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Customer loyalty programs are back. Here’s why.

February 23, 2022


How systems evolved in the Black community

PIC: Black woman wearing a blue blouse and brown pants posing with her hands on her hips and smiling.
Photo by @MikeD.ShotMe

What's the buzz?
To celebrate Black History Month, we teamed up with Trainual Certified Consultant, Connie S. Falls (where the “S” stands for Systems), to share how systems have evolved in the Black community and highlight Black owned-businesses that are making them work.

Sounds interesting! Tell me more.
Well, for many entrepreneurs, operational systems have unlocked the next level of business growth and success. It’s kind of like a cheat code.

Even though systems have been around for years, Connie breaks down why the Black-owned business community is more focused on it than ever before.

Why is that?
According to Connie, as Black entrepreneurs began to emerge, they typically weren’t taught to write down their processes. In fact, family businesses often died within the first or second-generation because the information and values that the business was built on weren’t passed on in ways that were replicable and easily implemented.

But what’s happening now?
The future is much brighter, Connie shares. More and more Black business owners are starting to understand that documenting processes is the key to growth. Their success with process documentation has spread throughout the Black community and become a hot topic.

With help from systems experts like Connie and other Black-owned businesses who have seen success, the community is growing and scaling at a quick clip.

“I want to see people in my community thrive in business,” says Connie. “We have so many great ideas that I believe can change the world, and systems will help us get there much faster.”

👉 Get the full breakdown from Connie.


Loyalty programs are back — and winning business

Wait, doesn’t everyone just toss those punch cards?
Guilty as charged. But the customer loyalty program has evolved since those “punch 10 holes and your next ice cream is free” days. Ecommerce has brought this centuries-old marketing tactic into the digital age, allowing businesses to implement loyalty programs online and through mobile apps.

Like who?

Well, The Container Store knows what’s up: the one-stop organization shop (and Marie Kondo fever dream) is launching a new app this spring aimed at funneling customers into their new three-tier loyalty program.

And it makes sense — loyalty rewards apps are wildly popular: 50% of smartphone owners regularly use them and are encouraged to continue doing so through gamification, or the idea of turning the brand's experience into a game. So, not only are these platforms a better fit for today’s consumers, they also allow businesses to capture a wealth of information on their customers, including purchase preferences, frequency, location, and basic demographics.

Throw another example at me.
Starbucks hasn’t just mastered a wicked frap — they’re a gold star (ahem) example of a digital customer loyalty program at work. Customers earn stars through in-app purchases which can then be redeemed for free products and personalized drinks. But the company has intelligently scaled the program, listening to customers’ needs over the years by incorporating in-app payments through a digital card and using push notifications for promos. It’s now one of the most popular restaurant mobile loyalty programs out there.

So, how can I make a loyalty program work for my business?
Glad you asked. You might start out with something simple and cost-effective (like… a punch card), but when you’re ready to take your customer loyalty program to the next level, here are some key pointers:

  • Let customers make payments and redeem rewards through a mobile app. Most want to engage with your program via their smartphone. If creating a mobile app is out of the budget, try partnering with a loyalty program third-party business like Fivestars, Zinrelo, or TapMango.
  • Communicate the benefits of your program clearly.
  • Show the point balances and available rewards on the homepage of the app. This encourages repeat purchases and interactions (remember, we all love a good game).


How SMBs can write their own press release

Break it down.
Let’s say you own a small business and have some big news to share. What do you do? You write your own press release.

Wait, like a real press release?
Definitely! Most people assume that press releases can only be used by public relations firms and big-wig companies. But anyone can write a press release.

At the end of the day, you want the public and the press to know about the exciting changes happening within your business. And even if you’re a one-person band, you can do your own PR. Nobody knows your business better than you, so who better to talk to the press?

Okay, how?
Luckily, we’ve got a press release template that makes it easy for anyone to get started. But first, there are a few actionable steps you’ll have to take:

  1. Give ‘em the facts. The who, what, when, where, and why. Your press release needs the details of the actual event or occasion.
  2. What’s the hook? Consider what makes your news actually newsworthy. Why should the press care about what’s happening?
  3. Can I get a quote? You want to provide the press with quotes from reputable sources to give your news legitimacy. You can give one from yourself as the business owner, but you can also source quotes from customers, employees, or members of your board.
  4. Let’s get some stats, stat. Are there any industry statistics that are related to the news of your press release? They’ll provide your news with context and make your press release stronger!
  5. End with the boilerplate. AKA a paragraph about your company that will appear at the end of your press release. That way, people who are unfamiliar with your company can learn about it and understand why your press release is relevant.

👉 Learn more about writing a press release.


This week's highlight reel

  • You gotta belieb. The donut hole collab between Justin Bieber and Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s saw store sales rise 10.3% in Q4 of 2021, reversing the company’s downward sales trend. Grab some “Timbiebs Timbits” and enjoy them… despacito.
  • Slidin’ into DMs. Graza, a new squeezable olive oil brand, used a unique social media strategy in the lead up to its launch day: connecting with influencers and retail stores that other olive oil brands wouldn’t reach out to. Spoiler alert – they’ve already sold out.
  • Hey, salut, pryvit! To reach podcasts listeners outside of English-language audiences, iHeartMedia is partnering with Veritone and its synthetic voice technology to translate and produce podcasts in other languages.
  • Slugging. Vaseline, the petroleum jelly brand first invented in 1859, is receiving the viral trend treatment 163 years after launch. The brand is the focus of a TikTok beauty trend called “slugging,” and as a result, the brand’s social media mentions are up 327% compared to last year.

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