For centuries Italians have been known for their strong affinity towards beauty and fashion, demanding quality products and services, being loyal to their brands while also being resistant to special promotions. This historic trend, however, is changing. According to a recent McKinsey survey, during the Covid pandemic, 70% of Italian consumers changed stores, brands, or the way they shop, forcing Italian brands to spend more on customer retention and loyalty.
Major consumer brands have been investing in loyalty for the past several years, but as the number of loyalty programs continues to increase, so does the competition among them to attract and engage the very same customers. Offering points and discounts is no longer enough to convince customers who participate in 10-12 loyalty programs. More complex, advanced loyalty solutions are required. In this short article, we review 7 famous Italian brands’ loyalty programs.
OVSFriends is the loyalty program from OVS, one of Italy’s leading clothing brands with over 1,200 stores in Italy and abroad. OVSFriends is primarily a points-based loyalty program (members earn one heart for every euro spent) with four tiers.
Members are encouraged to join the program with a 5€ Welcome voucher and to move up the tiers by receiving increasing benefits. Customers are rewarded primarily for their purchases, but they can earn additional points by completing challenges or bringing in new members. Hearts can be exchanged for a broad selection of rewards including experiences, OVS vouchers or gifts from a voluminous digital catalog.
2. KIKO Kisses
KIKO Kisses is more than just a loyalty program from an Italian brand, according to KIKO, the well-known Italian make-up brand. The KIKO reward program uses Kisses as loyalty currency and 2 status tiers: love and adore. On the first level, members can earn 10 kisses for every euro spent on KIKO products online or in stores. and 15 kisses after reaching the second tier, the “adore” level.
Once members earn a total of 800 Kisses, they unlock an immediate 4€ discount or, if saved, 0.5€ discount on every 100 Kisses earned. Additional benefits include a 5€ birthday discount in the love tier, which increases to 10€ in the adore tier.
3. GEOX Benefeet
Benefeet is the loyalty program from the fashion-minded Italian brand GEOX, a major player in the lifestyle-casual footwear market. GEOX combines four different loyalty design frameworks into one, including points, tiers, member benefits and discounts. Members receive one step-point for every euro spent and double step-points for purchases of children’s shoes.
150 step-points qualify registered customers for the Urban Walker tier, 250 step-points for Globe Walker, 500 points for Moon Walker and 1,000 points for Star Walker. Each tier is connected with gradually improving member benefits, starting with a 10% discount, which increases to 15% in the second tier. In the Moon Walker and Star Walker tiers, members can receive instant vouchers.
4. Terranova WE Card
Terranova is a popular fast fashion brand of the Italian TEDDY Group. They have kept their rewards program very simple and focused on savings. WE card holders collect 10 points for every euro spent and are entitled to early bird sales and exclusive promotions. It is a simple yet efficient loyalty currency program, but its simplicity is the reason why customers find it so easy to engage with.
There is no need for complicated rules and features for customers to enjoy your loyalty program. True engagement comes from recognizing and appreciating your members. If you are aiming for simplicity and wish to generate customer gratitude, it might be worthwhile to launch a Perks program.
5. Feltrinelli Rewards
Feltrinelli is an Italian publishing company and bookstore founded in 1954. Their rewards program follows the principles of status-driven tier programs in which members purchase their tier subscription. The CartaPiu membership costs 5€, while the MultiPiu membership can be purchased for 10€. CartaPiu is created as an entry tier and offers very limited benefits (a 5% welcome discount and 5% discount on new publications).
Members are motivated to move forward to the MultiPiu level to obtain further, more substantial benefits, like a 10€ discount coupon for every 200€ spent, free delivery and a birthday present.
6. CHICCO’s Loyalty Program
White, blue and red are CHICCO’s brand colors and the names of the 3 tiers of the Italian kidswear giants’ fidelity program, Baby Card. The program integrates several loyalty frameworks, including points, tiers, member benefits and discounts. In addition to financial benefits (e.g. exclusive discounts, a 5€ fidelity voucher and the Red Discount) CHICCO uses service-related benefits (private sales, free shipping), birthday gifts and exclusive store events to reward loyalty.
Combining two or more loyalty program elements helps you have the best of both worlds, while avoiding some of the drawbacks. Furthermore, with a hybrid loyalty program you have a better chance of creating a truly unique loyalty concept.
7. LVR Privilege
LVR PRIVILEGE is the award-winning loyalty program from LuisaViaRoma, an Italian retailer in the luxury fashion market. The program is built on a tier framework, with 4 tier levels based on points earned (1€ = 1 point). The higher the tier, the more valuable the benefits.
As opposed to many other loyalty programs in fashion, LVR customers are not simply rewarded for their purchases, but also for interactions outside of the buying cycle, such as social shares or profile completion. Points can be redeemed for a wide selection of rewards, like LVR credits, exclusive clubs, luxury experiences like hotel getaways, and privilege cards. Membership benefits include birthday and anniversary gifts, early promo access and LVR badges.
Probably the most unique part of the LVR loyalty program, however, is the LVR Sneakers Club, a limited access club in which early access to high-end sneakers is the reward. Customers who pay the 2,000-point membership fee receive early access to new drops for one year, a highly sought-after reward in the luxury world.
Following in the Footsteps of Top Italian Brands
Best-practice loyalty program operators utilize the following elements to drive first-in-class member engagement:
- Complex combination of design principles,
- Loyalty psychology & behavioral science,
- Desirable rewards,
- Appropriate design frameworks,
- Gamification technology,
- LIfecycle management.
The seven cases above demonstrate that Italian brands are using sophisticated customer retention strategies carried out through advanced loyalty programs.
In the meantime, here is a useful worksheet to help you clarify the concept for your loyalty program.