8 Effective Customer Loyalty Programs for Consumer Good Companies

8 Effective Customer Loyalty Programs for Consumer Good Companies

Loyalty programs ·

A loyal customer base is crucial in today's competitive business environment. It has become the cornerstone of success. But how exactly does a company forge a lasting relationship with its customers? Through effective customer loyalty programs. Widely adopted by businesses and preferred by about 84% of consumers, these programs boost revenue and loyalty. 

This article will explore loyalty programs, why they are essential, varied types, and emerging innovative strategies. From points-based programs to social media integration, customer loyalty programs have become vital to customer retention and business growth. Keep reading to learn how you can make your customers feel like royalty.

What is a customer loyalty program?

A customer loyalty program is a strategic approach businesses use to encourage ongoing customer engagement and repeat purchases. Contrary to the conventional practice of simply offering discounts, loyalty programs have evolved to encompass more diverse and sophisticated strategies. Loyalty programs retain customers through rewarding repeat engagements or offering incentives. These programs provide various perks, from discounts and early access to exclusive services and unique experiences. 

Companies use unique identifiers to track purchases and foster brand loyalty. While traditional loyalty programs may include incentives like points, rebates, or complimentary products, modern loyalty programs extend beyond these basics. They leverage data for personalized offers, engage customers through social media, or partner with related businesses to broaden customer rewards.

You can adopt various models depending on the business type. Options include simple point systems, tiered rewards, community memberships, brand pairings, and partner benefits. Brands like Starbucks and Amazon have notably enhanced customer engagement, orders, and sign-ups through app functionality and premium services. 

Loyalty programs play a crucial role in modern business by incentivizing customer engagement, providing valuable product design and marketing insights, enhancing the overall customer experience, and contributing significantly to revenue growth.

Loyalty program platform usage has significantly grown, with 80% projected growth in the upcoming two years. About 63% of customers globally are part of at least one paid loyalty program.  

Why is it important to have a loyalty program? 

From brand reputation to substantial increases in revenue, loyalty programs offer the following benefits: 

1. Customer retention

Loyalty programs foster repeat business and strengthen customer relationships, ensuring regular patronage. Even minor investments can increase member spending by up to 18%. Loyalty programs serve as a vital strategy for retaining customers, acknowledging and rewarding them for repeat purchases. Retention through loyalty programs proves to be more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Successful marketers focus on satisfaction and retention metrics like customer retention rate, negative churn, and net promoter score. 

2. Revenue growth

Loyalty programs drive revenue by enhancing customer relationships and boosting repeat purchases. They can increase revenue up to 2.5 times faster.

3. More frequent sales  

91% of members in a loyalty program buy more frequently than those who are not members. Focusing on shared values, engagement, and personalized experience enhances customers' trust in your brand and purchases. Loyalty programs also incentivize purchases. For example, discounted seat upgrades for frequent flyers incentivize customers to pay extra, thereby increasing sales. 

4. Adapting to customer preferences

With loyalty programs, you have direct access to your target audience. You can ask them questions, take feedback, or have them test new products before the final launch. Then, use the data from these sources to understand customer preferences and improve your products to offer customers exactly what they want. Sign-ups provide insights into customer preferences, enabling tailored offers and personalized outreach. 

5. Create brand ambassadors 

Loyalty programs are not just about earning points or receiving discounts; they are about building customer relationships and trust. From small grocery stores to international brands, loyalty programs, loyalty clubs, and retailer loyalty programs are vital tools to nurture customer relationships and increase profitability. In a world where customer choices are ever-expanding, a well-structured loyalty customer program can set a company apart, creating both repeat buyers and brand ambassadors.

6. Competitive advantage 

Loyalty programs encourage existing customers to choose your company over competitors, even with price differences. That is only possible when your loyalty program offers benefits that can offset a higher price. 

7. Community engagement 

Loyalty programs foster communities through forums and discussions. That increases the customers' experience with your brand and offers them something invaluable. Incorporating customer-centricity while designing loyalty programs and engaging customers through various channels enhances customer experience. 

Different types of loyalty programs

Various types of loyalty programs cater to different customer preferences. Here are a few basic types:

  • Points programs: Allowing easy redemption for credit and discounts.

  • Tier-based programs: Offering ascending benefits with spending levels.

  • Cashback programs: Providing financial rewards for purchases.

  • Mission-based programs: Aligning with values or partnerships with nonprofits.

The loyalty programs of Amazon, Starbucks, and The Body Shop are three distinct examples of successfully implemented loyalty programs. Implementing a well-crafted loyalty program can lead to a win-win situation for customers and the business, nurturing brand allegiance and fostering a competitive edge in the market.

1. Points-based loyalty program

This is one of the most popular types of loyalty programs. Customers earn points for purchases, redeemable for products or discounts. It is common in retail sectors like restaurants, hotels, and clothing stores.

Example: Chipotle rewards program. It allows customers to earn points for their purchases and redeem them for free menu items, discounts, and other special perks. The program is available through the Chipotle app.

Pros and cons

  • Simple and loyalty-driven

  • Helps with brand advocacy

  • Exclusivity for customers 

  • Risk of customers valuing rewards over the brand

  • High redemption thresholds and reduced perceived value

Common challenges of point-based loyalty programs include complexity, profitability, and setup expenses.

2. Tiered loyalty program

This type of program has different reward levels based on tiers determined by their level of engagement, spending, or loyalty. The program is designed to incentivize customers to achieve higher levels of participation and spending, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and brand engagement. 

Example: Hilton. Anyone can join for free through the website or mobile app. Tiers include member, silver, gold, and diamond, depending on the length or number of stays at the hotel. 

Pros and cons

  • Encourages continuous purchases

  • Exclusivity and prestige

  • Targeted marketing and personalization

  • Exclusion of base-level customers

  • Tier maintenance challenges

A common challenge is to keep the tiered loyalty program simple. Such programs can confuse customers, especially if the qualification criteria and benefits are not communicated. Customers might not understand how to progress through tiers, leading to frustration and reduced engagement.

3. Subscription-based loyalty program

This program offers recurring benefits to members who pay a monthly subscription/yearly fee, fostering ongoing engagement and loyalty.

Example: Amazon Prime. This subscription-based loyalty program offers fast shipping, exclusive content, and various benefits to enhance customers' shopping experience.

Pros and cons

  • Predictable revenue

  • Ongoing engagement 

  • Exclusive Value

  • Complexity

  • Value perception

Subscription fees can deter some customers.

4. Value-based loyalty program

These programs align rewards with organizational values and customer values. It deepens connections with customers and supports charities.

Example: Lemonade's "Giveback" program. The insurance company allocates a portion of unclaimed premiums to charitable causes chosen by policyholders. This socially responsible approach aims to support nonprofits. It aligns with Lemonade's commitment to transparency, ethical business practices, and community involvement.

Pros and cons

  • Transparency 

  • Shows commitment to company values and social awareness 

  • Emphasizes shared values over explicit rewards.

  • Lower engagement 

A common challenge is the risk of disengagement and attrition from customers who do not relate to the company's values.

5. Cashback programs

Such programs offer a portion or percentage of purchases as cash or store credit. It encourages spending and repeat purchases.

Example: Acorns Earn program. It allows users to earn cash rewards by making purchases from partnering brands. These rewards are then invested into the user's Acorns investment account, helping them save and invest while spending. The program aims to encourage responsible spending and saving habits.

Pros and cons

  • Tangible rewards

  • Flexibility

  • Immediate value

  • Limited emotional connection

  • Potential misuse

  • High costs

Balancing rewards costs with program effectiveness is a crucial challenge. 

6. Punch card programs

Such programs reward customers after a certain number of purchases or visits. It is ideal for increasing customer frequency and promoting specific products.

Example: Starbucks Rewards. You gather points on your punch card (and also the app) Earned points can be redeemed for free drinks, food, or merchandise.

Pros and cons

  • Simplicity

  • Tangible rewards

  • Increased visits

  • Physical cards can be lost

  • Lack of data insights

  • Potential fraud

A common challenge with such loyalty programs is tracking and managing punch cards efficiently, especially in larger businesses.

7. Gamified programs

These loyalty programs engage customers with challenges, competitions, and virtual rewards. It is great for younger or tech-savvy audiences.

Example: Sweet Lounge. You can earn points by following the brand's pages on social media and liking and sharing posts. 

Pros and cons

  • Enhanced engagement

  • Fun experience

  • Targeted actions

  • Not appealing to all demographics

  • Potential for excessive complexity

  • Short-term motivation

Designing games that resonate with a diverse customer base while avoiding alienation is the top challenge with gamified loyalty programs. 

8. Hybrid loyalty programs

Hybrid programs cater to different customer preferences by offering a mix of rewards, such as points, discounts, cash back, and experiential benefits.

Example: Sephora Beauty Insider program. Members earn points for purchases, with higher-tier members earning points faster. The program also offers experiential benefits such as early access to new products, access to exclusive events, free beauty classes, and birthday gifts.

Pros and cons

  • Diverse appeal

  • Flexibility

  • Wider reach 

  • Complex 

  • Resource intensive 

Balancing the rewards mix is the most common challenge with hybrid loyalty programs. 

The key to a successful loyalty program is aligning the chosen model with the audience, products, and brand values while using technology effectively.

Examples of effective customer loyalty programs for consumer goods companies

Let us look at some companies that have successfully implemented loyalty programs, grouped by industry. 


H&M utilizes points and coupons to retain customers, offering unique benefits like exclusive collection access. H&M Membership offers two-tier benefits like free shipping and sustainable actions. Urban Outfitters UO Rewards provides tier benefits and early access. 

Other noteworthy programs include TK Maxx's Treasure, which combines online and offline experiences and provides exclusive rewards and gamification. This ensures consistent engagement across all channels, making it easier for customers to redeem rewards and fostering long-term loyalty. 

The fashion industry also emphasizes non-transactional engagement and omnichannel approaches, using digital loyalty cards, push notifications, and strategic app design to engage customers on the go. These initiatives go beyond mere discounts to offer sophisticated rewards, experiential surprises, and social media contests for enhanced customer engagement and value.

The apparel industry employs various loyalty strategies to resonate with diverse customer preferences. Universal Standard's "Reset, Recycle, Refresh" program promotes sustainability by rewarding clothing recycling. Hugo Boss's "Experience" program focuses on instant rewards and VIP perks, enticing the luxury market segment. By offering different programs, clothing brands align themselves with customers' values and lifestyles, encouraging long-term relationships.

Audio products 

The Bose Rewards program provides points for purchases and access to special offers. Sony Rewards program allows customers to earn points on purchases, including audio products. Extended warranties for high-end audio products, exclusive product launches, and access to special musical events or podcasts are some standard offerings of loyalty programs by companies that sell audio products. 

Home appliances 

Home is where the loyalty is. Many home appliance brands engage their customers by offering innovative programs. Kirkland's "K Club Rewards" is recognized as Newsweek's top Home Goods Loyalty Program, engaging customers with monthly sweepstakes and a $500 gift card, among other perks. Middleby Residential offers a balanced loyalty program, combining point activities with social engagement, tiered rewards, and a sustainability focus. Other brands like Bed Bath & Beyond provide subscriptions with discounts. 

Baby products 

Baby product companies typically focus on personalized loyalty programs like baby clubs, offering advice, discounts, and free samples. They may employ targeted rewards, subscription models, and community engagement strategies to enhance brand loyalty and customer experience. The Pampers Rewards program offers points for purchasing diapers and baby products, which can be redeemed for various rewards. Gerber's MyGerber program offers discounts, coupons, and personalized content for baby products. Huggies Rewards program allows customers to earn points from diaper and wipes purchases, redeemable for rewards.

Sports equipment 

Sports equipment brands ensure their loyalty programs are active and engaging, just like their members. For example, Decathlon's "My Decathlon" program uses points for sporting goods vouchers. Such brands often provide exclusive training content, early access to new gear, and other innovative methods to engage their customers. They can leverage tiered rewards, points systems, and other reward mechanisms to incentivize customer loyalty and encourage further purchases. The objective is to keep the loyalty programs as vibrant and dynamic as the sports enthusiasts they cater to.


Exclusive rides, tune-ups, and community forums attract enthusiasts and everyday riders alike. For example, Trek Bikes' Carbon Care Wheel Loyalty Program offers customers the opportunity to upgrade their wheels at a discounted price when they return their old carbon wheels for recycling or reconditioning.

Computer and gaming equipment  

Gaming and computer equipment companies level up with their loyalty programs by offering exclusive content, beta access, and gaming credits. GameStop's "PowerUp Pro" program caters to gamers, providing additional bonuses and trade-in incentives. Such rewards can fuel engagement and satisfaction, making it a true gamer's paradise!

These examples demonstrate the diverse strategies and tools consumer goods companies utilize across different industries. So what did we learn? Customer loyalty programs in various sectors align their offerings with their target audiences. The incentives can resonate with members' values, interests, or lifestyles. 

Irrespective of the industry, effective loyalty programs can enhance customer retention, foster community, and drive revenue growth. Loyalty programs create meaningful connections with customers and ensure long-term success by offering exclusive rewards, community engagement, and personalized experiences.

How Layerise can help your business boost customer loyalty 

The success of loyalty programs lies in aligning with customer preferences and delivering unique, valuable experiences that foster long-term engagement and loyalty. You need data to understand customer preferences. Layerise helps you listen to your customers and design a loyalty program accordingly. You can set up forms on your website to ask your customers what they would prefer. 

Or easily create QR codes using Layerise to enhance customer engagement or get quick sign-ups for your membership programs. Layerise uses QR codes to streamline customer onboarding, gather feedback, and improve the shopping experience. You can utilize QR codes to reward customer referrals, simplify program access, and enable engaging scavenger hunts.

Layerise's application of QR codes provides customers with tailored suggestions, limited-time offers, and promotions. It also serves to gather valuable feedback, facilitating better understanding and communication between businesses and customers.

Additionally, you can easily integrate your marketing tools with Layerise and collect data from multiple sources to learn more about your customers. Then, use the insights to offer your customers unique loyalty programs. Check out the Layerise features page to learn more.