How do you create a Loyalty Program to fit your unique customer?
You’re ready to create a loyalty program for your business! How do you decide what to do?
Most essential to know are the demographics and psychographics of your customer before you know what kind of loyalty program to create. What do they want? What makes them buy? Put yourself in their shoes, and ask “What’s in it for me?” Would you drive across town for a 10% discount on a cup of coffee? Probably not. You’re going to need to be more creative.
Develop an understanding of the ‘Marketing Tools of Influence’. Knowing how and why these work will enable you to make them a part of every loyalty program you design.
Let’s say you have an upscale coffee house. Every other coffee house has a punch card that gives the customer a free cup of coffee after the purchase of 10 or 12. This might be a start, but there is so much more you can do.
Serious coffee drinkers have much in common with serious wine connoisseurs. They love to try new coffees, sip and taste, and know which beans work best with scones vs croissants. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a Coffee Club. This will enable you to collect the email addresses of your customers. Make it free to join. Give them substantial discounts and invite them to special events.
- Hold coffee tastings one evening a month. Bring out your best. Charge a nominal fee to members and more to the general public (you want them to join – and it’s free plus they get a discount – it’s a ‘no brainer’)
- Serve appetizers you feel complement the different coffees. These can be small bites, but should be well planned and special.
- Partner with a Chocolatier and have a ‘Coffee and Chocolate pairing event’. To someone who adores both coffee and chocolate (who doesn’t?) this will cause serious drooling.
- Give away gift cards to those who attend. This can be done with raffle tickets, a drawing, or by having them compete by answering coffee-related questions.
- Send them a coupon for a free coffee on their Birthday
- Email them with ‘Coffee News’. New varieties you are carrying, specials, etc. Be sure to include lots of pictures. (We’d email Coffee News early in the morning, when they are craving coffee and a scone. Your job is to create desire)
You get the idea. Don’t bombard them with emails – typically once a month is sufficient. The goal is to create loyalty – and use the marketing tools of ‘reciprocity’ ‘authority’ ‘social proof’ and ‘liking’. You want them to think of you every time they crave a good cup of coffee – and introduce their friends.
Understand that it will take awhile to achieve success. At first, you may not get a large attendance. Don’t give up – it will grow! Use your considerable Social Media skills to market your coffee shop and your Members Program. Send them a special member card and thank you letter. Your members must be recognized and appreciated on a regular basis. Remember your goals:
- Fill a desire
- Give more value than cost
- Use the powerful marketing tools of reciprocity and social proof
- Create a sense of ‘belonging’ for your customer – a ‘tribe’ of special members
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