer mugs and t-shirts -- and a mobile wallet component, giving them flexibility to pay their tab straight from the Cheers app. The secret to “Cheers for Beers Rewards” success? Data-rich customer profiles that ensure all recommendations and communications are on par with a one-on-one conversation with Sam at the bar. Brands looking to encourage more meaningful interactions can benefit from similar programs.
Employee Loyalty at Scale: Engaging Dunder Mifflin
Customers aren’t the only people in need of a brand’s love. Some of television’s most beloved companies have an opportunity to build employee rewards programs that drive excitement about offerings, share procedural information, and foster stronger internal brand relationships. Dunder Mifflin, the scrappy mid-size paper company from The Office, would take a multi-pronged approach to loyalty. Employees can earn points by making sales and taking trivia challenges that test their knowledge on new Sabre products -- top participants are rewarded with a free trip to Chili’s, Michael Scott’s favorite restaurant, and an overnight stay at the best bed and breakfast in town, Schrute Farms.
Through its rewards program, Dunder Mifflin enables its employees to feel valued while arming branches with essential product and procedural information at scale.
Treat Yo’self: Streak Couponing Swag In Pawnee
Park and Recreation fans eager to adopt retail loyalty initiatives can look to Rent-A-Swag, Pawnee’s only teen clothing rental service. Through its Streak Couponing program, customers receive discounts of increased value each time they make a purchase within a set time span; for example, if you rent a fedora, you’ll get an offer for 15% of dress pants. Once you redeem the 15% off coupon, the shopper may receive one for 25% off button-downs, and so on. Not only does the promotion reward Rent-A-Swag customers, it drives repeat purchases and allows the business to generate excitement during key time periods.
Education and Engagement: Loyalty and Riverdale High
High schools and universities looking to connect with potential constituents and re-engage alumni should also consider an engagement loyalty program -- especially when a campus is as memorable as Riverdale High. A reimagination of Archie Comics, Riverdale surrounds the tragic death of the school’s quarterback and the mystery that unfolds. Attendees of Riverdale -- and their overly-involved parents -- won’t soon forget the incidents that colored their high school years. Through a simple app experiences, the school can share breaking news, encouraging students, alumni and parents to read the Blue and Gold  school newspaper, take campus quizzes, and attend events to earn points that can be redeemed for school swag and help ease the tension.
Whether designed for a Pennsylvania paper company or a clothing shop in Pawnee, Indiana, loyalty programs enable brands to achieve loyalty objectives and long-term engagement through the use of strategic incentives. By creating immersive engagement hubs, personalized experiences and offering a sense of instant gratification, brands -- fictional or not -- can encourage repeat visits while deepening relationships with their most loyal customers. Ideas like these add a breath of fresh air and a pitch of creativity into loyalty initiatives and can give brands the tools to create exemplary experiences and more effective programs -- who wouldn’t want to tune into that?

Michela Baxter is Sr. Director of Loyalty at HelloWorld.

Image source: avclub.com

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