Better than the Sum of its Parts: Loyalty, UGC, and Advocate Marketing for Manufacturers

by Sean Ogino |

Better than the Sum of its Parts: Loyalty, UGC, and Advocate Marketing for Manufacturers

Loyalty, UGC, and Advocate Marketing For Manufacturers

Just like every other industry, manufacturing has not always been exact in pinning down the actual worth of loyal customers–they’re basically seen as entities that generate repeat purchases. Even though there is truth in this proposition of repeat purchases, it’s not the complete truth. The real power of loyal customer lies in his ability to bring more customers by becoming vocal about your brand in myriad ways. But he is allowed to do that in a logical and effective way when he is elevated to the status of a brand advocate. How can you make this happen? Combine strategies of customer loyalty, UGC, and advocate marketing for manufacturers.

The Growing Premise of Advocacy and UGC

Combining loyalty, UGC, and advocate marketing for manufacturers is a rational choice mainly due to two factors. The first one is the basic nature of a loyal customer to stay vocal about your brand. The second one is the growing premise of advocacy.

The definition of advocacy is that advocates are essentially “volunteer marketers.” They share and promote your brand for free, because they’re satisfied customers. Referral marketing and contests are giving more space for loyal members to express themselves in front of other customers.

Additionally, UGC, also known as user generated content, is spreading like wildfire. By contributing reviews, answers to product questions, posts on forums, photos, and videos, your customers vouch for your brand and give other consumers more information.

In the manufacturing industry, where the desirability of the product steadfastly depends upon its usability and functionality, having more “real” people talking about the finer aspects of your brand through reviews, videos or photos is a definite leg-up to the overall marketing schema and revenue funnel. This is especially true when we throw a glance over this stat: 88% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Moreover, manufacturers also need to pay heed to the remarks of MIT Professor Glen Urban, an authority on trust-based marketing. According to him, traditional push/pull marketing is not going to work, as today’s customers, who are superiorly empowered by technological advancements and have access to boundless information, expect more than mere relationship marketing. He further notes that just as push/pull marketing was an outcome of the economics of mass production, and relationship marketing was driven by the saturation of push marketing and intense rivalries, so will customer advocacy become the next imperative because of the accelerating growth of customer power. Combining loyalty and advocate marketing for manufacturers can actually prove a prudent strategic move in right channelization of that humongous customer power.

Close monitoring of these changing paradigms made us think about how they can be used to mitigate the intensity of the challenges that brands all across the globe face. The another line of thought was to be proactive and assist manufacturers in enhancing their operational efficiency in all possible avenues. That’s how our combined platform of loyalty and advocate marketing for manufacturers germinated.

The Benefits of a Unified Platform of Loyalty, UGC, and Advocate Marketing for Manufacturers 

A) Easy Implementation and Integration:

It’s often chaotic when multiple business solutions need to be installed from multiple vendors. The first issue that your tech team will need to tackle is of platform compatibilities, as they have to integrate data and functionalities between different point solutions. Similarly, multiple vendors mean multiple contact persons. This can disrupt the existing work flow of the platform in case of functional failure. Furthermore, assembling multiple solutions from multiple vendors is costlier than assembling from a single vendor. This holds truth particularly when you add up the set-up fees and unproductive (in terms of direct manufacturing) training hours.

B) A Singular View of Overall Customer Data:

Due to their over-dependence on retailers for sales, manufacturers have always found it incalculably difficult to know who their actual loyal customers are. They don’t have reliable and actionable data about how many people are buying, how many are repurchasing and how many are actually referring their brands. This happens due to their association with multiple retailers, distributors, and sellers. Even if data arrives from so many points, it will be disjointed and incoherent. This combined platform of loyalty, UGC, and advocate marketing for manufacturers eradicates these woes of data silos. Its dashboard gives a clear and singular view of a customer’s behavior. Among other insights, it shows:

  • Total purchases by customers
  • Referrals sent by customers
  • Reviews posted by customers
  • Sentiment reports
  • Answers submitted by customers
  • Revenue generated per solution, per customer, and more
  • Demographic insights
  • RFM (recency, frequency, and monetary) data

Of course, this actionable data enables manufacturers in better targeting and analysis. But it also helps in streamlining the operational efficiency. Manufacturers don’t need to have different people to collect data from multiple vendors. A criminal waste of human resource can be terminated through this combined platform of loyalty and advocate marketing for manufacturers.

Learn more about the possibilities of UGC and advocate marketing data here!

C) Ease and Flexibility of the Platform:

As the main vision behind this platform was to enable smooth integration of multiple solutions, its module has been designed in a way to simplify the addition, enhancement, and removal of software components. That’s precisely why we have built it in a pre-integrated framework. It allows connection of the core loyalty product with other advocacy solution without any big technical overhaul. Consequently, it assists you in scaling up the scope of the solution.

Clearly, combining loyalty, UGC, and advocate marketing for manufacturers is not just enabling you to use the power of a loyal customer in an effective way. It is also answering some of the pressing issues that have always followed manufacturers, most predominant one being the data deficiency. And all these beefed up operational efficiency is necessary if manufacturers want to be on the curve of perpetual growth. Remember that over the past 25 years, U.S.-manufactured goods exports have quadrupled. It was $329.5 billion in 1990…and in 2014 it reached $1.403 trillion!

UGC for Electronics Manufacturers: A Vital Brand Voice

ugc for electronics

Different people have defined the term “brand” in different ways. For Cheryl Burgess, a brand is a reason to choose. Leo Burnett said that brand is anything that leaves a mental picture of its identity. But in essence, a brand is a promise to a consumer. A strong brand is one that keeps its promise through thick and thin, as that’s the only way to earn consumers’ trust.

These ideas clarify that a significant pursuit of the consumer electronics manufacturing industry, like many other industries, is to have a credible and authentic voice for its marketing. This pursuit has become even more intense, as traditional ads have suffered a severe trust deficit. Customers are rapidly moving away from them on social. According to managing director of brand communications agency Hard Edge, Andrew Hardwick, about $20 billion a year is wasted by marketers as social media users turn off advertising that simply doesn’t interest them. This setback has forced many marketers to look inside for that authentic voice. And inevitably, they have come across user generated content (UGC).

UGC for electronics is a sure bet. 92% of consumers trust online content from friends and family above all other forms of brand messages, 50% of consumers find UGC more memorable than brand-produced content, and 53% of millennials say that UGC has influenced their purchasing decisions. Even if you want to speak strictly in terms of electronics, 59% of millennials say they use UGC to inform their purchase decisions about major electronics. That number hovers around 46% when it comes to mobile phone purchase.

That’s precisely why consumer electronics manufacturers must look at UGC through a wider prism than that of a mere purchase driver. As it has the potential to build a brand, UGC for electronics should be elevated from an eCommerce tool to a brand building tool. But before going into the intricacies of how consumer electronics manufacturers can be profited by the wise use of UGC, it’s a must to understand its healing power when it comes to the financial malady of the sector.

UGC for Electronics: Profits are Being Squeezed

Almost every electronics manufacturing activity has been transferred to China with a view that Chinese manufacturing costs will remain the lowest available and that transport costs will stay within the boundaries of acceptability. But the profit margins have come under the threat due to rising labor costs and increasing competition from local brands who have become increasingly aware of the know-hows of international business standards.

Besides, due to rapid change in the customer taste and demands, electronics manufacturers have to cut short the product life cycle to come up with a new product. And to facilitate that, they need costly technological innovations. This has further eaten up their profit margins. Have a look at the following graph, which highlights the operating margins for most of the major companies in the consumer electronics business.

Clearly, consumer electronics manufacturers need to look at all the available options to reduce the cost at every level. And as we know, marketing and advertisements eat up lot of cost, the scissor should be used on them. The cost of running any UGC platform, like questions and answers, ratings and reviews, or visual galleries is negligible when placed in front of the traditional marketing and advertising expenditure. This should be the first reason for any consumer electronics manufacturer to incorporate UGC in all the marketing efforts at every stage of the product promulgation and customer life cycle. The following listings will show a way to put this theory into a practice.

UGC for Electronics: Product Launch

Customers can only be aware of the quality and innovation of your product if they actually know about it! The best phase to put that across to consumers is the launch phase. Therefore, the authentic customer voice that appears through ratings and reviews should come into the picture much earlier. The surest way to do it is to give certain consumers the product before the launch and get ratings and reviews from them. As 88% of consumers trust online reviews, this can be a potential supplier of the positive vibes that shove people to the “right” mindset, which can get transformed into a purchase decision. It’s always beneficial if the positive word of mouth takes its own course instead manufacturers pushing for it when they realize that the product is missing the goodwill that is necessary at the initial phase. It should snowball from the beginning.

The example of the iPhone is a case study here. Various market studies suggested that U.S. consumers were not yet ready for a device that combines the functionality of a cell phone, an MP3 player, and a camera. But in the end, iPhone proved to be the one of the most significant advancement in the world of electronics. As soon as people got that in hand, they were bowled over by its functionality and aesthetics. Word of mouth, through ratings and reviews and social media, spread across the length and breadth of the consumer community.

UGC for Electronics: Product Discovery

With almost innumerable touch points dancing on the horizon, the customer journey has become more and more complicated and non-linear. In the intricate web created by mobiles, tablets, NFC, social media, and consumer forums, it’s almost impossible to know through which door customer will enter into your business ecosystem. According to Google, shoppers consult 10.4 sources of information, on average, before making a purchase. What is more important here is to understand that 64% of US online consumers conducted online research before making a purchase in the past three months, and 54% have done so on a mobile phone.

Now, the above-mentioned stats suggest two things. First, thorough research before buying anything has become a distinguishable part of consumer behavior.  Second, digital devices, mainly mobile phones, are the mainstays of that research.

Naturally, this is the time and space to get your message in front of people who didn’t pay attention to you before. That should come somewhere to meet the customer in his journey. This is especially true for consumer electronics manufacturing, as its products are comparatively costly and carries a longer shelf value. This makes consumers more cautious of the public opinions about the product, as they want an absolute surety about the worth of the product. And when they are in this tumultuous frame of mind, positive reviews and a respectable presence on a questions and answers platform should cross the path of their discovery, so that all the qualms will drop then and there only. Take a note of the fact that 89% of consumers reported that reviews have an influence on their purchasing decision. UGC has this power to influence the purchase behavior during the discovery stage as it operates inside the premise of a digital world- the breathing valve of modern humans.

UGC for Electronics: Product Storytelling

The traditional way of communicating about products passé. The reason is that it has been done in an extremely monotonous way where consumers played the role of passive recipients. The communication of product promotion has been unidirectional from start to beginning. But new dynamics work differently, as consumers want to interact with the brand at all possible avenues and at all possible stages. This point gets an enormous weight when put under the reality that consumer electronics manufacturers have relied heavily on the layers of retailers, vendors, partners and distributers to achieve the sale. They never had the real and direct customer connect with the end user. But UGC can be a catalyst in pushing towards the change.

The scope of UGC includes photos and videos as well. That presents manufacturers to create a unique story around the product, as visuals are highly talkative. Manufacturers can ask their consumers to participate in this overall storytelling process. It can be propagated through product packaging. You can ask your retail partners to ship all of their deliveries in boxes, which will be adorned by the customer photos. Each box can carry a sticker directing them to take a photo with their boxes and post it to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with a dedicated hashtag. It will shift the paradigm of product communication from being coldly instructive to much needed vividly interactive.

All the aforementioned benefits look brightly plausible, as UGC for electronics allows consumers to see the product outside the confines of direct marketing. The outer layer of humanization that UGC brings inherently creates multiple possibilities for them to find their own reason for finding the product aspirational. Some may get swayed by the truthfulness of the reviews, or some may like the possibility of getting actively “engaged” in the branding process through submitting photos. And this swaying happens as there is nothing artificial about UGC. This unquestionable element of UGC  will make it the most quintessential channel of brand building for many consumer electronics manufacturers.

Note: To know exactly how UGC helps a business, you can have a look at this blog. Besides, don’t forget to go through this blog where we have placed The Ultimate List of User Generated Content Statistics. In this blog, we have captured the most recent UGC trends.

Omni-Channel Electronics Loyalty for Manufacturers: A Welcome Change

Omni-Channel Electronics Loyalty

Studies like Brand Keys’ 19th Annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Indexwhich found that customer expectations of brands have grown by almost a third yet brands’ abilities to meet those demands have only increased by 7%–show that keeping shoppers happy is like chasing a moving target. That’s precisely why all manufacturers, including consumer electronics manufacturers, have to think like retailers, where they will get to know a lot more about their audience’s preferred channels, buying habits, and other preferences in order to yield more repeat purchases.  One of the most straightforward–and thanks to recent changes in technology, easiest–ways to do this is to implement an electronics loyalty program.

Electronics manufacturers must consider the point, which generally gets overlooked, while deciding what drives loyalty is the experience that consumers (both retailers and end customers) get throughout their buying journey. According to a study from Cognizant, the top three personalization factors that influence purchase behavior are special treatment based on loyalty, acknowledgement of status, and personalized offers. But shoppers don’t want it to be accomplished by a way that is bombastic, monolithic or intrusive. They want it to be done via organic, intuitive, and fun ways—and offered in real time, 24-7-365, regardless of the channel. The only way to touch these elusive expectations is with an omni-channel electronics loyalty model. 

Electronics Loyalty for Manufacturers Needs Multiple Touch Points

Even a glimpse at the current scenario will tell you that your electronics loyalty program needs to meet your shoppers on every channel. People don’t just interact with any product through a physical store. With the avalanche of smartphones, social media, location based technologies, and near filed communication facilities, a whole lot of avenues have opened up for them to interact with your products.

Most manufacturers doesn’t have the luxury of retailers where they get to see the end customers, as people generally don’t go to the factory to get their loyalty rewards. In that way, most manufacturers solely rely on retailers. Thus, it becomes even more imperative for manufacturers to create more possibilities to get engaged at all levels of loyalty. An omni-channel approach of loyalty enables you to do that through the combined framework of print, online, broadcast, mobile, retail point-of-sale, gaming, kiosk, outdoor, direct mail and social media.

olympus rewards laptop

For example, Olympus–the famed camera company–sells its products directly to consumers online, but has no brick-and-mortar shops. However, its products are sold in thousands of its retail partners locations. In order to bridge this gap and let Olympus loyalty members enjoy the benefits of the program wherever they shop, Annex Cloud created a rewards tracker app for Olympus’s retailers. Store associates can use it to scan a special loyalty code that every Olympus Rewards member has, so they can use their points in-store.

Another, even newer way of connecting with in-store and online shoppers at your retail partners is with the Receipt Data AggregatorIt enables members in a manufacturer’s omni-channel loyalty program to submit their receipts from retailers back to the manufacturers in order to earn points. They can do this by uploading images online or by forwarding e-receipts via email or text message. Annex Cloud’s auto-processing API then reads the receipts, stores all the information, and awards points to shoppers. The Native Receipt Scanning is convenient for customers and lets manufacturers gather vital data from another significant touchpoint. They have groundbreaking access to third-party purchase data.

Native Receipt Scanning

Olympus’s and other electronics loyalty programs give shoppers points for connecting their social media profiles to their loyalty accounts, too. This gives the manufacturers more ways to reach out to loyalty members as well as access to more data, which is extremely helpful in personalizing their marketing.

Read on below for more about electronics loyalty programs for manufacturers…

Personalization is Key in Electronics Loyalty for Manufacturers

People always give reverence to relevance. If manufacturers target them with trite and lackluster communication, where they fail to understand what’s in it for them, the ineffectiveness is about to set in. But an omni-channel program is an antidote to this ineffectiveness, as it breaks down all the visible silos across the enterprise. As customers channelize their loyalty program on multiple platforms, manufacturers can extract customer data from all the channels to transform it into a singular view. It bridges the gap between online and offline data.

Once the manufacturer has specific data about customers, which was not the case before due to the myriad layers of retailers, distributors and vendors, they can target customers with relevant promotions, earning opportunities, offers and communications across every channel throughout the entire shopping experience. Its direct consequence is felt on the engagement enhancement, as customers, both retailers and end customers, finally get relevant offers and information.

Note that engaged customers are 23% more profitable while actively disengaged consumers cost 13%, according to Gallup research. This is precisely where an omni-channel loyalty program is different than the traditional one. The latter rewards “spend”, while former rewards “engagement”. This unproductive obsession of rewarding only spend and ignoring engagement can be confirmed from the 2012 Global Loyalty Online Survey, which found that only 37% of respondents defined customer engagement as one of the top-three business objectives for their loyalty campaigns. Clearly, the omni-channel program is a catalyst in shifting the paradigm from spend to much needed engagement.

Learn more about the newest ways of gathering and segmenting data in your omni-channel loyalty program in this blog post.

Seamless Integration is Now a Possibility for Manufacturers

As we have already discussed, the lines between the various marketing channels are blurring like never before, mainly due to technical upsurges. In these tech-centric times, you can’t afford an erratic and an inconsistent experience. Regardless of the channel through which members are using your loyalty program, everything- and that includes communication, complaint mechanisms, registration, rewards redemption, and rewards dashboards- should be as same as the mirror image. In fact, this is the USP of omni-channel loyalty program. This is the prime reason why it came into existence in the first place, as it was in the accordance with retailers’ and end users’ needs. The following stats highlight this.

  • The majority (87%) of consumers believes brands should work harder to provide a seamless experience.
  • Though most companies operate on a fragmented channel-by-channel view, 84% of global retailers indicated they think a consistent customer experience across channels is very important.

The truth is, an omni-channel electronics loyalty program will generate some of the same benefits to the consumer electronics manufacturers that traditional loyalty programs give—behavior tracking and analysis, improved customer engagement, customer acquisition, larger transactions, and repeat purchases.

However, having a truly unified loyalty program really puts your customer experience on a whole new level. Whether it’s enabling customers to have a digital dashboard to know the exact status of their reward points, or allowing customers to redeem their points by going to stores or by sitting at home…everything is just one click away. Considering that 89% of marketers are competing primarily on the basis of customer experience and each 1% improvement in customer experience quality results in an additional $15M to $175M in annual revenues, according to a Forrester report, this deft touch of omni-channel loyalty is like a silver bullet.

Note: We believe that not just omni-channel loyalty, but omni-channel commerce is itself has incredible importance. Read here to for an in-depth look at the definition of omni-channel. Learn everything you need to know about omni-channel referral programs here.

Increasing Visibility with Product Reviews For Manufacturers

product reviews for manufacturers

When Jonney Shih, the chairman of Asus, put forward his idea of selling laptops under the company’s own name instead of through its contracted partners, not many gave him much chance. Practically speaking, the detractors of his vision were not outright wrong.

Compared to household names like Dell, HP, and Apple, the idea of getting consumers used to Asus seemed daunting. But just like every visionary and self-believing leader, he continued on. in 2007 an Asus-branded product, the Eee PC, got stellar reviews and became a smash hit. When 2012 arrived, Asus was the world’s fifth-best-selling brand of PC, and have since climbed to fourth place. Of course, it proved that Jonney Shih’s conviction was spot-on.

asus-eeepc
A 2007 Ars Technica review sums up the reaction to Asus’s debut own-brand computer.

But there was much more to this story that manufacturers must read. First, it underlines that the term “brand” is overrated and people care more about the product itself rather than the brand. The importance of the brand name is on the verge of extinction. The decline of Nokia, once a classic case study of brand loyalty, can be easily looked through this prism.

Second, public opinions have an almost immeasurable impact in shaping a purchase choice of countless people. But, the real point is to understand how exactly product reviews for manufacturers help in reaching the highest peak of the sales funnel and what has made reviews the most powerful atom of the business nucleus.

Needs for Product Reviews for Manufacturers: Shoppers Crave Opinions

Until now, more or less, the buying choice of customers was heavily influenced by their past experiences, preferences and communication from retailers. Due to the latter part, ads were considered the de facto instruments in capturing customers’ attention.

But with the mushrooming of social media platforms, other review sites and discussion forums, the availability of expert as well as general opinions became a new normal. Clearly, it placed the buyer in a position where he can take a well informed buying decision after evaluating all the essential elements of the products. The simple reason behind this is that it clarifies the picture for customer about what he will get from the product.

This is the status quo that makes product reviews for manufacturers (as well as retailers) a necessity.

Needs for Product Reviews for Manufacturers: Lack of Trust in Traditional Communication

Studies commissioned by Google have found that shoppers consult 10.4 sources of information, on average, before making a purchase.  Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers. Now, these two data points paint the grim but real picture of the fact that people don’t take manufacturer’s product descriptions as the complete and total truth.

No manufacturer will bring to the surface the negative aspect of his product…but honest reviewers will. And that’s what makes reviews really addictive! Besides, the fakeness of ads is so unchallengeable that they have been dead for long, as far as evoking any amount of authenticity is concerned. They have no more significance than creating over-the-top-brand- awareness. Ads may get attention…but they can’t assure conversion. Because while buying, people enter into an analytical mode; especially if the purchase is costly and requires a long term commitment. That’s precisely why the weight of trusted reviews usually overrides any residual effect of fleeting exposure to an ad.

Needs for Product Reviews for Manufacturers: Staleness of Market Research

There is no doubt about the value and insight of market research. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it dwells in the past of customers. Each and every expensive survey hinges upon the past behavior of the customers and their past preferences. And more or less, manufactures decide their new product range based on that. But manufacturers are the creators of new things…and thus they must have a more nimble, forward-looking way of getting customer insights. If they believe that this is the product that is going to make this world a whole different place, they must pour everything into it.

Remember that a market research study conducted in early 2007—before the release of the first iPhone—concluded that U.S. consumers are not yet ready for a device that combines the functionality of a cell phone, an MP3 player, and a camera. But we know how big a game changer the iPhone proved in the end. The study had measured P, i.e, preference, but as soon as the iPhone hit the market and early adopters began gushing over it, people became influenced by the O factor- opinions of people.

I think this example is an ideal template to the thought that if your product has something in it, reviews can take it to unbelievable heights!

Benefits for Product Reviews for Manufacturers: Visibility

The worth of reviews grows when they reach out beyond just your website. Obviously, the single channel approach is helpful on its own, but you can also distribute your review content to your retail partners through syndication.

Apart from pure visibility through syndication, product reviews for manufacturers are also helpful in getting good SEO results. Through reviews, manufacturer’s website will get fresh content on a regular basis. If recent development of most of the search engine algorithms is concerned, it’s quite obvious that they value fresh and original content. It’s a simple part of this domino effect: More reviews? More visibility? More traffic? More chances of conversion.

When you have extremely positive reviews and shoppers are searching or asking around for certain types of products, your name will be more and more likely to come up–just as with the case of Asus.

Understand that 30% of U.S. consumers say they begin their online purchase research by going to Amazon for product information and reviews. Voracious research before buying any home appliance or commodity has become deeply ingrained in many consumers. For manufacturers, thus, it’s a must that favorable reviews of their products should meet retailers as well as end customers in their research and buying journey.

Note: For Ratings and Reviews best practices, don’t miss this white paperFor a beginner’s guide, this blog is a great help.

Connect Directly with Customer Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing

Customer Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing

Historically, consumer goods manufacturers–those making items like kitchen appliances, washing machines, dryers, and so on–have had an indifference towards loyalty-boosting endeavors due to their products’ higher prices and longer purchase cycle. Beyond this, many shoppers don’t purchase directly from these manufacturers, so establishing a good channel of communication can be hard. However, that’s the exact pain point that customer loyalty for consumer manufacturing, when implemented properly, can solve.

To build any loyalty program or CRM setup, it’s necessary to capture and store consumer purchase data, as well as design a value proposition and maintain a dialogue with your customers. No doubt, it poses a challenge to all industries, but nature of consumer manufacturing distribution and retail environments make the impact of those challenges much deeper. That’s why it’s necessary to discuss loyalty for consumer manufacturing at an in-depth level.

Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing: The Data Disconnect

Except for a few rare brands that sell a small portion of their products to consumers directly, CPG/FMCG brands depend on partners for distribution. Thus, relying on POS systems to identify and collect SKU-level detail for each consumer is almost impossible. It’s rare that card issuing banks and retailers will hand over that data to CPG/FMCG brands. Besides, to put hidden and unique codes on packaging to track the transaction information is expensive. All these factors make UGC companies data deprived and it’s almost impossible to run a loyalty program without proper customer data.

Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing: The Data Drive

However, appliance makers are at an advantage when it comes to data for loyalty thanks to warranties and product registration. Consumers will want protection for purchases that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, so they’ll be more likely to give their information to the manufacturer.

cpg product reg app
An example of a CPG loyalty app that lets users scan barcodes to register their products.

You can begin with purchase registrations where customers can upload their receipts online which can be processed later. You can check if the receipt is valid or not and can assign loyalty points. The best way to implement this is through a smartphone app. Phone cameras enable fast and easy receipt-scanning.

A secondary way to collect loyalty data via mobile would be to use SMS or email marketing campaigns that let shoppers directly enter their information and receipt codes.

Either way, these data collection processes will give you a clear cut idea of who is buying more and to whom you need to offer loyalty points. That’s what acts as the prerequisite of any loyalty program.

Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing: Your Value Proposition and Rewards

Loyalty for consumer manufacturing can raise the issue of rewards. Most consumer manufacturing brands include expensive products in their lines, which makes giving compelling rewards more difficult. When the average product costs $1000, any discount that would seem meaningful to the customer would be a huge liability to the manufacturer. Yet there are several ways to provide value without bankrupting yourself.

Many appliances and other large CPG/FMCG purchases need certain kinds of regular maintenance, whether it’s new filters, repairs, light bulbs, and so on. You can discount these products as part of your loyalty program to ensure that your customers keep coming back at regular intervals.

You can also offer third-party rewards. Many programs give loyalty members rewards like gift cards to popular retailers, magazine subscriptions, food/drink coupons, and so on. Depending on your audience, you may find that these rewards will be in extremely high-demand.

Don’t forget about experiential rewards, too! These can be anything which will make a customer feel valued. You can give them early and special access to your new range of products. You can think about giving them exclusive access to concerts, games, movies, or other fun events.

Think about what speaks to your audience. If you’re a camera company, what about a loyalty contest with the grand prize being an exciting photography trip someplace beautiful? If your business specializes in kitchen appliances, how about offering a cooking class with a famous chef, or–at a slightly lower level–tickets to a taping of a cooking show? This is just–pardon the pun–food for thought. If you use a customer loyalty solution with client services, they should help you come up with feasible and engaging ideas.

Loyalty for Consumer Manufacturing: Engagement

When your loyalty program incentivizes customer engagement, you can grow its revenue by 300% according to our own data. And especially in the realm of customer loyalty for consumer manufacturing, it only makes sense to encourage your members to share their experiences by rewarding them with points.

Olympus Camera gives its loyalty members points for a variety of engagement actions.
Olympus Camera gives its loyalty members points for a variety of engagement actions.

Especially when they purchase more expensive or complicated products, customers want to interact and to be heard. They want to write reviews, share product tips, answer questions, and post photos. It only makes sense to reward them for doing so. You should create a hub for customers to interact in these ways. Whatever the form of the discussion, reward your loyalty members for taking actions like…

  • Registering a product
  • Bonus points for buying a suite of products
  • Creating an account
  • Connecting on social
  • Signing up for the loyalty program
  • Bonus points for signing up for a subscription (filters, fuel, etc.)
  • Sharing purchases
  • Sharing photos
  • Writing reviews
  • Asking and answering product questions
  • Checking in on the website
  • Spending money on the core product

There are many benefits to rewarding users for taking these actions. They’ll accrue points faster, thus increasing repeat purchase rates. They’ll contribute more to the other marketing programs that you incentivize, like your review platform or your referral program. 

Additionally, though, it’s through this sort of consistent engagement and communication with your shoppers that you can truly establish a direct relationship with them. Don’t take that for granted.

Learn all about user generated content for consumer manufacturing here. For more in-depth loyalty content, check out some of these papers and blogs:

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