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Why Brand Fidelity Is The Key To Customer Loyalty & Retention

Create brand relationships that require minimal nurturing with a high ROI. Find out why Material's Brand Fidelity™ is the key to loyalty.
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Why Brand Fidelity Is The Key To Customer Loyalty & Retention

You’ve probably attended a party where an irresistibly charismatic person effortlessly draws a crowd. High-fidelity brands are similarly magnetic, but their interactions with consumers are propelled by much more than surface charm.

High-fidelity brands create passionate, durable relationships that drive growth, embody emotional and rational loyalty, resist disruption, and are always differentiated. It’s a win-win situation for brands, who for a low investment can enjoy substantial returns and gain loyal consumer advocates.

But how do you build a high-fidelity brand? How can you create brand relationships that require minimal nurturing but offer a high return on investment? Brand Fidelity™ is the key to true loyalty.

Material is proud to have been recognized as a “Strong Performer” in the Q3 2021 Forrester Wave, Loyalty Service Provider Report.

Through its trademarked Brand Fidelity loyalty approach, Material delivers strong customer insights backed by predictive analytics and forecasting. 

2021 Forrester Wave, Loyalty Service Provider Report

Brand Fidelity™ = The strength of the relationship

The triggers that drive loyalty for consumers are always evolving. It’s vital for brands to fully understand what will keep their customers happy and then create the right loyalty program to win over skeptical consumers. 

As Jay Suhr, Material’s Chief Creative Officer, observes, when trying to assess a new loyalty program a consumer might ask, “What happens to my points? Are they worthless? Are you making things better or harder? Is the new brand a facelift for the old program or something valuable that we should pay attention to?” 

New branding can certainly spark curiosity with your most loyal customers, but it’s vital to ensure they never doubt the benefits of any new program. 

Human understanding is key to starting off on the right path because even when brands have the right intentions, loyalty programs can backfire. Case in point: Starbucks’ Gold Members were unhappy when the company announced a new loyalty program in 2019 because they felt that the program disvalued both their points and their customer status.  

At Material, we use rigorous insights and research toolkits to make sure you always delight your most loyal consumers. BASE motivation, Implicit Identity Mapping™, MotiveQuest™, Social Listening, Habits Illumination, generative qualitative and design research, quantitative segmentation research, and Prime Prospect Analysis help us gain a complete understanding of your customers.

Next steps: Experience strategy and design

We like to keep the momentum going, so when we’re confident that we really understand the humans who are your consumers, we’ll move quickly and test our insights with prototypes designed to stress test slide-ware assumptions in the real world.

In our loyalty experience concept development, we employ tools such as journey mapping, design thinking, digital product design, user testing, and rapid key experience prototypes to design an ideal loyalty program. Our process enables us to discover answers and solutions that might not have been on your radar before. 

Technology consulting and systems planning

If this all sounds like a massive undertaking for your IT teams, rest assured that we’re experienced in dozens of platforms and experts on loyalty best practices. We know that industry-changing programs require an innovative approach to systems and tech stack transformation, and we’ll ensure that the process is right for your entire company. 

We’ve learned that data flow analysis and mapping out future state architecture and digital transformation roadmaps will ensure a smooth transition to your revamped loyalty programs. 

Business success planning

After doing the initial research, developing prototypes, and ensuring the IT transition will go without a hitch, we’ll implement a business success plan.

Using methods such as KPI identification and discrete choice modeling, we’ll frame present and future opportunities, evaluate a range of possible outcomes, and make sure you’re on a fiscally strong path. You’ll be ready to launch with a steady-state investment model. 

Test, learn, win

You won’t be on your own once we launch, because our loyalty programs are designed to be flexible. Our approach to optimization emphasizes agile market testing with a wide array of initial performance indicators.

Our teams will work with you to create a loyalty launch playbook and a program brand strategy, make sure that the platform implementation and configuration goes without a hitch, carry out in-market testing to make any final tweaks, and develop a promotional calendar development.

Strategies to get your employees onboard

Even the best loyalty program will underperform without engaged employees, so our approach emphasizes the need to deliver change from an inside-out perspective. Material’s change management ethos focuses on employee training and engagement, operational CX monitoring, program evaluation, and predictive, prescriptive analytics. 

Brands are realizing that it takes more than a bribe to win trust and advocacy from their best customers.

Sean EidsoN, Material’s Loyalty General Manager

Material has helped some of the world’s biggest brands win and keep the trust of their best customers, and we’d love to help reach your loyalty goals as well.

About the author

Sean Eidson
Sean Eidson leads the Loyalty Practice at Material. He just finished a gig at SMU’s Cox School of Business where he was a Director at the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement. He has developed Loyalty and Customer Engagement strategies for AT&T, Bridgestone, Synchrony Financial, Hertz and dozens of other brands.

Read more by Sean Eidson
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