Is your loyalty program naughty or nice this holiday season?

The average household is enrolled in 21.9 loyalty program memberships. During the holidays, you can expect that number to increase as consumers enroll in loyalty programs to reap the rewards of instant savings while holiday shopping.  But how active are households in each of these programs?  And, is an enticing welcome offer enough to convert these seasonal shoppers to loyal customers?

Seasonal customers help increase membership metrics, but marketers need to ensure customers continue to engage with their loyalty programs post holidays.  Consider these naughty and nice approaches to loyalty and turn new holiday subscribers into the gift that keeps on giving:

  • Naughty! A loyalty program that doesn’t recognize VIPs.

It’s critical for marketers to understand that customers yearn to reach VIP status and quite frankly, those who earn it, deserve it. Design your program with these valuable customers in mind.  Meeting the expectations of your highest value customers sets the standard for your remaining customer base.

  • Nice! Delivering on the value your customers perceive with your product, service, price, image and information shared.

Remember, it’s your people, process and physical evidence that creates value for your customers and differentiates your brand from your competitors.  At the end of the day, people remember people.

  • Naughty! Operating under the assumption that you know what your customers want.

You must research your customers’ loyalty drivers and design the best program around these drivers.  Find innovative ways to fund and deliver the benefits and experiences your customers want. And when in doubt, ask them for their feedback.

  • Nice! Data is all around you!  Don’t just focus on the top 20% of your customers. 

It’s important to unveil the personality of the other 80% of your customer base.  Mine for gold and integrate attitudinal data and behavioral analytics to model against your top customers.

Take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the holidays to evaluate your loyalty program.  As you finalize your 2015 marketing plans, think about how you’re going to transition seasonal customers to loyalists and hopefully into advocates this coming year.