January 19, 2024
In a world drowning with options, how to keep your customers engaged and coming back? One way is a membership system. But this, too, may be easier said than done. After all, just as there are too many options out there for many to sort through, this is also true of membership and customer reward systems.
It proves necessary to distinguish yourself from the competition then, particularly in 2024. So, in reviewing the past year as we enter 2024, what are the trends you should keep an eye on and what should you focus on?
Let’s start with the basics, then. To keep customers engaged, you will need to have a clear vision of who your customers are, to begin with–and of yourself, as a brand. What is it that causes you to connect with customers? What will make them pick your product or service, rather than that of a competitor?
This is the basis of your connection with customers. As such, you will want to double down on the core values of your product shared with your customers. It is this that would cause them to want to be part of your membership system, rather than just being there for utilitarian purposes–that is, just there for rewards or discounts.
That’s part of it, too. But authenticity may be key here. In a world teeming with possibilities, it’s this that will keep them coming back rather than for a product or service that can offer something similar to yours.
This will also factor into the advertising choices that you make for your product or service, in terms of positioning it on the market, and the kind of image you want to create. The aesthetic you generate can also impact design choices for your product or choices, reflecting your customer base. Sustainability or standing up for social causes–even some that don’t always play it safe–will be read by customers as authenticity and can cultivate powerful loyalty.
Just never forget that just as your product or service changes over time, so, too, do your customers, and you may want to keep pace with the changes among your customers. And the brand that forgets this tends to shed its core identity, losing its customers along with it, if your product or service comes to be seen as having betrayed its values.
So now that you have a customer base, is that it? On the contrary, as with any relationship, there are different levels to how close you are to your customers.
Tiered memberships can be a powerful way of furthering your brand identity and the identity that your customers take on in relation to your product. Ideally, you want your customers to want to achieve higher tiers–not just for the better rewards or benefits, but as a sign of their strong relationship with your brand. Social media can play a powerful role in this, if you can encourage your customers to want to be publicly associated with your brand. This can be on the basis of shared values or even just cultural cachet if your brand has come to be seen as cool, stylish, and distinctive by customers.
The point isn’t to play hard to get! Instead, you’ll want it so that tiers don’t seem inaccessible, but are something you can build over time. Tiers can also be a way of differentiating out different spectrums or types of customers, who may have different spending patterns or consumer behavior. This can help with market research, too, in knowing who your most loyal customers are and doubling down on the aspects of your product or service that appeal to them.
Let’s face it, in the age of social media, everyone’s attention span is shorter than ever. This is another reason why building a distinctive identity through a membership system can be a way to distinguish yourself from the vast sea of choices.
But if you want customers to buy into your product or service, it can’t be a chore to be a member. You’ll want to keep things lighthearted, fun, easy–and easily rewardable.
Likewise, there’s been a fundamental shift in the way that we consume information in the age of social media. Instead of searching out and subscribing to sites that one likes, often it’s algorithms that are catered to our tastes pushing out and promoting content that the algorithm thinks we’ll like. Just it’s never right 100% of the time. We’re still human, after all.
You’ll want this with your membership system as well. Can you keep it easy to advance in tiers, while creating new rewards that users and consumers will want? And to have it so that people don’t feel like it’s a chore to be a member, but something that quickly offers returns?
But maybe there’s a way to have it all. Survey projects, which are distributed from the platform, offer members incentive points in exchange for answering online surveys. The more members complete surveys, the more points they can earn. This will encourage members to come to your website more frequently.
Using a diversity survey projects, you can improve engagement with customers. This can serve as a new revenue stream for your company through commissions, as well as serve as a way of adding to your knowledge of customers. This, too, can be integrated into existing tiered membership systems, letting you gamify your service.
These are some of the ways that in 2024, you can bolster your relationship with customers through a membership system. The sky's the limit!
For membership businesses aiming to maximise their revenue and engagement, we offer specialised support. We're committed to helping you tap into your market's full potential, fostering strategic growth and supporting your lasting success.