Skin-care brand Indie Lee’s first attempt at a loyalty program moves beyond the points-for-purchases model.
Indie Insider Rewards, which launched on Aug. 15, offers three tiers: Insiders, Inthusiasts and Icons. In addition to standard offerings like one point for every $1 spent, points for members’ birthdays and referral points, the brand’s program aims to court customer engagement on social media. Members can earn 10 points for following the brand on Facebook and Instagram, and potentially for also commenting on and liking posts and submitting user-generated content, said Lexi McColl, Indie Lee digital marketing director. Future reward redemption will include New York-based events as a “surprise” gift for those in its highest Icon tier.
“We want people to come back [to our website] because it’s a very competitive landscape,” said McColl. “This is a way for us to interact with customers on another level.”
The act of assigning points to loyalty members for following a brand on social media is not new, as brands like Kora Organics, Kiehl’s and Frank Body all have similar practices, but dispensing points and gifts extemporaneously and at the brand’s discretion are unique strategies for Indie Lee. Other beauty companies like Glossier and Chanel (through its dedicated user-generated content account @welovecoco) frequently repost customer photos to their own brand feeds as a way to encourage customers to share their experiences.
According to consumer research firm J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, loyalty programs have undergone a shift from strictly transactional to programs that tap into emotion. For example, Innisfree members receive a welcome kit with their first purchase that includes information about its origin story and role as a clean beauty brand. As a result, loyalty programs are becoming more important for customers. A 2017 report by IRI Worldwide found that 74% of consumers chose a store based on a “strong loyalty or discount program.”
“[Indie Insider Rewards] will help us understand how [customers] interact with us digitally,” said Indie Lee, brand founder and CEO. “The reviews they leave, the rewards they redeem and how they’re telling friends about the brand through the referral program, these are all things that determine how we can build relationships.”
On Thursday, Indie Lee informed its 72,300 Instagram followers and 9,600 Facebook followers of the new program through dedicated social media posts. It also notified its email subscriber base, although McColl declined to state how many customers are part of that list.
“We are looking to build community, and our loyalty program is another opportunity to strengthen it,” said Lee. “We hope to encourage our customers to become brand ambassadors.”