With heightened competition among brands over the last two years, loyalty has become more important than ever. Senior executives from MyDeal, Lenovo and Samsonite, explain what loyalty means for their brand and why it must go beyond points and other incentives, at the recent eTail Australia, WBR Worldwide event.

MyDeal was publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in October 2020. One of the key features of its strategy when undergoing the IPO process was to find ways to build a brand and loyalty.

“We had to think of ways to engender loyalty that goes beyond a loyalty program like Amazon Prime,” MyDeal head of brand and loyalty, John Barkle said.

“Last year, we started measuring our NPS to uncover any blind spots and frustrations. By measuring our NPS, we were able to get quantitative and qualitative feedback. If you can identify and improve on the customer experience, it goes a long way to engendering loyalty well beyond a loyalty program.”

For Lenovo, as an IT business, the biggest challenge is driving loyalty for product purchases that are only made every two, three or four years.

“How do we engage our customers and have them think about Lenovo not only when they’re buying a new PC?,” Lenovo head of e-commerce, Kirat Khara said.

“Our brand says ‘Smarter Technology for All’ so it became relevant for us to work out how we engage with our customers who are not in the market for a PC. Loyalty for us is not about revenue – it’s about adding more value to the customer.”

Lenovo sees a higher average order value among members of its loyalty program compared to non-members, which Khara attributes to the value delivered by the program and in turn, increased brand engagement.

“They are willing to spend more on a product that is more of a desire than a necessity,” he said.

“If the brand is strong enough with the right portfolio of products that customers want at the right price point with the right customer experience and post-sales service, you need loyalty. You want customers to consistently engage with you and drive repeat purchases.

“We wanted to make sure we have a medium to speak to our customers when they’re not in the market to buy our product. How do we communicate to our customers that Lenovo can add value beyond the PC? That’s where our loyalty program comes in.”

Samsonite sells premium luggage with a lifespan of several years and with this in mind, general manager of business strategy, Marcio Oliveira da Silveira believes loyalty needs to be built into the brand’s promise of trust and reliability.

“Loyalty should become a deeper element than just points or loyalty programs. Companies need to invest in systems and teams to ensure that they can deliver as well as possible on the brand promises or expectations related to customer service,” he said.

“Furthermore, companies must focus on the fundamentals of customer service because customers don’t forget a bad brand experience. If a company lets the customer down, it doesn’t matter what points or incentives it gives.  If a company doesn’t fulfil the fundamentals, it cannot retain the customer in the long-term or short-term.”