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As a loyalty marketer, you likely have dozens of metrics and KPIs to help define what loyalty looks like to you. Acquisition, repeat purchase, active members, referrals, redemptions, promotion participation, and more. But consider the other half of this critical relationship – the consumer. To them, loyalty looks very different. And understanding what loyalty looks like to your consumers is the key to understanding the reasons they stay loyal – and ultimately if your program or brand is driving true loyalty. Let’s dive into a few personas to understand what’s most important to them.

The Gamer

Collecting points, leveling up, unlocking new features – the Gamer is engaged with the actual mechanics of your program. Nothing gives this user greater satisfaction than that coveted “Welcome to the next tier” email or “You’ve completed this challenge” message. Loyalty is driven by numerous challenges to unlock fresh content on a regular basis that they can participate in. Leaderboards, badges, anything that gives them bragging rights – these things are a huge driver in the Gamer’s ongoing participation.

The Time-Saver

This user is Busy with a capital “B” and can’t be bothered with a loyalty program that is complicated, unclear, or requires extra effort. The Time-Saver loves mobile apps that allow for ordering ahead, shopping on the go, and saved payment methods for seamless earning and checkout. Points and rewards might be a draw, but only if they can earn them without thinking too much about it and effortlessly redeem them for things they consider valuable (like something they were already going to buy). For the Time-Saver, loyalty stems from making their lives easier. Think convenience, simple program value proposition, and all around ease to appeal to this user.

The Deal Hunter

Deal Hunters are obsessed with saving money. The more discounts, freebies, and rewards in your program, the more satisfied they will be. Including a chance to win promotion as a way to redeem points and keep these users engaged over time is a solid strategy that works well for this group; and know that they will also happily take surveys, complete profile information, and share their thoughts for points or rewards as well. Make sure there are ways for Deal Hunters to share their discounts with friends – they enjoy celebrating and sharing the savings with others. Loyalty to Deal Hunters means access to discounts and deals that non-members can’t get. These users love programs with lots of ways to earn and robust rewards choices, but are generally content with lower cost rewards. Hey, 10 cents saved is 10 cents earned.


While tiered programs appeal to the Gamer because of their love of solving puzzles and winning challenges, the VIP is more interested in having their efforts reciprocated. VIPs want to make sure that if their considerable loyalty is placed with your brand it is a mutually-beneficial relationship. To them, this comes in the form of exclusive opportunities. Invitation-only events, skip the line, upgrades, personalized service, complimentary gifts – the more you can give them, the happier they are, even if unlocking these benefits requires spending a significant amount with your brand.

The Newbie

The Newbie might not be new to your program, but they require some hand-holding. They may have signed up and not realized it, or joined but never really understood how to use the program. They are there, but they are undoubtedly not getting much from their program membership. These users are grateful for chatbots, welcome email series, instructional pop-ups, and robust FAQs. Consider triggered communications around key lifecycle moments, such as earning reminders to get a user to track their purchases, redemption reminders when they have enough points, and tips and tricks to getting the most from their membership when they haven’t engaged in a while. Newbies appreciate the help, and since they’ll be getting more out of the program, they’ll stay active longer.
While this is a simplified view of the many types of customers you likely have in your program and most users are actually a combination of these personas, it is important to understand what motivates different people. A one-size-fits-all approach clearly can’t work when you have both Newbies and Gamers in your consumer base, for example. Consider brushing up on behavioral economics, then enlist your analytics team to help you create personas to tailor your loyalty initiatives to. Loyalty means different things to different people, so make sure you understand your customers so they can get what they want from your brand.

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