With loyalty being nothing more than a buzz word within most organisations over many years, it’s great to see that many B2B companies are realising the benefits a good quality loyalty program can bring.
The boom was brought on by the pandemic with businesses wishing they had more than just a buzz word and instead a meaningful way to maintain contact, strengthen relationships and protect profits among their best customers.
Research supports it:
Haghkhah (2013) stated that retaining an organisation’s current customers and making them loyal is a critical component for a company to be successful. ‘With loyal customers, companies can maximise their profit because loyal customers are willing to purchase more frequently; spend money on trying new products or services; recommend products and services to others; and give companies sincere suggestions. Thus, loyalty links the success and profitability of a company.’
Asgarpour (2013) argued that customer loyalty is essential if a company is going to retain its current customers and that client loyalty is one of the most sought-after objectives of B2B companies today.
Eakuru and Mat (2008) indicated that the ultimate goal of companies is to build customer loyalty, which is achieved via the mediating influence of customer trust. This acts to enhance the impact of corporate identity, corporate image, and the reputation of the company.
The best businesses support it:
Examples of companies that have introduced best-practice B2B loyalty programs globally include HP, American Express, Schneider Electric, WeWork, Lenovo, IBM, Fujitsu, Countrywide, Cisco, Nufarm, Uber, The Iconic, Allianz, and Mercedes-Benz.
We support it:
We recognise that there are fundamental differences between B2B and B2C programs and the differences need to be fully understood in order to design a best-practice B2B program.
Businesses generally have a smaller pool of customers spending a lot more so allow for more generous and even more personally tailored rewards.
B2B relationships can also be between multiple participants, including owners, initiators, influencers, deciders, users, buyers and gatekeepers, all with different drivers that need to be identified and accounted for.
There are important ethical, communications and employee longevity challenges which need to be taken into account during strategic program design.
Given the importance of getting the design right and the specific business relationships and challenges which need to be overcome, we’ve dedicated a whole chapter to B2B loyalty programs in our book Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide to help businesses understand the most appropriate design frameworks and rewards which work best.
Loyalty is a function which needs to be leaned on to better understand customers and future proof businesses. For everyone still treating loyalty as a buzz word, it’s time to pick up the post pandemic pieces and join the B2B loyalty program boom.
Stacey is a loyalty specialist with extensive experience in loyalty, digital marketing, eCommerce, social media and customer service.
Her role as the Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co involves developing and driving loyalty and marketing initiatives for clients, including loyalty program strategic design, loyalty psychology application, member lifecycle management approaches, ongoing promotional campaign management, digital marketing and social media strategy, market research and investor relations.
Stacey co-created the book Loyalty Programs: The Complete Guide, the most comprehensive book on loyalty program theory and practice available. She also presents a number of modules as part of the Loyalty Programs Masterclass run by Loyalty & Reward Co in conjunction with ADMA.
Stacey runs the Loyalty & Reward Co business website www.rewardco.com.au and regularly contributes her own blog and news articles. Visit us at www.rewardco.com.au.
For interest, Stacey’s personal favourite loyalty program is currently Mecca Beauty Loop.
 Haghkhah, A., 2013, ‘Commitment and Customer Loyalty in Business-To-Business Context’, European Journal of Business and Management, Vol 5, Iss 19, pp156-164.
 Asgarpour, R., Abdul Hamid, A. B., Mousavi, B. & Jamshidy, M., 2013, ‘A Review on Customer Loyalty as a Main Goal of Customer Relationship Management’, Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences and Engineering), Vol 64, pp109-113.
 Eakuru, N. & Mat, N. K. N., 2008, ‘The Application of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in Determining the Antecedents of Customer Loyalty in Banks in South Thailand’, The Business Review, Vol 10, No 2, pp. 129-139.