Loyalty cards are a great asset to your business (I know – I’ve garnered a ton) but there’s always a way you can offer your customer more.

Loyalty cards get lost among all other paper pretty easily; some stores keep cards on file for their guests. You can step it up: give them a plastic, credit card style card; the shape and where it goes in your customer’s wallet says “money.”

Want to step it up again? Add a mobile platform: Pinkberry, Best Buy, Jamba Juice and others have done this with great success. These platforms also allow users to debit money into them for purchases.

Here are some very unique loyalty programs:

– Generates scratch-off card style games where the user can win discounts and free items; it can be done once a day, so keeps the customer coming back for opportunities. Quite a few franchises have hopped on board, and even McDonalds is looking.

URBN Inc’s Free People Me – Sets up a pinterest/tumblr style share network, where customers recommend products to each other. The more the customer interacts, the more meaningful kinds of rewards they receive. Creates a sense of brand community.

 Walgreens Balance/MapMyFitness Collaboration –  Walgreen’s worked with MapMyFitness to allow customers to earn points through logging healthy activity – definitely more rewarding than those forced fitness programs in elementary school.

The best loyalty program.

 Important takeaways:

  • It’s not all about discounts or freebies; customers want to feel unique through brand experiences. Reward them with “priceless” items, like secret merchandise, limited editions. They’ll share these accomplishments with their friends, pulling more customers into your program.
  • Customers love to collect and play. Make the loyalty experience fun, or some sort of a challenge: Incorporate chance, a game, even a puzzle or scavenger hunt. Customers will come back again to be pulled out of their daily routine and into a playful experience that rewards them!
  • Start out solid: Give out an award immediately upon signing up for extra customer incentive. They’ll remember your program fondly from the get-go.