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How to Create a Leisure & Lifestyle Loyalty Programme

This article discusses how hospitality brands can engage with customers through a leisure and lifestyle loyalty programme.

How to Create a Leisure and Lifestyle Loyalty Programme

Loyalty programmes are ideal ways for brands to engage with customers and foster long-term retention. Research from Nielsen shows that 84% of shoppers are more likely to visit a retailer that offers a loyalty programme. This holds especially true in the travel and hospitality industries, which thrive on providing customers with unique experiences and entertainment.

With this in mind, how can leisure and lifestyle brands create an effective loyalty programme that helps them appeal to new consumers and keep them engaged down the line? And what kind of examples of successful loyalty programmes exist for aspiring brands to follow? This article will discuss all of the above and more. Read on.

Meet the Needs of Customers

The first step you should take before launching any kind of loyalty programme is to first answer a vital question: what do your customers want from one in the first place?

There are many ways of answering this all-important query. You might want to conduct a survey of your existing customers to ask them what kind of benefits they would like to be entitled to through a loyalty programme. Or you might want to take a more strategic approach and craft distinct buyer personas to determine the different needs that different types of consumers might have. You might also want to examine the kinds of loyalty programmes offered by your direct competitors to craft a better alternative in response.

By doing so, you’ll be able to better personalise the rewards you offer your customers. This will, in turn, make your loyalty programmes far more appealing to them as a whole.

Showcase your Brand Values

An effective loyalty programme seeks to condition customers by rewarding positive actions or behaviour. But brands have to be a little bit introspective and ask: What kind of behaviour do we want to reward? What kind of proactive social outcomes are we looking to attain with our loyalty programme?

To answer this, you’ll also have to consider whether or not your loyalty programme aligns with the values of your target audience and whether it rewards behaviour that your customers will care about. Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the ESG benchmarks of the brands they choose to purchase from, particularly among younger demographics, such as Millennials and Gen Z.

With all this in mind, try to build a loyalty programme that matches the lifestyle that your target consumers already aspire to. For example, if environmental issues are important to them, you should attempt to offer rewards to incentivise sustainable actions and purchases.

Types of Loyalty Programme

There are many different forms of loyalty programmes to choose from, and which one you opt for depends on the type of business you have and the lifestyles you are selling:

  • Point-based: In this model, customers gain new points after each purchase. After accumulating enough points, customers can redeem them later and make new purchases for free.
  • Subscription: In this model, customers will subscribe and pay a regular fee, which entitles them to select rewards like special offers, gifts, or experiences.
  • Free perks: These programmes reward customers with free perks, gifts, or discounts when they perform certain actions.
  • Referrals: This form of loyalty programme functions as free advertising for brands that choose to adopt it. Customers are incentivised to gain rewards when they recruit others in their network to become customers themselves.
  • Tiers: This model sees customers go up in ranks or tiers to access more and more rewards and benefits the more they perform certain positive actions.

Case Study: Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott International’s loyalty program, Marriot Bonvoy, is an ideal example for lifestyle and leisure brands to consider: As of 2023, it had over 120 million program members. This program works via the aforementioned tier-based model, offering participants six membership tiers, ranging from Member to Ambassador Elite.

Members can earn points for their stays and dining across all of their hotels or shopping with a special credit card and redeem these points for free nights, room upgrades, and other exclusive benefits.

For example, the highest-ranked members can enjoy over 100 free nights at any Marriott hotel for free, as well as exchange points for perks such as car rentals, flights, or gift cards. This system even has an ESG aspect to it, with members also able to donate extra points to support disaster relief efforts or other charitable initiatives. However, one of the most successful aspects of the loyalty programme is the app's design. Marriott Bonvoy’s rewards portal is designed to be as intuitive, informative, and user-friendly as possible. It boasts clear visual information, iconography, and graphical effects to make browsing the app and accessing rewards child’s play. So, with this in mind, how can other brands follow this example and build an app that powers an equally successful loyalty programme?

Future Platforms: Your Partner for Building Loyalty Programmes

As we’ve shown, loyalty programmes can be a highly effective tool for brands who choose to adopt them. However, their success is incumbent on the quality of the digital tools used to create and deliver them to consumers. Because of this, it’s important to lean on digital expertise if you want yours to be a smash hit.

This is where Future Platforms can help. Our highly experienced team of developers understand the key elements a digital product needs to ensure it helps build customer loyalty and increase revenue. So, if you’re interested and would like to know more, then contact our team today.