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Build-A-Bear Workshop and Adidas Execs Talk Emotional Relationships and Consumer Loyalty

In today’s competitive business landscape, building customer loyalty has become a critical goal for many companies. Loyalty rewards programs have been a popular strategy to motivate repeat and larger purchases and help build a sense of brand preference. However, companies that focus solely on transactional benefits—such as points or discounts—may fail to achieve business goals if an emotional connection is not established.

Cap Gemini reports that 70% of emotionally engaged consumers spend up to twice or more on brands they are loyal to compared to only 49% of consumers with low emotional reactivity.

When I attended the CRMC conference, I was able to talk to a few experts in loyalty about how their companies create emotional engagement.

“I’ve heard a lot about the successful launch of AAdvantage, and I think about what it feels like to earn miles. When I hear miles, I imagine my next ride, my next experience,” said Ed Pope, VP of Customer Relationship Management, Loyalty and Performance Marketing at Build-A-Bear Workshop. The best loyalty programs use emotion and experience to motivate.”

A common theme throughout our conversation was the memories that Build-A-Bear Workshop creates – whether in the shop or receiving a bear from someone important to you – and, in turn, the emotional connection that is built.

“It’s great working at the Build-A-Bear Workshop because whenever you talk to someone new, they jump right in and share a very emotional personal story,” said Poppe. “These feelings are not from artificial intelligence. They come from the physical and personal retail experience. When a guest goes through our token heart ceremony, they have a personal experience.”

When memories are created, brands stay top of mind.

Cap Gemini too is found 86% of high emotionally engaged consumers report that they always think about the brands they are loyal to when they need something, with 82% always buying from the brand when they need something.

While Build-A-Bear Workshop sells expertise as a product, not all brands do. This means that they must find other ways to create emotional bonds – Cap Gemini separate Stady It found that 77% of loyalty programs that rely solely on transactional behaviors fail within the first two years.

“The role that loyalty programs can play is really imperative in terms of giving more value to consumers – that’s from a transactional perspective but also from an emotional one as well,” said Tom Kirk, global loyalty director at adidas.

This is why adidas remains at the forefront of consumer culture, ensuring it reaches all consumers in personalized ways through its adiClub rewards programme. This includes interacting with your favorite sports teams.

“The partnerships we enable that interaction with your team coupled with the hope of winning,” said Claudio Corti, global senior director of membership strategy at adidas, using Manchester United as an example. “It’s also what you can get from being loyal to this team, backed by the sponsorship we have, which in this case would be Adidas and the experience you can get with adiClub.”

adiClub, which Offers Tickets, trips and other experiences with adiClub points also give members access to adidas running and training apps with the ability to earn points through movement. What better way to connect emotionally with your consumer than to have them earn rewards through something they are passionate about?

“Live events create memories, and when a brand gives its most loyal consumers the opportunity to create those memories by rewarding them with something like a ticket, the emotional attachment to the brand strengthens,” said Sean Flippo, Loyalty Trends Expert and Director at TFL. .

Whether it’s positive memories and experiences, personalization or something else that touches the heart, emotional connections are key in loyalty programs. Companies that prioritize consumer relationships can create connections that lead to greater customer satisfaction and engagement, which in turn leads to more business.

“Loyalty is the emotional attachment that a consumer feels to a brand, and the role of programs is to support and deepen the connection to the brand,” Pope added.

Investing in your customers is directly investing in your business.

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