5 Reasons Why Branding Matters For Your Consumer Incentives Program
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
– Seth Godin, Marketing Expert
Nike has its “swoosh” and “Just Do It” tagline. McDonalds has its Golden Arches. Coca Cola has its red can and cursive writing. Apple has, well, its Apple! Take a look at any successful company, big or small, and you’ll notice one thing in common: branding. While some might claim that brand loyalty is dead, the truth–and the numbers–tell a different story: 82% of adults in the US claim loyalty to a product brand.
A company’s brand tells consumers who you are and what you offer, and creating a recognizable brand is a key part of running a successful company. The same is also true for your company’s incentive program. Branding your rewards can help improve the effectiveness of your loyalty program, increase brand recognition, and improve brand loyalty.
You might think that you don’t need to brand your loyalty program, but think about it: You wouldn’t create a business with a brand that fails to differentiate itself from your competition, would you? The same is true for your incentive and recognition programs.
Branding is what turns your nameless, little-known (or little-used) loyalty program into something that is recognizable and engaging to your consumers, and something that is worth telling their friends and family about. Here are five reasons why branding matters for your incentives program.
- Consistency Is Key
Consistency is important in all aspects of life, but it’s especially true with your business. If you’re going to spend time, money, and effort creating a brand and image, it doesn’t make sense to ignore that same brand and image when dealing with your incentives program. You need to keep your brand strong across all forms of communication and channels. Keep the look, feel, and message of your company consistent. This will help entrench your message, values, and image with your consumers, but will also help reinforce the behaviours you have developed and fostered through your loyalty program, even after the rewards have been distributed.
- Multi-Channel Communication Ensures Your Customers Hear You
Make sure your spread the word about the program using every channel and platform available to you, such as online, print, mobile, app, email, and social media. Keep everything current with regular updates, messages, and posts in order to maintain excitement and interest for your loyalty program members. It’s on you to generate this energy, so make sure you take the necessary steps.
- Branding Helps Focus Your Program Objectives
Creating a positive rewards experience is important, because it will reflect on the rest of your company. Having a clear brand idea and message will ensure that your loyalty program objectives–both for your business/employees and your consumers–are clear. On the flipside, having a muddled and disorganised loyalty program will turn current and potential consumers away. Being properly able to explain your loyalty goals seems like a no brainer, but it can make a big difference between whether your members are able to follow, earn, and redeem from your loyalty program, which is integral for the program’s success.
- Branding Builds Connections, Leading To Increased Engagement
A powerful, well thought-out, branded incentive program will help create a connection between your consumers/participants and your company. A boring, unbranded, forgettable incentive program will have a hard time making people feel connected to the program. You want your consumers to feel committed to achieving their objectives—earning rewards–which will, in turn, help you achieve yours–moving certain products, increasing profitability, improving retention, collecting customer data, etc.
- Branding Increases Loyalty
A loyalty program isn’t just about increasing profits or moving specific products; it’s also about (surprise!) increasing loyalty! A recognizable and relatable brand will cause members to associate their rewards and achievements with the brand, ensuring participation and that they continue to use your program year-in and year-out.
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