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Unlocking Loyalty
Blog / Brand

Unlocking Loyalty

Today’s savvy consumers expect to be rewarded not just for their spend, but also for their engagement.
Let’s get straight to the point. How often does your brand review its strategy for unlocking customer loyalty?

The reason I ask is because, all too often we see brands still relying on offering pint-size points, promo codes and generic email blast outs in a bid to keep the customer relationship going, and frankly, it’s just not enough to help your brand stand out anymore.

But where to start? Realising that today’s savvy consumers expect to be rewarded not just for their spend, but also for their engagement is key. With the world of retail moving away from Dolly Parton’s 9-5 and instead operating round the clock through the likes of e-commerce, social media and traditional bricks & mortar, investing time to review the ways in which consumers already interact with your brand/will want to in the future will ensure relationships can flourish long term through the most appropriate channels.

Take Generation Z for example; This group is renowned for communicating primarily through social media and texts and therefore, distributing catalogues and inviting them in store is likely to have less of an impact on them than say, running an influencer campaign through the likes of social media. Taking a steer from our very own research for this, trends highlight that this demographic is influenced more heavily by apps such as Instagram and TikTok for discovering beauty looks and inspiration than previous generations – emphasizing the point that having a strong presence via these platforms is an essential ingredient in establishing the all-important relationship outside the add to basket transaction point.

While Generation Z offers a good example to illustrate how trends are changing, let’s not forget that social media is still a necessary touch point for the Millennials, Baby Boomers and beyond and can indeed play a pivotal role in collating user generated content (UGC) as part of a brand’s growth strategy. Therefore, encouraging the online community to share their experiences online, partake in polls or leave a review post purchase should be rewarded, acknowledged and celebrated.

Steering away from the social perks for one second, let me throw another question your way… Once customers have made their purchase with your brand, what’s your next move?

After the order confirmation email and between the Hermes delivery truck drop off, we often see first-hand how brands fall into the trap of adding the customer to a generic mailing list and spamming them with unrelated emails. It’s almost a guaranteed way of diminishing the relationship before either party have moved past initial pleasantries. Instead, what brands should do, is look for ways to continue the conversation. This might be by emailing a follow up to ask how the consumer is getting on with their specific purchase, inviting them to leave a review or sharing a few samples of other products in with their delivery to help educate them on other items your brand can offer. Think of it like dating, ask open ended questions, get a feel for their vibe and always leave them wanting more.

Feeling inspired? See below for some of my favourite ways brands are reinventing the concept of driving loyalty:

Bumped — the tech company on a mission to create an ownership economy released data earlier this year from their two-year pilot study showing that when Ulta customers were rewarded in ULTA stock every time they made a purchase, the brand increased their share of wallet among competitive beauty brands by 25%.

This innovative offering is described as “the ownership economy” and taps into the consumers’ desire for genuine partnerships with the brands they love. It’s one I expect we’ll see a lot more of in the coming years so keep your eyes peeled.


Second to this, is household brand Maybelline, who, in a bid to own the connection with their consumers, personalise communication, and become less reliant on third-party media companies to provide consumer data, launched a rewards program called Maybelline Express in November 2020. The loyalty program not only collects emails and birthdates (as you might expect), but also skin tones, skin concerns, preferred beauty products, shades and retailer preferences to customise email marketing, programmatic ad targeting and retargeting and personalise the website.


Finally, this one’s a little different as they’ve not yet cracked the beauty market... but to end this blog, I feel it’s almost cynical to not pay homage to Apple, the brand built on innovation who, by hooking new customers with the product itself and creating an amazing customer experience have managed to maintain a loyalty rate of more than 90% for the past three years.

To find out more about how The Pull Agency can help your brand elevate its loyalty strategy, feel free to reach out.

Posted 20 December 2021 by Anne Chianalino