'If you are looking for brand advocacy and loyalty, invest in experiences, not things.’
This stands true, especially in the post-pandemic era when consumers are looking forward to going out and enjoying an experience that they can cherish. As mobile apps have proliferated, there is a significant extension in the ways brands are gratifying their customers. Alongside giveaways cashback mechanisms, and price slash strategies, brands are upping their loyalty game through experiential rewards.
But before we dive in any further, let’s understand what experiential rewards are.
In an era where the social currency has taken precedence, there’s no better time to create positive life experiences for consumers to develop a lasting relationship with the brands. These experiences can include free movie tickets, spa sessions, exclusive access to product launches, holidays, fine dining experiences, and a lot more which are hand-curated for the target audience at BigCity. Gratifications such as these help build memorable moments that go beyond economic transactions between a brand and a consumer.
Experiences can outshine freebies!
An extensive study by Eventbrite claims that 72% of millennials would rather spend and invest in experiences than material items. A Gartner Marketing Research shows that 58% of customers believe digital experiences don’t drive their loyalty and purchase behaviour due to the lack of differentiation and impact.
This tells us that brands have acquired a new understanding of consumer behaviour, realizing that loyalty is not a mere transaction. Experiential rewards help consumers capture the impact of their gratification via emotional accounting, creating stronger impressions than fleeting transactional rewards.
When it comes to Trade Loyalty Programs, experiential rewards bring in a long-term impact, accentuating the trade channel partners’ overall experience with the brand. Since they know that they can earn a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one they might not purchase on their own, they are willing to put in a lot more effort and engage happily due to the incredible opportunity put on the table.
Why are experiences the preferred reward?
a) Experiential Rewards are super personal
No matter how many ‘tailored offers’ a brand provides, experiential rewards go beyond anything else when it comes to spurring brand recall. A person might forget a 50% OFF discount coupon that was rewarded to him a year back, but he wouldn’t forget a hearty meal with his friend that was endorsed by his favourite brand.
Knowing a brand’s audience and offering a catalog of experiences that caters to their eclectic taste is what we do best at BigCity.
Our rewards integration is based on insights derived from working on more than 5000+ high-impact promotions over the last 15 years with blue-chip brands across verticals including but not limited to FMCG, Consumer Durables, and Alco Bev, Banking as well as Retail & E-Commerce. Our robust reward network ranges from dining, travel, mobility, entertainment, and more.
b) These rewards are highly shareable
Be it in terms of experiencing them together or just bringing them up in the conversations, consumers can share these rewards with their loved ones.
At BigCity, we understand that experiential rewards by nature, are something that the recipients like to publicize through get-togethers, and social media, which can amp up social signaling. Our reward strategy not only creates consumer loyalty but also generates consumer advocacy.
c) Memories over Materialism
Experiential rewards have the power to create lasting memories for the consumer via curated moments, focusing on larger consumer experiences and values.
At BigCity, we ensure the audience is gratified with premium experiences with seamless redemption mechanics, enabling a strong trust and loyalty for the brand. For Himalaya, we created a consumer loyalty app, where its consumers, on purchase of baby products, could enjoy curated experiential rewards like salon services, fine dining experiences, and more.
d) Experiences are irreplicable
What a brand might come up with for its customer might be highly customized and personal. BigCity offers innovative engagement strategies and curated rewards for the audience, making the campaigns highly effective and irreplicable. This also benefits the customer by making him feel more exclusive and cared for. At BigCity, we work towards rewards that have a high perceived value and can be enjoyed with loved ones. So, for Maruti Suzuki, we came up with a monthly engagement program for loyal customers who, on using their ‘Autocard’ for various services, received rewards ranging from yoga sessions, and excursions to movies, and more.
How to integrate experiential rewards into your loyalty program?
Creativity is the key. Brands know their customer the best. By gaining behaviour insights and demographic information, a brand can easily come up with an appealing range of experiences that cater to the consumer’s taste. Tried and tested techniques like gamification, surprise & delight, and occasion-based gratification can get the ball rolling.
While gamification strategies prompt high engagement, surprise & delight, occasion-based experiences elevate loyalty. Consumers are always delighted to show off a holiday plan they earned or a hands-on activity they get to be a part of, making your marketing reach grow. A win-win.
Here’s how one can create experiential loyalty
1) Offer a range of experiences
With the point-based approach in trade loyalty programs, the channel partners can burn points and choose an experience of their liking from the catalog offered.
2) Crack the perfect timing
Occasion-based marketing can lead to high engagement, thus leading to a wider consumer base and creating an opportunity for theme-based gratification. Right rewards at the right time can create a higher perceived value, creating stronger impressions.
3) Keep it exclusive
Based on consumer behaviour, brands can curate experiences that cater to the customer’s interests, propelling their aspirational value, and bringing them back to engage with the brand again and again.
4) Make it unique
There’s no better way than experiential rewards to make the customer feel identified and cared for. Leveraging customized experiences can help brands gain a differentiating factor for their loyalty programs
5) Subtly so, drive your brand value
Align your brand value while coming up with experiences that can drive your customers back to your brand.
6) Speak to the customer’s heart!
Personalized experiences, value-driven engagement, and exclusive services will help customers feel appreciated and valued. While money can’t buy happiness, memories can!
Welcome to BigCity —where the best experiences get delivered
With over 15 years of rich experience, having worked with multiple brands on consumer and sales promotions, BigCity specializes in curating reward-relevant and engagement-driven programs for consumers and trade channels.
With a vast network of merchant partners, we have a gamut of relevant rewards, that guarantee a premium experience, customer delight, and trust. Our services include campaign strategy, platform customization, and technical integration with your internal tools, including vendor management up to fulfillment. Having worked on large-scale campaigns, we offer a reward fulfillment guarantee to over 90% of the pin codes across India.
When it comes to curating perfect experiential rewards, collaborating with BigCity can be highly rewarding!
Get in touch with us at email@example.com today, so that we can create the best experiential rewards to accentuate your brand loyalty.