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Loyalty: The solution to unlimited choice

by Claudia Mennen

Loyalty… Unconsciously or consciously, it influences us every day. Although the noun ‘loyalty’ was first evidenced in the 15th century, some scientists say that we are hard-wired for it. Search for ‘loyalty research’ on the internet and within seconds you have billions of articles at your disposal, all claiming to have the rulebook on loyalty. But what is the added value of a static rulebook in times of continuously changing consumer behaviour, high customer expectations, technological advancements and an infinite number of choices? Let’s go back to the beginning. 

 

Essence of loyalty
While the world is evolving, the essence of loyalty is not. Loyalty is based on a mix of emotions and memory. Loyalty gives purpose and steers happiness. 

As neurological studies show, when exposed to their favourite brands, the part of a shopper’s brain that is associated with emotional memory retrieval comes to life. This in turn, releases feel-good chemicals, positively impacting decision making. Once a loyal relationship has begun, shoppers will feel a sense of pleasure, giving them automatic rewards when exposed to a brand. These physical changes in the human brain’s reward system, called the ‘corpus striatum’, reinforces shopper loyalty and justifies brand preferences.

To me, loyalty really makes me feel good. When I look at my past purchasing decisions, I see that I have become more and more attached to specific brands over time, because I felt rewarded and emotionally connected. 

At BrandLoyalty, we aim to let all shoppers experience this feeling when they shop at our clients, by designing campaigns with the right mechanics and rewards that instantly change shopping behaviour and establish loyalty. 

In competitive repeat purchase markets, the potential of loyalty campaigns can’t be ignored. Claudia Mennen, CEO BrandLoyalty

High-quality rewards in campaign-based loyalty programmes
Shoppers are likely to be attracted to rewards that they see as compatible with their identities (or those identities that they desire to adopt) – particularly when they are socially desirable. 

Rewards have been shown to be extremely effective in motivating behavioural change, and unlike intrinsic motivations, collectables and other rewards allow retailers to drive shoppers towards new behaviours. In the development phase of loyalty campaigns, we identify reward features and benefits that bring real value to shoppers to ensure maximum impact. By delivering increased value to profitable shoppers, they in turn become even more loyal to your brand or store. 

A holistic approach that generates long-term impact
Understanding shopper behaviour sounds rather simple in theory, yet in practice, it can be quite challenging. Nowadays, power is leaning more towards shoppers than ever before and if retailers can’t figure out their needs, they will fall behind. 

BrandLoyalty starts from a strategic campaign perspective when developing loyalty programmes for high-frequency retail. Based on our clients’ objectives, historical data, predictive data, specific shopper needs, and local consumer trends, we ensure that our campaigns generate long-term impact - both on an emotional and transactional level. 

Future loyalty fundamentals 
Today’s shoppers are living in a metaverse of choice, jumping between channels, devices and companies as they shop. The future of loyalty campaigns will adapt to become as dynamic as its participants whilst taking a holistic approach based on company strategy and brand messaging. Think about personal spending goals during digital campaigns, a combination of short and long-term loyalty promotions, one-to-one campaigns or those that leverage storytelling.  

In competitive repeat purchase markets, the potential of loyalty campaigns can’t be ignored. Because the shopper of the future will not be dazzled by unlimited choice. The shopper of the future wants retailers to truly connect, become part of the community and share the same values. Clearly, loyalty has become more important than ever before and will help your shoppers navigate through choice.

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