Tiered Loyalty Programs: Part 2 – Strategies

    Tiered Loyalty Programs: Part 2 - Strategies

    Part 1 of this article highlights the benefits of Tiered Loyalty Programs. Part 2 delves into the strategies behind setting up the number of tiers and naming membership levels. It also explores structuring the program and deciding on rewarding methods.

    In today’s competitive market, creating a standout customer loyalty program is more important than ever. Brands are revamping their loyalty programs to improve their customer experience and foster lasting relationships with them.

    As per Antavo’s report, Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024

    Antavo’s report, Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024

    For brands, it’s important they put in place the best strategies to encourage repeat purchases and elevate brand loyalty.

    Tiered Loyalty Programs: Strategies

    1. Setting up Tiers and Naming Membership Levels

    Creating an effective loyalty program includes setting up the desirable number of tiers and their complementary threshold. This helps to strike a harmony between simplicity and effectiveness.

    A well-structured tier system shouldn’t be too simple. This fails to offer sufficient differentiation and motivation for customers. On the other hand, an overly complex program becomes difficult to understand and manage. 

    An ideal approach is to start with a basic structure of three to five levels. This ensures that the lowest tier is easily accessible to all new customers. In contrast, the highest tier is reserved for the most valuable and loyal customers.

    As customers advance to the next level, they receive increasing benefits. This encourages customers to engage more and strive for higher levels.

    Naming these membership levels is equally important. Unique and engaging names for each tier create a sense of achievement and belonging among customers. This makes them feel part of an exclusive club.

    Creative and themed tier names help customers to remember and engage with the loyalty program. This sets the brand apart in a crowded marketplace.

    Using customer data and insights is important while developing the tiers and their names.  Examining purchase frequency, average basket value, and engagement helps brands set achievable thresholds.

    Moreover, understanding customer preferences and purchasing patterns allows for tailoring benefits. This resonates with customer interests and helps in future purchases. It also aligns with the brand’s objectives.

    This data-driven approach ensures the sustainability of the rewards offered. It also maximizes the program’s overall profitability and effectiveness.

    Also read: Tiered Loyalty Programs: Part 1 – Benefits

    1. Program Structure and Rewarding Methods

    While structuring a loyalty program, a brand must understand which specific customer actions to reward. It directly recognizes and rewards the behaviors a brand aims to encourage.

    As per the report given above:

    49.8% of rewards are redeemed on average in loyalty programs.

    A tiered loyalty program can be structured in two primary ways. These are based on –

    • Spending thresholds or
    • On points earned through both purchases and engagement activities.

    Spend-Based Loyalty Program: In this model, customers move to higher tiers by spending more money. Each tier corresponds to a specific spending milestone. This boosts repeat purchases.

    58.6% of members made at least one purchase in the past year

    Although straightforward in nature, this approach may limit engagement. It primarily focuses on purchase amounts. This might lead to slower progression through the tiers.

    Points-Based Loyalty Program: Here, customers can advance by both purchasing and participating in various engagement activities.

    This includes writing product reviews or referring friends. It may also involve completing unique tasks like filling out a gamified profile or participating in certain activities.

    This model allows for a broader spectrum of interactions with the brand. This makes it possible for customers to progress quickly and feel more connected to the brand.

    In case of low thresholds, customers might progress too easily. This dilutes the value of higher tiers. To maintain a balance, it’s important to limit the points earned through repeatable actions within a specific timeframe.

    This ensures that reaching higher tiers needs a combination of spending and engagement. It maintains the exclusivity and appeal of advanced tiers.

    1. Exclusivity and Differentiation

    Each level should have distinct benefits, with the most enticing rewards given to the top tier. It visually and experientially differentiates between members based on their loyalty and engagement levels. This ensures that customers know the exclusivity and prestige that comes with higher tiers.

    The program’s top tier should include at least 2-3 more privileges or benefits than the lower tiers.

    The desire to access these exclusive benefits can drive more consistent and higher-value interactions with the brand. This fosters a sense of aspiration among lower-tier members.

    The approach taps into several psychological principles. These include the desire for status, exclusivity, and belonging to an elite group.

    For top-tier members, achieving and maintaining this status can offer a sense of satisfaction, superiority, and social recognition. This increases their loyalty to the brand. It also encourages them to advocate for the brand within their networks.

    As members strive to reach the top tier, they engage more deeply with the brand. Upon reaching the top tier, the exclusive benefits and recognition motivate them to maintain or even increase their level of engagement. This ensures a continuous cycle of loyalty and advocacy.


    Creating a successful loyalty program is a delicate process that requires careful consideration of various factors. This means establishing a rewards program. It includes the number of tiers and the methods of rewarding customer engagement.

    Brands can establish a structure that rewards spending and engagement. This helps to create a dynamic and engaging loyalty program that resonates with their audience.

    The key to success lies in the exclusivity and differentiation of the membership levels.

    Lastly, a well-executed tiered loyalty program taps into the psychological desires for status and exclusivity.

    Brands, through strategic planning and a data-driven approach, can unlock the full potential of tiered loyalty programs. This builds customer loyalty and ensures customer retention.

    Check Out The New TalkCMO Podcast. For more such updates follow us on TalkCMO News.

    Previous articleWPP Improves Marketing Capabilities with Anthropic’s AI Model Claude via Amazon Bedrock
    Next articleLaunch Cart Unveils LaunchAds.ai
    Swagata Ray
    Swagata Ray is a Content Writer at Ondot Media. She has done her master's in Mass Communication. Being from a creative background, she has a flair for tech and has worked as a journalist for a leading Indian newspaper (tech column). Swagata specializes in MarTech, Digital Customer Experience Technologies, CRM tools. Possessing a keen eye for research, her articles provide in-depth research content and easy-to-understand language. She is excited to delve deeper into the world of technology and gain a more comprehensive understanding of its intricacies.