Can companies reward their customers for making positive lifestyle choices as a way of boosting loyalty? Absolutely! A lifestyle loyalty program is a great way to connect with your customers, even when shopping isn’t on their minds. Learning how customers enjoy spending their time, what they care about, and connecting your brand with their values and aspirations will give you another opportunity to build better relationships with them.
Lifestyle Loyalty Programs in Motion
Rewarding customers for spending more money is great but it is simply not enough anymore. A loyalty program that embraces its members’ lifestyles can be an excellent way to build advocacy. Sharing the same values as your customers is crucial for companies, especially if your target audience includes Gen Y and Z. According to a 5W PR’s report, 83% of millennials say it’s important for them that the companies they buy from align with their beliefs and values.
For instance, as the demand for sustainability has grown, lifestyle loyalty programs have allowed companies to more easily reward sustainable behavior. Also, loyalty programs can be integrated with a variety of tracking apps so members can receive points immediately after completing fitness or other activities. By encouraging members to live actively or care more for the environment, you can engage with them outside the buying cycle. The loyalty programs below will show you how other companies reward their customers for non-transactional activities.
Inspiring Health-Focused Loyalty Programs
If you want to make your customers feel good about themselves and attribute this positive change to your brand, consider creating a lifestyle loyalty program that rewards customers for making healthy choices. Encourage them to move more or buy healthier food. Acknowledge them for going for a run and reward them in your stores afterward. Or provide them benefits for tracking their weekly exercise — the encouragement will surely be received positively by an athletic-minded community.
1. Vitality – Rewarding Better Living
Vitality, the insurance company, rewards their customers for living a healthier life. When customers become members, they complete a Health Review to find out their Vitality Age. By linking their activity tracker to Vitality they can earn points for being active, for example after walking their dogs or going for a run or swim. Earning points this way builds their Vitality status. The more points they earn, the higher status they reach and the bigger the rewards get. Members start with Bronze status and can work their way up to Platinum, where they can access best rewards on offer.
2. Bergzeit – Encouraging an Athletic Lifestyle
In order to cater to their athletic-minded loyalty community, Bergzeit rewards customers for completing activities through an integration with popular athletic app, Strava. Bergzeit wanted to reward their members not only for shopping, but also for living an athletic lifestyle — an idea that their hiking-enthusiast target audience loves. Members of Bergzeit Club earn points for climbing to certain heights and reaching the different milestones within the program. Bergzeit’s lifestyle loyalty program is a hybrid program built using two distinct loyalty mechanisms: earn & burn and tiers. As a result, the company is capable of delivering short-term reward experiences, as well as maintaining engagement in the long run.
3. Walgreens – Promoting Health Challenges
Walgreens’ new loyalty program myWalgreens, which replaced their eight-year-old Balance Program, allows members to earn bonus Walgreens Cash for achieving physical activity and lifestyle goals via health challenges or by donating Walgreens Cash to charity. Members can participate in two challenges at the same time, one physical activity and one lifestyle challenge. Members can also get rewarded for making health & wellness purchases outside of Walgreens and for staying informed on real-time local environmental and health forecasts.
Loyalty Programs That Are Making the World a Better Place
Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming increasingly important and operating ethically and sustainably demonstrates that your company takes an interest in wider social and environmental issues. Implementing CSR in your loyalty program can help bolster your company’s image, build your brand and attract customers who share similar values. It also makes customers feel better about spending money, because they know they are contributing to a company that is doing good.
4. The Body Shop – Making Lives Better
The Body Shop has long been known for its commitment to corporate social responsibility. Their loyalty program, the Love Your Body Club, acts more like a community than a points program. Members get rewarded for each dollar they spend, are invited to membership parties & events, and are given a $10 coupon on their birthday. The best part of their lifestyle loyalty program is that members can elect to use their points to treat themselves to their favorite products or donate to a charity of their choosing.
5. Ben & Jerry’s – Contributing to Social Justice
In addition to supporting several movements and taking part in multiple CSR activities, Ben & Jerry’s also has a loyalty program with a cause. Their mission-driven program allows customers to feel like their purchase, whether big or small, helps improve others’ lives. They have created social justice-themed ice cream flavors and donated sales to charities that support animals, the environment, social programs, and other causes. Standing for good causes and raising awareness can work well with your loyalty program as well if you reward customers for joining these aspirations.
6. Cuyana – Supporting a Good Cause
The founders of Cuyana, the apparel and accessories brand for women, believe in the philosophy “the fewer, the better”. Therefore, unlike most fashion brands, they only produce items they think they can sell. Not only is 96% of Cuyana’s assortment made from sustainable materials, but they also put a great emphasis on helping women through H.E.A.R.T., an organization that supports victims of abuse. When customers spend their Cuyana shopping credit, the company donates 5% of profits of their total purchase amount to H.E.A.R.T. It is a great way for companies to connect such endeavours with their loyalty program for instance by providing extra discounts for their donating members.
Companies have a moral duty to reduce their footprint, while more and more customers are demanding to see the results, too. Fortunately, an increasing number of household names in fashion and beauty are rewarding customers for making sustainable choices and for recycling. A loyalty program that incorporates green elements not only helps spare the environment but also provides your company with increased traffic and brand loyalty and customers with benefits in the form of rewards and discounts.
7. Vans – Turning Old to Gold
Vans lets their customers recycle their old or unwearable shoes. They turn the dropped off footwear into park benches, phone cases, skateboard decks and more. When customers take part in their WEAR-ON campaign and donate their unwanted shoes at their local Vans store, they not only receive special discount vouchers and bonus points, but also take part in reducing waste, fighting poverty, and empowering people.
8. Beer Hawk – Empty Kegs Are Welcome
Beer Hawk encourages their customers to return their kegs. By doing so they can earn £5 worth of Beer Tokens for each keg and help reduce waste. In addition to the keg return program, Beer Hawk has included other innovative elements in their loyalty program, such as friend referrals and rewarding customers who leave reviews. With these elements Beer Hawk has been able to motivate customers to engage in ways that are valuable to their brand.
9. H&M – Standing for Sustainable Choices
H&M now rewards members for making more sustainable choices. Starting in spring 2021, members can earn Conscious points every time they purchase a Conscious item. Customers can also earn points and get a digital voucher for recycling clothes they no longer use in the company’s Garment Collecting program. H&M also encourages a more sustainable lifestyle by rewarding members for bringing their own bag when shopping at their stores.
Recognizing Good Behavior
Encourage improved behaviors by rewarding customers for following the rules. As they go on with their everyday lives, not only will customers be motivated to go by the book, but they will also appreciate earning points for doing so.
10. The Hanover Insurance Group – Promoting Safety
Hanover launched its SafeTeen driving program to educate new teen drivers. The program also gives parents peace of mind, as they can monitor their teen’s driving behaviors through the SafeTeen mobile app. Teens receive a score based on distracted driving, speeding, hard braking and more. Those who achieve a high score may qualify to receive Amazon rewards. Participating parents get a discount on their auto policy as well.
Aligning With the Interests & Core Values of your Customers
Being part of your customers’ everyday lives presents a great opportunity to reward them for living well. This strengthens their emotional bond with your brand. Sharing the same values as your customers allows you to build engagement and drive repeat purchases as well. Just keep in mind that the lifestyle loyalty program you implement has to align with your company’s mission in order to create a uniform brand image.
In the meantime, here’s a useful worksheet to help inspire your rewards program’s concept design:
Barbara is a Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. She is also a writing expert with several years of experience in marketing and also in the information technology industry. In her free time she likes traveling the world, reading crime stories, and doing crossword puzzles.