What Do Customers Really Want? 5 Secrets Behind Building Brand Loyalty
We were thrilled to attend the Customer Loyalty & Retention Conference at 1 America Square, London, hosted by Global Insight Conferences on 14 November. The event was packed with insightful speakers sharing their knowledge and experience in building customer loyalty, and we learned so much.
Future Platforms’ managing directors also attended and presented five secrets behind building brand loyalty using data from our recent survey. If you couldn’t join, don’t worry! In this article, we’ll share our thoughts from the event and explore the same insights from our research so you won’t miss out. Read on to learn more.
Our presentation (in brief) on what customers really want: Five secrets behind building brand loyalty
Future Platforms’ managing directors, Remy Brooks and Greet Jans, were invited as speakers and presented our findings from a recent research project. In it, we surveyed 1,000 British consumers, asking 21 questions to understand what they liked and disliked about brand loyalty schemes they used. Here’s what we found:
Before we begin, it’s important to lay some groundwork on our topic and understand the context of the questions asked. To this end, let’s look at some of the basics behind building customer loyalty.
What is brand loyalty?
Consumers’ brand loyalty can occur for many reasons, but a leading driver is access to better value on their spending. From our survey, the top reason for 56% of respondents joining loyalty schemes was access to discounts and cashback programmes. Meanwhile, 64% sought access to members-only prices. Though less important, other reasons involved early product access or exclusive rewards.
Why is brand loyalty important?
Consumers are keen to find value and will adapt their spending patterns to suit. While leading incumbent brands dominate, there are new challengers that are worth watching.
Some of the most popular loyalty schemes included long-standing offers from big brands, like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Boots and Amazon. However, brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Blue Light and ASOS showed promising innovations. These ranged from integrated ordering systems to spend-based incentives that unlocked different reward tiers.
1. Consumers want money, not points
Consumers prefer monetary rewards over points-based schemes since they understand the value more accurately. This can either take shape as access to member-only prices or cashback rewards on regular spending.
This is partly the reason why Asda’s “pounds not points” campaign has worked so well with customers. The value of customers’ Cashpot is highly transparent and instantly understandable.
2. Consumers want novelty, not games
Only a very small minority (9%) of consumers felt that gamification features, such as badges, rewards, etc., impacted their behaviour. Instead, most customers tend to want better value on their regular spending patterns.
However, nearly half (46%) of all respondents said they used loyalty to try new products. This means brands could use reward schemes to test new ideas with highly engaged customers and quickly collect feedback on their scalability from their core market.
3. Consumers want rewards now, not later
Over a third of respondents remembered a time when they received an immediate benefit from their favourite loyalty programme. Therefore, fast rewards build both brand loyalty and recall – a tool that marketers could leverage to grow their reward scheme’s adoption with customers.
At the same time, around a third of consumers want small benefits more regularly over larger but infrequent rewards. Given this, customer success leads should focus on providing regular demonstrations of value to customers to build brand loyalty.
4. Consumers want simplicity, not confusion
“Ease of joining” was the second most important driver of building consumer loyalty. However, brands need to maintain this simplicity and be wary of changes that disrupt highly loyal customer behaviours.
Our research showed that the vast majority of our sample – a mere 84% – had a good or excellent understanding of their favourite scheme. As a result, they know when and how it changes. This lesson was something that Marks & Spencer faced when they were forced to redesign their 2018 Sparks programme. Surveys showed that consumers were confused as to how the programme would benefit them, and turned down loyalty offers on this basis en masse.
5. Consumers want apps, not websites
91% of consumers use apps to access their favourite loyalty schemes versus other avenues like websites and traditional loyalty cards. This preference is because apps pre-load customer details (saving consumers from logging in every time they want to redeem a benefit) as well as offer an interactive customer experience.
Brands should increasingly leverage these digital channels to deliver deeper personalisation, localisation and customer engagement. Doing so can help customer success teams deliver tailored customer experiences and respond to local branch needs at the same time.
Discover more about building consumer loyalty in the full report from Future Platforms
We’d like to extend another thank you to the team from behind the Customer Loyalty & Retention Conference as well as our fellow speakers and attendees. It was a privilege to join leading brands like Tesco Bank, John Lewis, IKEA, Vodafone, and many, many others and share our insights on building brand loyalty and customer retention techniques.
Of course, this was only a snapshot of our report. The full version is available on our website for free. In it, you learn how incumbent brands compare to today’s challengers and what customers are really looking for in their brand loyalty schemes.
Get your copy on our website now.