April 5, 2019

8 Clever brand loyalty programs your brand can learn from

Brand Loyalty Programs. Person opening card which reads loyalty card and has a crown

Research has proven time and again that retaining customers is crucial for a business. Numerous studies have shown that it is as much as five times cheaper to retain a customer than to create a new one. In addition to that, existing customers are more likely to purchase more and try out new products than new customers. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t acquire new customers at all.

The best way to get more quality customers on-board is to start a referral program. These are one of the most attractive ways to build brand loyalty as well as increase your customer base. Did you know that customers are 71% more likely to buy a product if they are referred?

Let’s take a look at some smart brand loyalty programs, across industries, that your brand can learn from:

1. F&B: The Beer Cafe

The Beer Cafe, one of India’s most extensive beer chains, has a loyalty program called ‘Brew Miles’. To join this program, customers just must download their app and scan the barcode present on the bill. Customers get 1 mile for every rupee they spend. Using these miles, customers can then avail rewards in the form of cashback, goodies, and even mugs & pitchers of beer.

2. Restaurant search & discovery: Zomato Gold

Zomato Gold is a membership program that awards both, referrers and referees. 40,000 memberships were sold on the day this program was launched. Through Zomato Gold, customers can take advantage of several lucrative referral offers, one of them being ‘20% Off for new-joiners & 1 additional month for referrers’. Not long ago, Zomato Gold even offered customers an Echo Dot for referring 8 Friends. What’s more, for every referral, two months would be added to the original subscription duration.

3. Online Payments: Google Pay

Google Pay ensures customer loyalty in three ways:

  • Through its referral program, the referrer and referee both receive Rs.51 after the first successful transaction that a referee makes.
  • They also offer digital scratchcards on every transaction (above a certain limit) a user makes, which lets them earn cash back.
  • Users are also offered special cashback when they pay bills, buy movie tickets from specific vendors or buy products from certain brands.

4. Hotel/Accommodation booking: Airbnb

When it first entered the Indian market, Airbnb was faced with a lot of challenges. This was mainly because the brand was essentially introducing a new concept to the Indian public. To build trust and make users transact through its services, the brand heavily relied on word-of-mouth promotion. One of the selling points for this was its referral program, which offered travel credit to the referrer when their referee travelled or hosted someone.

5. Cloud services: Dropbox

Dropbox – a cloud-based file storage service – offers a free ‘Basic’ account for all users which includes 2GB of storage space. For every successful referral, users get 500 MB of space, whereas Dropbox Plus and Professional accounts get 1 GB space for every referral. To make the referral process easier, Dropbox even had an option to sync contacts from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo! and more. This referral program helped them grow by 3900% in just 15 months.

6. Education & Toys: Flintobox

Flintobox is an India-based company that works on a subscription model. The company sends an educational activity box every month to kids based on their age group. For a brief period, the brand had a referral program in which every successful referral earned the referrer one free Flintobox. This way existing customers were incentivised while also improving the brand’s presence.

7. Gadgets: OnePlus

The launch of OnePlus in India was a highly anticipated one. Their invite-based launches created both, hype and demand for their phones. Owing to this demand all over the world, the OnePlus website attracted a whopping 25.6 Million visits in just one year since the site was launched. OnePlus built on that initial hype through its referral programs. After making an account and registering their purchase, users could refer their friends, and if their friends bought something from OnePlus, the referrer would get points that they could then use to purchase anything from the OnePlus website. Friends who used the referral were also given a discount coupon worth Rs. 1000 for their next purchase on the OnePlus website.

8. Funding Options: WeMakeScholars

WeMakeScholars is an organisation supported by the Government of India. This organisation helps with financing (loans as well as scholarships) for higher education aspirants. It offers a cashback reward of up to Rs. 3,000 to every student who applies through them and also offers a bonus of up to Rs. 3,000 for every successful referral. The brand has a specific target group, and by rewarding its current customers, the brand ensures that it reaches out to only people from this target group.

Through these examples, it is clear that referral programs work in almost every industry. While creating a unique proposition keep in mind that by incentivising your existing customers, you help deepen their relationship with your brand, thereby promoting brand loyalty. And at the same time, they help you reach various other like-minded new customers.

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