Customer Loyalty Programs: Examples and Tips


Looking for a new way to attract and retain customers? Consider implementing a customer loyalty program. 

Through a customer loyalty program,  a brand offers discounts, perks, and other rewards to loyal customers. Studies attest to the success of these programs—in fact, 75% of consumers favor companies that offer rewards. They’re given an incentive to keep coming back and stay loyal to those brands. 

Types of Loyalty Programs

The different types of customer loyalty programs are points programs, tier programs, paid programs, and value programs. Here’s an overview of each:

  • Points programs let customers gain points, which they can eventually redeem for perks. 
  • Tier programs allow customers to gain different benefits based on the tier they’re in. They can climb in ranking by engaging with the brand. 
  • Paid programs give a customer benefits after they pay a fee. They pay for a loyalty membership and are rewarded with immediate benefits. 
  • Value programs allow brands to advocate for charities or social causes. The business donates a portion of their sales to the charity of their choice rather than giving the customer a reward. 

Below, we’ll give examples of each one. 

Customer Loyalty Program Examples

Here are some excellent customer loyalty program examples, as well as what they get right. 

  1. Starbucks Rewards (points program)

When customers order or pay with the Starbucks app, they earn loyalty stars. Then, they can redeem those stars for free food and drinks. It’s effective at keeping customers satisfied and coming back for more. It also lets Starbucks in on valuable behavior analytics insights, like popular orders and seasonal popular favorites. They can use that data to offer even more relevant rewards. 

  1. Designer Shoe Warehouse’s DSW VIP (tier program)

Designer Shoe Warehouse’s DSW VIP program is a great example of a tier program. The more customers spend, the higher tiers they access. Each tier comes with a new level of exclusive offers, like discounts and free products. The tier program gamifies the shopping experience, making lower-tier customers excited to spend more and become members of higher tiers. 

  1. GrubHub+ (paid program)

Everyone loves getting food delivered, but no one loves those pesky delivery fees. GrubHub recognized this and implemented their monthly subscription, GrubHub+. If they subscribe, members enjoy free delivery on select orders. They also offer an option where customers can choose to donate their change to charity, and GrubHub will match their donation.

  1. Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Fanatics (value program)

Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Fanatics program gives customers 10% off each purchase. They also offer additional rewards like free cones. Plus, they support charities and social justice movements with special, themed flavors (like Save Our Swirled for climate change). Ben & Jerry’s donates sales to charities that support those causes. This gives customers a positive perception of the brand, encouraging them to stay loyal. 

Tips for Your Business

You don’t have to be a huge, established brand to implement a customer loyalty program. Managing one can be difficult, but with enticing rewards and exclusive deals, you can begin to retain loyal customers. Check out the infographic below for some must-know stats and best practices for your own loyalty program. 

Infographic by CleverTap

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