Brand Loyalty

RH Understands Brands Can’t Buy Loyalty with Points

RH, the brand formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is redefining the concept of a furniture store, opening large-scale showcase galleries in historic buildings that become true experiences while abandoning malls and shopping centers.

In its pioneering fashion, RH just announced a new kind of loyalty program, heavy on customer experiences and services that make the customer feel special, rather than just giving them points to be redeemed for future purchases.

RH understands that true brand loyalty – customers’ engagement with a brand so that they regularly choose that brand over a competing brand – is an emotional feeling. Brands can’t buy brand loyalty with points.

Brands must evoke it and inspire it in ways that go far beyond points accrued or money saved in future purchases. The Beatles said is best, “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend
If it makes you feel all right
I’ll get you anything my friend
If it makes you feel all right
‘Cause I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love

Traditional brand loyalty programs fail, and will always fail, at brand loyalty because they are based upon quantitative measures: number of members, points given, discounts earned. They appeal to customers’ left-brain, their reasonable, rational side. Sure, customers join these programs because they are seen as a way to get more for their money. So such programs give brand managers a feeling of success, since the programs’ results can be charted and graphed.

But true brand loyalty can’t be bought with more points or greater discounts. Brand loyalty is an emotion. Emotional reactions come when you feel special, valued, and honored. It comes through person-to-person interaction and is measured by a strong emotional attachment to the brand. For brands to truly inspire loyalty, they have to deliver extra special and valued customer services, like the new RH program promises.

After all, most purchase decisions hinge on emotion, with academic studies finding ~ 70% of purchases are emotionally based as compared with 30% rationally calculated. Brand loyalty is emotional, and brand loyalty programs must touch customers’ emotions too.

If you want to evoke true brand loyalty and make a lasting emotional connection with customers, you must use the same currency as the customers: emotion. Person-to-person interaction delivered through extraordinary customer services above and beyond the norm is the way.

New Research Study Shows How to Craft a Brand Loyalty Program to Emotionally Engage the Best Customers – Affluent Americans

A new report from Unity Marketing can help you create brand loyalty programs to engage the most profitable customers for any brand, Affluent Americans. How to Create Brand Loyalty Programs to Attract Affluents: Designing Loyalty Programs for Luxury Brands, provides a guide to build rewards programs through research that uncovers the emotional needs and desires of affluent consumers.
This independent study reveals that affluents are highly engaged in brand loyalty and rewards programs, with more than 80% of the 1,300+ affluents surveyed (avg. income $258.7k) active in one or more such programs, including pay-for-service programs like Amazon Prime or buyer clubs, like wine clubs.

Unity Marketing’s new study looks across the range of affluents engaged with brand loyalty programs, including airline and hotel rewards, credit card and bank card rewards, retailer rewards and dining rewards, to identify what specifically they value most in such programs. These findings help marketers focus their club offerings and marketing efforts to hit the hot buttons for the high-potential affluent customers.

The results are revealing: Added customer service to members is something affluents want most, yet few programs actually deliver. With existing programs’ focus on points, they miss a benefit that can greatly improve true brand loyalty from existing customers and differentiate one brand from all the rest to attract new members.

This market research study is a powerful tool to identify the best potential customers to target with brand loyalty programs. By understanding the consumers’ emotional needs better, businesses can beat the competition, make a connection and build a loyal customer base that will mean growth for the business.

What’s more: focused, reliable and forward-looking market research will make marketing efforts more effective, thus reducing the cost of business. Effective market research enables businesses to pinpoint the messages and mediums to deliver those messages to yield the greatest return on the marketing investment.

Order Your Copy Today