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Many businesses that wish to boost their customers’ sense of belonging and overall satisfaction are prioritizing the implementation of a customer loyalty program. Loyalty marketing is the process of establishing a long-term relationship with customers by providing them with valuable rewards as part of their experience.

Consumers that join a loyalty program may expect to receive special treatment. We can think about incentives, offers, and services that are only available to the most loyal clients. Loyalty programs allow businesses to categorize consumers based on whether or not their status grants unique rewards.

In addition, individuals are sensitive to how they are classified by others, according to a large body of research on social identity. Does your consumers’ engagement with your brand depend on whether they are members or not?

Customer loyalty and customer satisfaction: revealing study results

Magnus Söderlund’s study looked at whether a customer’s status as a “member” or “non-member” in a company’s loyalty program influenced their opinion of the company, their level of satisfaction, and their sense of belonging.

All 132 participants were randomly separated into two groups to perform the study. The first set of participants acted as members of a hypothetical company’s rewards program. The second group acted as non-members.

In comparison to a non-member consumer, merely stating the customer’s “member” status resulted in a stronger degree of belonging and satisfaction, according to the study’s findings.

Capitalize on the need to belong

As a result of these findings, marketing managers and loyalty experts must be careful while defining their loyalty programs. Because they expressly combine social concepts such as club, family, fan or squad, Mondou’s Cuddle Club, Mr. Souvlaki’s Souv Squad, Club Cage, Chocolats Favoris’s Chocofan, and Ikea Family are great examples of companies that are more likely to establish powerful associations.

Now it is up to you to come up with a name and brand for your inclusive program that reflects your company’s identity!

Ref.: Magnus Söderlund (2019). Can the label ‘member’ in a loyalty program context boost customer satisfaction? The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer. Research, 29:3, 340-357, DOI: 10.1080/09593969.2019.1598469