Spring 2019 - Inside Outdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | SPRING 2019 40 B rands have long relied on loyalty rewards programs to build lasting relationships with customers. Unfortunately, they don’t always work. Loyalty programs fail more often than not, resulting in wasted dollars and lost opportunities. According to a Gapgemini Consulting study, up to 77 percent of transaction-based loyalty programs fail within the first two years. There are many reasons why loy- alty programs don’t pan out according to plan. Most of the time, the rewards simply aren’t worth the effort for cus- tomers. In other cases, programs are too complicated or out of touch with customers’ needs. Oftentimes, customers will leave rewards sitting unused until they expire, which often leaves retailers scratching their heads. This is a topic that Zinrelo founder and CEO Jai Rawat has spent a considerable amount of time think- ing about. His company, and theory, centers around a powerful idea: customers are more liable to use re- wards that they earn, as opposed to rewards they are merely handed for making transactions. With Zinrelo, Rawat has designed a loyalty program that rewards cus- tomers for engaging with a brand beyond making regular purchases. Customers can earn rewards for things such as email signups, re- views, social follows and photo up- loads. They also can be rewarded for creating an online account or sharing personal information, posting reviews over social media, referrals, and for completing tasks including making at least three purchases. In retail, Rawat says, the first three purchases are critical. It typi- cally takes at least three purchases for a customer to become loyal to a brand. Oftentimes, though, compa- nies lose customers before they get to that point – and this is due to a lack of engagement. “Typically, the purchase is an end of the engagmenet with a company,” said Rawat. “Most customers won’t bother to write review or do anything else. With our rewards program, cus- tomers have a reason to engage.” Icebreaker and Zinrelo Rawat first learned about Ice- breaker, a producer of high-end spe- cialty products, while preparing for a long hiking trip at the base camp of Mount Everest. “I was researching what kind of gear and clothing to buy, and that’s where I saw Icebreaker. It was highly recommended for that type of trip, as the company uses Merino wool,” he explained. Rawat experienced the quality of the brand first hand and decided to reach out to the company. As it turns out, Icebreaker hap- pened to be looking for a loyalty program – but not just any program. It was important for the company to avoid implementing a run-of-the mill discount program. Doing so, according By Gerald Baldino Rewarding Action, Avoiding Discounts Tech Savvy Icebreaker utilizes Zinrelo’s unique rewards program to boost engagement and build loyalty Icebreaker user dashboard