Everyone loves an easy Earn & Burn loyalty program, but many customers are looking for more. Step up to the plate by fostering a brand community with your loyalty program. Fostering a like-minded community increases the chance of discovering new brand advocates, as well as increasing their lifetime value. You can do this through a VIP or special interest group, by displaying leaderboards, or even rewarding customers’ activities in their daily lives. This article will break down these different methods and the various benefits that come from bringing your customers together. Building a community doesn’t have to be hard, and you can get creative with it!
What Are the Benefits of Creating a Community?
Before you start fostering a community, it’s important to know what’s in it for you, so here are some of the many benefits of bringing your customers together:
- Complement your existing program: brand communities aren’t loyalty programs themselves, but rather add-ons to an existing loyalty program structure, such as Earn & Burn.
- Add as many as you like: offer communities for each of your customer segments to go beyond transactions.
- Bond with customers over interests: dedicate a community to a popular product, lifestyle, or hobby to foster an emotional connection with your customers.
- Support brand building: associate your brand with a sense of belonging by attracting customers with specific interests.
- Personalize the customer experience: small, targeted brand communities allow you to get to know customers better so you can provide offers that really resonate
5 Ways to Build a Brand Community:
Not all brand communities are the same, so it’s important to choose the method that works best with your customer base and brand values. Here are 5 different ways you can bring your customers together around your brand:
1. Use a VIP group
Customers love to feel special, and adding a VIP option onto your existing program gives them that privilege. Whether you already offer tiers or not, a VIP group brings together your most loyal customers to show your appreciation. Features of a VIP group include: special experiences, early access, exclusive gifts, and personalization.
2. Target Special Interests
Show that you pay attention to your customers’ interest with a targeted group, dedicated to a popular product, lifestyle, or hobby. Members need to spend a certain amount of points to enter, and once they’re in, they get a bunch of different benefits and the ability to meet people who share this interest.
3. Promote Activity
Bring customers together through activity—whether it’s working out, volunteering for a charity, or sharing on social media—keeping them engaged outside of the buying cycle, in their daily lives.
4. Offer a Members-Only Chat Group
Offer a members-only chat group inside the loyalty HUB, where members can discuss new products, give reviews, and share industry secrets. You can also label each customer’s membership and involvement level with their profile. Not only does this bring together your customers around your product and mission, but it also allows you to see what your customers are talking about.
5. Create Leaderboards
Create leaderboards that track and compare member’s progress through the points they earn. Customers can ascend the board by performing more actions that garner them points, from buying products to giving reviews to even tracking their FitBit steps. Leaderboards encourage healthy competition between your customers and increase traffic to your brand.
Build Your Community Now
Whether you’re wishing to strengthen your brand identity, aiming to engage customers with specific values, or want to foster a sense of belonging among customers, a community is a perfect addition to your existing loyalty structure. Customers want to feel a part of something, and your community can do just that. We’re here to help you decide what kind of community is right for your brand. Also, here’s a comprehensive ebook to design the best possible reward system for them.
Tamas is a Senior Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. Tamas is known for having a keen eye for loyalty and customer retention research and trends. Tamas is also a true gamer at heart and has an impressive collection of cyberpunk books.