Brands breeding loyalty through digital

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Walmart was built on offering "low prices, always," which its customers cite as the principle reason for patronage. In fact, according to journalist Charles Fishman, about 140 million Americans shop at Walmart every week.

Traditionally, low-income Americans are less likely to spend time online. However, as more and more shopping occurs digitally and bargain hunters become increasingly tech-savvy, Walmart has greatly increased its digital efforts.

Brands breeding loyalty through digital

Appealing to customers without access to credit or those fearful of identity theft, developed a "pay with cash" option, allowing customers to order merchandise online and pay in-store. As Internet Retailer states, "Because of the new payment option, has attracted new online customers, as nearly 30 percent of those who have chosen the 'cash' payment option are new to the site." By doing so, Walmart reduces the risk suffered by other brick-and-mortar retailers. For examples, consumers at Best Buy view items in-store only to purchase them online elsewhere at a lower price. By prompting customers online to come pay in-store, Walmart isolates its customers in an environment where all further purchases are made at Walmart.

Most recently, Walmart initiated its "endless aisle" program, allowing in-store customers to scan QR codes that provide access to a broader range of Walmart products online. Realizing a growing number of their loyalists wanted to shop online, Walmart initiated a number of innovative programs to smooth the transition from brick-and-mortar to digital.  


In "Smokey and the Bandit," Burt Reynolds (Bo "Bandit" Darville) is offered $80,000 to make the illegal haul of 400 cases of Coors beer from Texas to Georgia and back in 28 hours, all because Big Enos Burdette "is thirsty." That's beer loyalty -- and Burdette is not alone, as Coors continually ranks high on Brand Keys' loyalty charts.

Coors Banquet has been a longtime staple of American beer drinkers. To tap into America's nostalgic feelings about the brand, MillerCoors recently released four commemorative cans whose front designs hail from 1880, 1936, 1959, and the 1950s.

Keeping the past in mind while moving forward is a marketing strategy the brand continually embraces. Pete and David Coors recently embarked on a road trip from Golden, Colo., to New York City to celebrate "the famous trek that many Coors Banquet fans took before them" in pursuit of beer. In a 1940s Coors Banquet delivery truck, Pete and Dave made various pit stops along their journey to share stories with customers and bar owners, thoroughly chronicling their journey on Facebook.

In addition, as part of Coors "Grab a Piece of the Legend" campaign, fans were able to log onto the Coors Banquet Facebook page to share their own stories. The result was this video, created as a culmination of the various stories shared. As a Coors' fan in the video states, "I have been drinking Coors since I have been drinking beer. I don't get into fads. I try to stay true to my roots." Coors maintains strong loyalty by implementing digital campaigns that emphasize the importance of heritage (or "staying true to one's roots").



Denyse Drummond-Dunn
Denyse Drummond-Dunn August 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Thanks Kyle for all the time it must have done to collect such an inspiring collection of examples.
Following on from Brant's comment about being more than "digital minded" I agree, but for slightly different reasons.
What all these brands have understood is that digital is so much more emotional than other media. It is intimate and direct, which in my books anyway is the best way to get a message into the heart of a customer.
All these brands also seem to have a passion for customer centricity that comes through what they do, how they do it and the words and sentiments they use in their connections.
Be warned I will steal with pride a few of your great examples - but will of course give you the credit!

Brant Emery
Brant Emery August 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Looking through these cases, which are great examples of brand based CRM initiatives - I'd say it's much more than being ''digital minded''. At the heart of most of these are strong value-add services. It's like saying "shops build sales through bricks". Digital is merely a facilitator, a building material, for developing compelling, customer driven, elements. Digital media does enable faster, more iterative, development of customer value-adds, but don't forget the basics too. Also, would be nice to see actual results - but I know details like that are rarely made available.