Nuts & Bolts - Loyalty: Memories Top Reward Points?
A little bit branding, a little bit direct marketing and a little bit rock and roll. That's the quick way to sum up the advice Jerry McLaughlin gave marketers on Oct. 5 during his session at DMA2011 Conference & Exhibition in Boston.
"The First Step in Building Repeat Business? Forget about Customer Loyalty," lived up to its controversial title during the presentation by McLaughlin, president and CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based online promotional products distributor Branders.com.
The mistake many marketers make with loyalty programs is they don't make the rewards unique to their businesses, said McLaughlin. Or they make the awards too hard to get—such as the fictitious USA Prime Credit loyalty program that Discover parodied in its commercials.
If competitors can steal a strategy or mock it, it's what McLaughlin calls a "bolt-on."
Instead, he said it's best to build repeat business, and memories are "the heart and soul" of repeat business.
For instance, Disney knows what it's doing when it places signs suggesting good spots for family photos. Parents tell their children to smile, which influences memories, McLaughlin said. "Who says, 'I want to capture the moment just as it is. Pull your sister's hair again'?"
Other takeaways from McLaughlin's presentation were:
1. Be first. Band Aid, Kleenex, Scotch tape—all are synonymous with their product categories.
2. Use music. "My bologna has a first name ..." (Oscar Mayer)
3. Use alliteration. Kit Kat. Krispy Kreme. Paypal.
4. Better yet, combine alliteration with music. "Every kiss begins with Kay." (Kay Jewelers)
5. Tell stories. Jared "The Subway Guy" Fogle—McLaughlin says Jared's story can't be related without Subway. He also advised a healthcare marketer in the audience that stories would be the best way to change her hold Muzak, rather than using jingles.