The role of Emotional Connection in 2020 Loyalty Programs

The role of emotional connection in 2020 loyalty programs

Latest surveys show that even though the number of subscriptions in loyalty programs is rising globally, there is a constantly declining active participation in those. It is observed that more than 50% of the subscriptions in these loyalty programs are practically inactive.

Why does this happen?

Well, this happens for a very simple reason. It’s  because the expectations and the demands of the consumer, in the era we live in, are evolving so rapidly that marketing is having trouble to keep up with the pace. Not so many years ago, the scenario that involved a consumer buying  a brand and with the purchase to receive points  that she/he can later convert them to money and get a discount at the next purchase or get a cashback, was a recipe for success for a loyalty program. This type of loyalty programs had as a cornerstone one thing: transactions. As it proved however, transactions alone couldn’t “create” any type of loyalty.  Take a moment to think the answer to this question as a consumer: being a member of a loyalty program of a brand does it truly make you loyal to this brand? The answer is: probably not. And of course it’s not you, as a consumer,  to blame for that. It’s due to the fact that loyalty programs never really cared to focus on one basic element and that is the emotional connection between the brand and the consumer.

How is this emotional connection created?

Let’s think of this from a human perspective. To create an emotional connection with another human being, normally we have to:

• like the other person’s personality and appearance

• have fun with this person

• be convinced that this person genuinely cares for us

The same principle applies when an emotional connection is about to be created between a brand and a consumer. And exactly just as for human relationships to evolve we need to learn the other person’s needs and wants, it’s the same between the brand and the consumer.  This is achieved with the use of CRM analytics that relate to the purchasing behaviour of the consumer in the course of time. The brand “remembers” the preferences of the consumer and offers relevant products or services, shows the appreciation to the consumer with personalised rewards and privileges and offers experiences that cover the consumer’s personal needs.

It is then that the consumer truly becomes loyal to the brand.  The loyal customer :

• is ready to spend more money on the brand

• is eager to buy the new products or services sooner than the others

• will probably forgive the brand if at some point something goes wrong

• will recommend and promote the brand to his/her friends and family

And Retail Zoom ?

In Retail Zoom we have invested in specialised professionals and technological infrastructure and we developed loyalty programs for our customers. We combine the loyalty program with the use of a CRM tool that gives the possibility to the brand to create and send personalised campaigns.

Manos Efthymiadis
Retailer Services & CRM Manager