If you’re like most consumers, your wallet is bloated with reward cards, punch cards, loyalty program cards…and you only use a portion of them. What went wrong with the rest? Why are they not working to build a brand?

Today, How to Build a Brand are talking about customer loyalty reward programs, if one might be right for your brand, and how when properly executed, you can not only build a brand, you can make your brand soar.

Choose the Right Loyalty Program to Build a Brand

The ever-popular punch card isn’t right for every brand, or for every type of brand. In order to build a brand through the use of customer rewards, we recommend that you consider the following whilst making your decision:

  • Is your customer base largely driven by price or by value? If the bottom line is most important to your ideal client, earned discounts might be the way to go; however, those who are driven by emotion or prestige might be more intrigued by a tangible gift or an experience as a reward.
  • Is your sales funnel a short one or a lengthy one? If your customers make infrequent purchases, a punch card with a discount at the end might seem impractical – the card’s material might disintegrate before the reward is earned. If your customers make frequent purchases (once a month or more, for instance), a punch card might be in order.
  • Is your brand a retailer, grocer, or other similar company? If so, then a rewards program like a frequent buyer card is a virtual necessity. It’s simple, it keeps people moving through the check-out line quickly, and customers will see their rewards in a relatively short amount of time, which will keep them motivated to keep spending.


  • Will a simple punch reward card contribute to the brand experience you know is necessary to build a brand? If not, then you must explore more experience-centred options.
  • Does the top 10 percent of your customer base want a punch card? This is the segment you should be examining in order to make the rewards decisions that will build a brand. Do what they would prefer and you’ll attract more clients like them.
  • You know (or should know) your target audience best. Is a discount rewards card enough to build a relationship with them? If not, what are they looking for in a rewards program? Excitement? A wow factor? Recognition? V.I.P. status? Free items?

When you take the time to examine what your clientele really want from a rewards program, you have the power to create a loyalty-building package that not only encourages serial buying, but that inspires recommendations, referrals, and testimonials – and as we all know, the ROI (Return on Investment) of word-of-mouth advertising simply can’t be beat. It’s the best way to build a brand and its reputation.

There’s so much to say about customer loyalty reward programs that I can’t even begin to touch on everything here. Stay tuned for a future article, in which I’ll be talking about the qualities that make a rewards program effective - so it can work to build a brand for you.

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