According to current research, the average person is exposed to over 5000 marketing messages every day. This figure is the highest it has ever been; never before have we been as inundated with the sense of choice as we do right now. And although choice can feel fantastic, there comes a point where such an abundance can become overwhelming.
Since the dawn of marketing, the concept of a unique selling point (USP) has been adopted, embraced and used to sell everything from mouthwash to motorcars. Today, with marketing messages flooding our senses, it’s more important than ever to ensure your brands stands out in the market place.
There are a number of methods to implement in order to cut through the noise, but we’d like to focus on one in particular here. One that is a powerful weapon to have in your marketing arsenal, regardless of the service or product on offer.
Exclusivity, Membership, Club
Every single supermarket and department store is well versed in the draw of the loyalty card. The likes of Forbes have written numerous articles detailing their impact, even in today’s retail environment. The reason they’re so effective? Well, unless a product/service is entirely unique, customers know there will always be an alternative out there.
With this in mind, it stands to reason that loyalty cards work so well. Sure, price and convenience can play a major influence in customer decision making, but with competition so fierce today, the gap between these factors has become so squeezed, brands need to look elsewhere for the tipping point. Building up points with every dollar spent to put towards ‘treats’ or other bonuses is a tried-and-tested way to build long-term loyalty.
And it’s not just the grocery aisles where the lure of membership can work wonders. Casinos have played this card for decades, with huge names like MGM promoting the Mlife rewards program that offers exclusive experiences and personalized promotions. Even they know a name alone is no guarantee for success. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas or the like, you’ll have no doubt been offered the chance to join a VIP club within one of the hotels and casino chains. The promise of added extras for entrusting them with your custom has undoubted charm. Look online and you’ll find progressive bingo and slots sites such as Buzz Bingo and their Diamond Club offering exclusive features such as birthday surprises and invite-only events. Feeling part of a club creates a sense of belonging, something the human psyche is constantly searching for and craving. Psychologists believe this phenomenon to be so compelling because it creates a sense of ‘home’ in our mind.
If you’re into sports, think about the team(s) you support. It would be a fairly safe bet to make that when you’re watching their games on TV or at the stadium, there’s an undeniable connection at play between yourself and the team. Sports teams know how to tap into this through their marketing language. For example, Liverpool FC brand their membership as becoming part of the ‘Family’, and New York City FC‘s ‘Cityzens’ page includes a slick promotional video highlighting the connection between the players and fans.
The sports team bond is so strong because it’s built, usually, from an early age. But the principles are replicable across most businesses and markets and for almost every type of customer. If you hold a membership with a club (sports or otherwise) or even registered for an email newsletter, think about the special invites you’ve received over time, the ‘subscriber-only’ deals sent your way, or
As you can see, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to build and nurture a VIP club, and once that sense of ‘for your eyes only’ sets in with members, you’ll have them hooked.