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Rewards programs are simple in theory, reward someone for their behavior with and involvement in your brand and they’ll keep coming back. From a Zealotry Marketing standpoint we’ll put that theory to the test.

Brandweek’s recent article  “Rewards Program Members are Brand Champions” features a new study by Colloquy that has a few important stats to note:

  • Members of rewards programs are 70%  more likely to actively recommend a product, service or brand than the general population
  • 55 % described themselves as brand champions

While positive word-of-mouth and referral are certainly keys to success for a brand from a Zealotry standpoint, there seems to be a disconnect between “Brand Champions” and “Zealots.” With brand champions coming in at an astonishing 55 percent, we are more likely to liken brand champions to “supporters” for the brand, not true Zealots. The postive-impact business difference between “champions” and Zealots is huge, thus finding ways to dig deeper into your Rewards Program membership base to mine out your most zealous fans is one that is well worth the time & effort. And establishing an intimate way to go beyond simply rewarding  – by involving, engaging and nurturing your Zealots – now that has the makings of a true loyalty program.

Chick-Fil-A is one brand that seems to have realized the power of their Zealots.

The restaurant-chain has established the Chick-Fil-A Insiders program – a program aimed at creating a community of people who love their brand. There are several key Zealotry Marketing actions they have established that make this program a good one.

  • Registration – Sign up is online & it’s easy, and they ask your birth date, so we’ll assume they do something to recognize your birthday.
  • “The First 100” –  A promotion disclosed only in this section on their website, where loving brand fans can come & camp out at each Grand Opening for the chance to be one of the the “First 100” in line – receiving one free meal each day for a year!
  • Future Restaurant Openings – This section lists new stores and their anticipated opening date. These stores are not listed or noted as “Coming Soon” on the store locator tool on the main website, making this VIP information that only Insiders would know.
  • Stories – The site also includes a special section where Zealots can share photographs & stories of their love for Chick-Fil-A .

Overall, the program is a great concept.  It is a way for Zealots to become engaged with the brand, to feel like an insider and to keep spreading the word & creating some buzz among their peers.

Having signed up as an Insider many months ago and without truly knowing what Chick-Fil-A does to nurture these Insider relationships “behind-the-scenes” – one thing they could potentially do to enhance the impact of the program from a Zealotry standpoint would be to make their e-communications more personalized and more frequent.  These Insiders are all people who want to be involved with the brand and who have requested this information.

What other things could they do to boost the effectiveness of this program?

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