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Loyalty Programs

5 Benefits of Launching a Loyalty Program for the Local Community

Written by 
Guest Writer
November 6, 2019

While the modern business world is raving about the benefits and importance of online loyalty programs, very few business leaders consider the long-term opportunities that offline loyalty campaigns and community engagement can bring to the table.

This doesn’t mean that one is inherently better than the other. Both offer many benefits you shouldn’t miss out on. That said, ask any experienced entrepreneur and they will tell you that there always has to be a healthy balance between online and offline marketing, in order to optimize your strategy on both fronts and capitalize on customer loyalty in both realms.

There are many common mistakes you can make while creating a loyalty program, and one of them would be to focus solely your digital audience. This is especially the case if your business has a physical presence such as a retail store.

With all of that in mind, today we’ll be looking at the five benefits of launching a loyalty program for your local community by combining digital and traditional marketing.

1. Building a deeper brand-consumer relationship

building a customer relationship

Building a successful business in an oversaturated marketplace is a difficult task. If you’ve been in the game for any amount of time, you probably know that one of the keys to long-term success lies in creating a strong brand identity so people can connect on a more personal level.

After all, how are you to stand out from the competition, grab the attention of your audience, or incentivize long-term customer retention if you haven’t got the brand values and personality that resonate with your demographic? You can’t really, which is why you need to focus on creating a deeper brand-consumer relationship.

Aside from the essential brand-building steps you need to take, you can take a project to the next level by weaving your brand into the loyalty program and tailoring your brand messages, values, and identity, in general, to resonate with your local audience.

Always keep in mind that every local marketplace has its unique audience makeup. Therefore it’s important that your brand speaks the local language (not just literally) to create that deeper bond with its customers.

2. A boost in engagement for small businesses

digital loyalty benefits on local businesses

Community loyalty programs present an excellent opportunity for small businesses, in particular, to boost engagement and make a lasting impression on the local customer base.

The common problem many small businesses face nowadays is boosting audience and customer engagement in an oversaturated digital marketplace. This is simply because there are so many other (bigger, more established) brands out there that already garner the attention of the online demographic. You will need to take a different approach if you are to improve engagement.

Now, again, this doesn’t mean that you should forgo all of your online efforts to get as many people in the digital realm to join your loyalty program, but it does mean that you should focus on the local marketplace.

This is one of the best ways to stand out from the competition and get noticed by a sizable audience, after which you will increase your chances of boosting opt-ins and engagement with a wider, even global customer base.

3. Building loyalty through good deeds

benefits of loyalty programs to the community

Building customer loyalty (locally, nationally, and internationally) can be done in a number of ways. Some of which are more conventional than others.

There are many tried and tested ways you can make a decent loyalty program through online contests and challenges, discounts and coupons, events, and more. And then there are even more innovative ways that can help you stand out from the crowd.

A good example of a loyalty initiative that’s stepping outside of the box is the Jack Brown Invest Islands sustainability initiative. It tells us how brands can build loyalty in their communities through good deeds.

In the case of Jack Brown’s foundation, this is achieved through environmental sustainability, but you can choose any number of worthy causes to support. It’s important that you bring your audience together to support the cause through your brand, in order to associate your business with the deed.

4. Bring complementary businesses together

business partnerships

Another great way you can make your loyalty program more appealing to the local audience is to partner up with businesses in your community that offer complementary goods and services.

Creating this type of joint effort will show the community that you have the people’s best interest at heart. For you and your partners, it’s not about profit but the betterment of your community.

This is just one of the great ways you can operate a loyalty program, and definitely one of the most rewarding options.

5. Combine with your online loyalty campaign

online and offline marketing

It should go without saying that just because you are currently focusing on developing a loyalty program for your local audience, you shouldn’t forget to integrate all of your materials, content, and program features into your digital marketing strategy.

In fact, it’s imperative that you launch your loyalty campaign in the online and offline realms if you are to reach as many people as possible.

That said, this particular campaign has to be optimized for the local community only. It means that you need to market it with local SEO in mind, audience-specific content, as well as the features of your program that cater to the exact needs of the market.

And finally, be sure to market this program using effective digital marketing methods, as well as the more traditional hand-outs, speaking events, billboards and TV and radio ads.

Want to launch your loyalty program but need a bit of help? Check out our free Digital Loyalty Program Launch Checklist!

Wrapping up..

For business leaders who are running a global brand and are catering to numerous markets, it can seem like a waste of time and money to develop a whole loyalty program for just one market.

In reality, though, creating a community loyalty program for the local neighbourhood can help you truly differentiate yourself from the competition, and win over the hearts and minds of your local audience.


Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.

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