7 Examples of innovative loyalty programs (and how to draw inspiration from them!)
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7 Examples of innovative loyalty programs (and how to draw inspiration from them!)

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On average, your customers are members of 14 loyalty programs and cards (even if they've forgotten most of them)!


Elements of surprise and innovation are therefore essential if yours is to stand out from the crowd.

This article is not just a list of loyalty programs programs (although we won't deny ourselves that pleasure!). We'll also look at why it's important to innovate, what technologies are used, etc. And most importantly: how can you import these best ideas into your own loyalty program?


Why offer an [.is--yellow-highlight]innovative loyalty program[.is--yellow-highlight]?


It's a fact that there are more and more loyalty programs. What's annoying is that they all look the same! Whether it's a free 10th visit or a 5% discount, they've become a simple cashback lever for the customer. The race for discounts and coupons isn't good for anyone: it's costly for you, and it devalues the perception of your offer in the long term.


Innovating your loyalty program has a triple positive effect. It allows you to :

  • stand out from the crowd;
  • strengthen the bond between you and your customers;
  • make your loyalty program more memorable - and thus generate usage.


How to innovate?

You'll see in detail in the 7 examples below. But in short, what makes for good innovation is putting two ingredients into your loyalty program: emotions and lifestyle!

innovative loyalty program stat

Emotion is an indispensable vector of customer loyalty. 70% of consumers who are emotionally engaged will spend 2 times more with their favorite brands. To create emotion, you have one lever: rewards. They must include an element of surprise, and a "wow" effect.


Lifestyle means highlighting the way in which you impact your customers' lives (even on a small scale!). It's about putting your values across in an innovative loyalty program, and adapting it to the way they use your products or services. It's how you impact their lives, and through them the world.


How can you add lifestyle to your loyalty program? It can be through rewards (like Poké Moon, 1st on the list); or through alternative ways of collecting points (like Adidas, 5th in innovative loyalty programs). But also through all the points of contact that your dematerialized loyalty program offers - and you'll see that this can go far beyond the checkout!


[.is--yellow-highlight]How to implement your innovative loyalty program?[.is--yellow-highlight]

Small businesses, chain stores, e-commerce sites: turn your visitors into loyal customers! Choose a loyalty partner that allows you to personalize your loyalty program and make it innovative. That's what Hey Pongo offers you, an omnichannel solution for capturing data, everywhere, all the time!

Our loyalty programs generate points of contact that go far beyond the simple checkout. Together with our experts, we'll suggest ways to make it innovative and unique, in your own colors!

To find out everything you need to know in just a few minutes, arrange a demo with one of our experts:


innovative loyalty program demo


7 innovative and creative loyalty programs


It's not hard to find: lists of innovative loyalty programs abound on the web! But we've done one better, with a best of! For this, we've scoured dozens of lists and looked through our portfolio, to select the most representative (of all sizes), the most innovative, and the most reproducible!

1. Poke Moon, rewards that carry your DNA   

First, here's a loyalty program deployed by Hey Pongo! Poké Moon is a poké restaurant (as the name suggests). It has decided to innovate with the quality of its rewards. The key word: convey emotion and lifestyle! Like Poké Moon, you don't need to be a large franchise network or multinational corporation to do this.

innovative loyalty program poke moon


This innovative loyalty program shows that it's possible to go far beyond discount coupons or cashback, simply by offering rewards that are imbued with your DNA.


In the case of Poké Moon, it promotes a healthy, sunny, outdoor lifestyle! Loyalty points earn you a poké, a dessert, a fruit basket... But also a big buoy, a fixie bike, a longboard... And for VIP rewards: a day on a jet boat, and even a round trip to Hawaii!


Reproducibility rate: 90%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]


There are 2 lessons to be learned from this original loyalty program! Firstly, you need to organize your rewards in successive tiers: they encourage commitment, whatever your situation in the customer journey (1st visit or regular customer).


Next, offer VIP rewards that will increase recall of your loyalty program. (Tip: they're easy to set up with Hey Pongo!).



2. Sephora: building loyalty through emotion

Sephora is no stranger to ranking among the most innovative loyalty programs. Why do we do this? Because of its depth, and the emotions it generates! And when all perfume brands look the same, pleasure and emotions become the biggest loyalty drivers.  


sephora's innovative loyalty program

Sephora's loyalty program offers 3 tiers, with each purchase bringing you closer to the next status. These tiers are emotional levers that enable you to connect deeply with the brand.


Rare, Gold status (1500 points accumulated over 12 months) gives access to real privileges: free delivery, dedicated after-sales service, access to Gold days, exclusive competitions... But the most important thing is the element of surprise, with birthday gifts getting bigger and bigger according to status (White, Black and Gold).


Reproducibility rate: 30%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]


Often imitated, never equaled: this innovative loyalty program is unique. It contains 3 ingredients that you can easily transpose to your loyalty program: emotions, surprise, and a deep connection with the brand.  


3. L'Occitane, building loyalty to an eco-friendly lifestyle

From L'Occitane, we know our hyper-complete loyalty system, L'Occitane +Moi. By accumulating points, you unlock increasingly cool tiers and rewards.   


Less well known is the innovative loyalty program developed especially for the company's anti-waste concept store. The L'Occitane #MEGA Program is only available in one store in Hong Kong. But it could spread, as the idea is as ingenious as it is necessary.

innovative loyalty program l'occitane


The Occitane #MEGA Program (for "Make Earth Green Again") reconciles ecology and savings. It rewards eco-friendly practices with loyalty points. For example: recycling used L'Occitane containers, buying green packaging, buying only in bulk, taking plastic or glass bottles back to the store... This responsible program is operated in partnership with Carbon Wallet, an ecological loyalty platform based in Hong Kong.


Reproducibility rate: 40%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]

Your innovative loyalty program can reward certain consumer practices. For example, Côme restaurants award loyalty points to customers who take neither cutlery nor bags, through a program deployed by Hey Pongo. This can be a lever for reducing polluting waste and single-use packaging, encouraging bulk and short distribution channels, etc... 


4. Starbucks, stars in the app

A single-brand loyalty app has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that it generates a wealth of customer data in an innovative loyalty program. The downside is that you don't necessarily want to download an app every time you visit an outlet... Unless you're Starbucks, the love brand par excellence!

starbucks innovative loyalty program


The Starbucks France app lets you order, pay and earn loyalty points: stars. 1 euro earns you 3 stars. You can then earn free drinks and extras depending on the level reached, as well as a birthday present! What we don't know is whether Gold status entitles you to have your name spelt correctly on your cup...  


Reproducibility rate: 33


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]

You don't need an app to replicate the key idea behind this original loyalty program: rewarding frequent visits with status and privileges!


As an added bonus, free coffee generates a huge amount of repeat business (this is what Ikea offers its family card holders). Inexpensive, this bonus can generate a lot of repeat business from your best customers. Another idea to keep in mind is to make points proportional to the amount spent: 1 euro = 1 point, which can radically increase the average basket!


5. Adidas, uniting the jogging community

More than just clothing, Adidas sells lifestyle. What could be more natural than to offer a creative loyalty program that goes beyond the checkout!


adidas innovative loyalty program

The adiClub (yes, well, they could have come up with a better name) earns you points for every euro spent in store, but not only that. It also rewards your running sessions with the Adidas Running app, at the rate of 10 points for 5 km! Adidas Runners events also earn points.

To earn Adiclub points, you're going to have to work up a sweat! More than just buying shoes, adopting a fitness lifestyle allows you to unlock 4 levels of rewards. The higher the level, the greater the privileges, and that's where it gets interesting... From level 4 onwards (9,000 points), you earn invitations to concerts, sporting events and meetings with athletes! And given the pedigree of the athletes under contract to Adidas, it's bound to make you want to put on your sneakers... 


Reproducibility rate: 2%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]

Obviously, this type of innovative loyalty program is best reserved for global lifestyle brands (Nike has a very similar program). However, there are two elements to be transposed: lifestyle rewards, which broadcast your brand identity; and varied points of contact that go beyond the perimeter of your point of sale, whether physical or online.


6. The North Face XPLR Pass, extreme loyalty

The North Face takes the same approach as Adidas and Nike! The outdoor clothing brand is offering an innovative loyalty program, aligned with the brand's lifestyle. The "XPLR Pass" is not just an incentive to spend more: it's an invitation to explore, reinforcing the brand's appeal to its users.


Points can be earned through purchases, but also by participating in events or downloading the app. Like The North Face, the rewards are definitely off the beaten track. Experiences with athletes, mountain outings and exclusive access to collections. You can even win climbing holidays in Nepal, ski touring in the Swiss Alps, tickets for the Freeride World Tour... Sensations guaranteed.


Reproducibility rate: 5%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]


Difficult to reproduce, the key is to offer a loyalty program centered on how your customers use your products. Based on the way your customers interact with you, propose a loyalty program that reinforces this connection. For this, Hey Pongo is the ideal tool for loyalty and customer relations.


7. Body Shop, feeling good in body and mind

80% of French people are ready to be loyal to brands that are socially and environmentally committed. For years, the Body Shop has offered an ethical vision of beauty and self-acceptance. Its loyalty club, "Love your body", reflects these values in its communication and operations.


This innovative loyalty program encourages refills, with free refills for members. In addition to original rewards, it offers the possibility of donating benefits to a number of charities (including the World Land Trust and the Fondation des Femmes, which works for women's rights and against gender violence).


Reproducibility rate: 60%.


[.is--yellow-highlight]What's the inspiration?[.is--yellow-highlight]

By rewarding certain actions, your loyalty program can contribute to more ethical consumption practices. For example, you could double points for customers who bring in their own containers. Rewards can be inspired by the values that drive you.  

Set up an innovative [.is--yellow-highlight]loyalty program with Hey Pongo[.is--yellow-highlight].


For several years, Hey Pongo has been the specialist in innovative loyalty programs. Fully customizable, our loyalty systems multiply points of contact throughout the customer journey, even for independents: whatever the size of your outlet! Your loyalty program can be entirely in your image, with your identity reflected in the rewards, the way points are awarded, the behaviors you encourage...


Many elements of the above loyalty program examples can be reproduced in your own! You too can set up a loyalty program that will be noticed and remembered for a long time: organize your demo to find out exactly how!  



innovative loyalty program demo



*Bond Visa study(source)

**Capgemini 2021 study(source)


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