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How to Design a Loyalty Program that Builds Stronger Relationships with Your Superfans

Jun 19, 2024 | 7 minute read

How to Design a Loyalty Program that Builds Stronger Relationships with Your Superfans

Megan Wenzl

Content Marketing Manager

Quick Takeaways

According to Okendo research, 77% of customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand long-term if they offer a loyalty program. However, not all loyalty programs are created equal. Discover effective strategies to create a loyalty program that strengthens relationships with your unique customers.

Loyalty programs are one of the most effective strategies for increasing customer lifetime value and boosting revenue. 

When integrating a loyalty program into your unified customer marketing strategy, simply assembling one without careful design won’t suffice. To ensure the success of your program, personalizing it for your distinct customer base is crucial for fostering deeper connections with your Superfans, your most highly engaged customers. Superfans help your brand reduce acquisition costs while simultaneously increasing lifetime value. 

Loyalty programs are one of the most effective ways to make customers feel included in a community and part of your brand. This connection not only strengthens their loyalty but also motivates them to collaborate with your brand on activities that help bring in new customers. 

As Taylor Pozen, Director of Digital Merchandising at SKIMS said in a recent webinar, “A loyalty program is becoming more and more important, which goes back to the main point of as a consumer wanting to feel included with the brand. Loyalty is such a strong way to retain customers and keep them engaged and keep them wanting to come back.” 

How to Create a Loyalty Program for Your Customers 

Here are five effective strategies for crafting a loyalty program that nurtures stronger customer relationships. 

Build a Program that Speaks to Your Customers 

An effective loyalty program is one that your customers can connect with. Thinking through the strategy behind your tiers and the way you reward points, based on deep knowledge of your customers, is crucial to building a successful program. Let’s take a look at two examples. 

Veselka, a beloved Ukrainian restaurant with an ecommerce component, built a loyalty program designed specifically to engage with their customers. The team named their VIP tiers by order of status level: Blint Beginner, Latke Lover, Borscht Buddy, and V.I.P(ierogi). 

Loyalty program tiers

Jordan Craig, an elite streetwear brand with a mission to produce premium clothing, knew they needed a customizable loyalty program related to their brand. Being “cool” is important for Jordan Craig as a streetwear brand, so they created a “cool” loyalty program to connect with their customer base. 

Their loyalty program consists of three tiers: Pros, Stars, and Legends. They chose “Legends” as the highest tier because Legends are what people aspire to be. Legend customers are the brand’s Superfans. 

The brand rewards customers with clout instead of points, which is another way Jordan Craig built a program that speaks to its customer base. 

Rob Varon, Director of Marketing for Jordan Craig said, “When we launched Okendo Loyalty, we saw an immediate spike in customer engagement.” 

Make the Program Easy to Find and Understand 

It’s important to ask yourself, ‘What is the easiest way to communicate a loyalty program with my customers?’ 

That’s what Maddy Balderson, Director & Co-Founder of Luna Bronze, thought about when her team set up Luna Bronze’s loyalty program. They set up a simple, easy-to-understand points program of 1 point for $1. 

Ways to earn points through a loyalty program

To increase engagement, the team also implemented a pop-up that promotes the Loyalty program. As a result, they saw a 35% increase in loyalty program enrollment. 

Your loyalty program should also be easy for customers to find on your website. For example, utilizing displays such as loyalty widgets and loyalty landing pages makes it easy for customers to access the program no matter where they are on your website. 

Build Your Dream Loyalty Program

Give Customers the Opportunity to Earn Points for More than Purchases 

Customers love to be rewarded for more than just purchases. Providing flexibility to customers in how they earn points is hugely important for engagement. While it is smart to provide points for purchases as a baseline, it’s also important to allow customers to earn points for activities such as account sign-ups, review submissions, and social media interactions. 

For example, Outwork Nutrition gives customers the flexibility to earn points for activities like purchases, writing a review, and following the brand on Instagram. Since implementing a loyalty program with Okendo, Outwork Nutrition has seen a 19% AOV uplift within just 90 days of launching. 

Access the loyalty program anywhere on the site with a widget

Treat Loyal Customers like New Customers and Influencers 

As part of your overall customer loyalty strategy, you want to make sure you’re offering rewards similarly to the way you reward your influencers and new customers. For example, if you’re providing new customers with 25% off their first purchase, make sure you’re rewarding your loyal customers with the same or similar promotion. It’s important to remember that while acquiring customers is beneficial, the customers who have been buying from you long-term helped your brand get to its current growth level. 

On the influencer side, if you send influencers free products to promote on social media, make sure you’re providing the same incentives to your loyal customers as well. This helps build community. Creating a community gives customers a feeling of belonging, increasing their loyalty. As mentioned earlier, customers who are part of your community are your Superfans, so show them you care about their business by rewarding them with the same treatment you give your influencers.

For example, as part of their overall strategy, SKIMS sends micro influencers products to showcase on social media channels to hundreds of followers. To make sure the brand shows appreciation to their loyal customers, the team sends their top loyal customers the same gifting moments from their wedding shop. These are real customers who SKIMS knows are getting married.

Taylor Pozen, Director of Digital Merchandising at SKIMS said, “We sent them the same exact PR wedding gift shop box that we send your favorite influencer that is getting married. They are so excited, and it is such an important thing for the brand to instill that sense of inclusivity like, ‘Ok, you are not the largest influencer or celebrity, but you’re still getting married and we hear you, we see you. Here are these amazing products, you’re gonna love them.’” 

Choose a Loyalty Product that Makes it Easy to Build Your Dream Program 

When evaluating a loyalty platform, choose one that combines deep customization capabilities with an ultra-intuitive interface, like Okendo Loyalty, making it easy to build your dream loyalty program. 

Also be sure that the product provides all features available on all plan levels, with hands-on guidance from a set of loyalty experts. This way, you can ensure that you launch a loyalty program that is uniquely tailored to your customer community and maximizes lifetime value. What else is important? Choosing a platform that seamlessly connects the Loyalty product with Reviews, Referrals, Surveys, and Quizzes in one place. 

Here are the benefits of consolidating your customer marketing products in one platform: 

  • Easy setup: Time is of the essence in today’s dynamic business environment. Opt for a platform that optimizes setup. Getting up and running should be easy, allowing you to start leveraging the power of a loyalty program without unnecessary delays or complications.
  • Streamlined workflows: You don’t want a pieced-together solution. Choose a platform that recognizes the importance of interoperability and offers robust products and integrations. This ensures your loyalty program works seamlessly alongside your CRM, email marketing and SMS software, and other essential tools.
  • Centralized customer data: Having all of your customer data in one place is crucial for personalizing marketing campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of your loyalty program. According to Okendo research, 46% of customers say a personalized experience impacts their loyalty to a brand somewhat, while 36% say it impacts their loyalty significantly. 


Building a thoughtful loyalty program is a pivotal strategy for nurturing stronger relationships and fostering a dedicated, Superfan customer base. By designing a program that aligns with your business objectives and resonates with your customers, you can notably elevate customer satisfaction and retention. 

Remember, the success of a loyalty program hinges not only on the rewards it offers but also on the sense of connection and community it fosters. By consistently interacting with your customers and optimizing the program to suit their evolving preferences, you can ensure that your loyalty efforts remain impactful. Ultimately, a well-crafted loyalty program will not only boost retention but also transform customers into highly engaged Superfans to help your brand drive fast, long-term growth. 

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