3 x brands building loyalty in the retail space

In today’s saturated and noisy retail space, the fight for consumer attention is fierce. And it’s not just down to the sheer number of competitors. Loyalty is changing, and with that comes the need for retailers to go beyond discounts and focus on experiences to stay relevant.

At LOVE, we’ve been singing this tune for a long time, not just because of the social currency experiences allow culture-hungry consumers, but because it allows brands to personalise customer experiences and target those who have a propensity to be repeat buyers.

We look at three brands killing it in the loyalty space.

H&M launches exclusive music offering

In an attempt to drive awareness of its loyalty programme, H&M has recently added a music partnership into the mix that’ll see the retailer supporting independent music artists and rising talent.

Shoppers will benefit from the collaboration through the H&M app, with a choice of membership perks like exclusive discounts, rewards and access to exclusive VIP events.

Image: Charged Retail
Image: Charged Retail

Sounds pretty standard stuff, only it’s not.

The partnership has been developed between H&M UK, record label Awal and mobile ticketing platform Dice. Awal brings its analytics to the table, identifying the artists that overlap with H&M’s audience, while Dice will will be managing a series of live events, as well as experiential campaign services.

The first artist being presented through the scheme is English singer-songwriter Gabriella Aplin, who has also co-designed a limited-edition range for H&M.

Image: Campaign
Image: Campaign

Selfridges cinema

Earlier this month, Selfridges announced its plans to become the first department store in the world to install a permanent cinema. Housed in its London site on Oxford Street, Selfridges will be opening its cinema doors to the public from the end of November.

Image: The Guardian
Image: The Guardian

According to a press release, “the three-screen facility will be fitted with the latest state-of-the-art sound and vision technology and will offer cinema goers food and drinks along with a membership loyalty programme”.

The cinema will run current blockbuster releases as well as independent films, and will operate all year round, both during and after trading hours thanks to its second entrance direct from the street.

The scheme is the result of a partnership with independent boutique cinema, Olympic Studios, which has outlets in Barnes and Battersea in London.

Selfridges’ managing director Simon Forster said: “For us, this is a very exciting, yet natural extension to what Selfridges does, which is to provide customers with an extraordinary experience all year round”.

Nike’s NikePlus membership

This year Nike stepped up the loyalty game, presumably after discovering that customers who use its app aren’t just loyal brand fans, but big spenders too. NikePlus app users spend 40% more than other customers.

From April this year, Nike began testing a range of extra perks such as vending machines in-store that disperse free products to NikePlus member every two weeks. Other perks include instant checkout in three stores - including the 68,000-square-foot location on Fifth Avenue which boasts a consistently long queue - allowing them to skip the lip and purchase items instantly.

Image: nike.com
Image: nike.com

Nike are hot on their data analysis, finding that over 50% of transactions at its two flagship mega-stores in New York city and Shanghai come from customers who use its app. A pretty staggering find.

The brand has also introduced exclusive member rewards for customers that use the Nike Training Club activity app, too. Providing members with personalised access to limited-edition product collections that correspond to the training activities they frequent the most.

Member only sales, promotions, in-store events and services like “Clean Kicks on Us: and “Nike Master Trainer Fitness Class” ensure loyal customers receive a curated experience and exclusive benefits.

More recently, Nike is now making huge investments in technology that will allow its employees to look at customers’ past purchases, favourite sports and other shared information in order to enhance and personalise their service in store.

As brands and retailers continue to raise the digital bar, beyond omni-channel fulfilment, they’ll need to differentiate in-store services and aim to create genuine communities, as H&M, Selfridges and Nike have done.

Shifting consumer expectations demands a holistic approach to commerce, with today’s most successful brands retaining customer advocacy by creating an emotional connection to the brand. Ensuring interactions and transactions can happen as effortlessly and smoothly as possible.

SEEN. has been compiled this month by our PR & Marketing Manager, Emily.

Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge? Get in touch, emilydunlop@lovecreative.com.