According to the bestselling book, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But only when it comes to love and relationships right? Apparently not! A study from the Marketing Store points to the divide also applying to how men and women approach the concept of “loyalty”. Their “Living Loyal” study, which surveyed over 1,500 American consumers between 18 and 65 who participate in loyalty programs, found that men and women do not think about loyalty in the same way, and thus would approach brand loyalty very differently. Women associated the broad concept of “Loyalty” with “Trust”, “Devotion”, and “Commitment”, whereas men were more likely to think in terms of “contractual commitment”, “Honor” and “doing the right thing” when asked what loyalty meant to them. These differing definitions could translate into very different behaviors as consumers reacting to a loyalty program.
While traditional marketing strategies have long been taking the gender divide into consideration, most loyalty programs seem to treat shoppers as a homogeneous group. Segmenting shoppers by gender and developing relevant reward offerings that speak differently to each gender could lead to more meaningful engagement with your brand for both sexes.
Let’s start with the ladies. Seeing that their association with loyalty revolves around trust, devotion and commitment, placing an emphasis on a dependable program that proves to be reliable time and time again should guarantee that your loyalty strategy will resonate with female members. Ensure that the offers remain consistent and that your program always has something appealing for them, each time female shoppers choose to interact with your brand. Then you can build and maintain the trust and commitment that women value, all the while appearing to be completely devoted to their happiness.
And now for the gentlemen. Honor and behaving correctly are what rings true to them when they think of loyalty. So a loyalty program that provides its male members with offers that are in line with the program’s promises should win them over. Be sure to follow through with offers and promotions, offer rewards that are considered to have fair value, and respond quickly and efficiently to any issues that may arise with the program. By “honoring” your loyalty programs’ offering, you should have the male shoppers buy-in.
So if you’re thinking of starting a loyalty program, or more importantly, you are running an existing one, don’t ignore the importance of gender differences. As marketers, we know personalization is the key to creating meaningful and relevant customer experiences. Taking gender differences into account needs to be part of that personalization. Considering the different ways men and women define loyalty will allow you to craft a rewards program and any associated promotional messaging that takes each of their preferences into account, increase satisfaction across these segments, and ultimately strengthen the commitment to your brand from all your loyalty program members, whether male or female.