“The new rewards program, called Reward Keys from IKEA Family, is focused on helping people have a better life at home. The program is a combination of perks, rewards, and experiences and helps members enjoy all the benefits IKEA has to offer.”
This description on the IKEA website belies the deep thought, mindful design, and long-term thinking that goes behind the IKEA Family loyalty program.
Sure, the program is not perfect. Penny Shaw, the global loyalty manager for IKEA will likely be the first to admit that. But then, which family is?
In my view, it’s more than made up for by the abundance of good intentions, support, constant testing and improvement cycles, and acknowledgment of the real challenges in a person’s life.
IKEA is there in the moments a member needs them, like a trusted family member. And at such moments, perhaps that’s what matters most.
The program is built on the dual intent to be data-led and experience-led. But it’s the vision behind each that sets the program up, one can tell, for long-term success.
Let’s start with data. Ikea recognizes that data — especially when it’s coming from 180 million people — is the key to creating a more compelling customer experience, and therefore, customer loyalty.
But it’s the underlying vision and intent behind the data, built on the pillars of value, control, and simplicity, that makes it meaningful.
The intent with data is to create real value for each customer by better answering the question “What is a rewarding relationship?”, for each customer. That is why, said Aaron Mitchell – Global VP Loyalty of IKEA in a previous episode, the data collection process is designed to implicity give members control over the value they ultimately receive.
As a result, customers always know the purpose of the data being collected (beyond baseline GDPR requirements). For IKEA, it’s not about more data but the right data, at the right intervals in the customer’s journey, to solve problems they are facing at that moment.
With progressive profiling practices, they make every effort to let customers share the data they need and want to share, at a pace that suits their needs.
Finally, the principle of simplicity makes such control possible. This ensures the language and process of data collection is simple (doesn’t need a lawyer to decode) and can be actually used by the customer to make better decisions.
The data in turn helps create the experiences.
But these are not just ongoing ‘personalized’ sales campaigns disguised as experiences. These are experiences presented at specific moments in a member’s life. Baby. New home. Redecorating. Moments that are confusing – when people don’t know where to begin. Where they need, more than anything else, the confidence to take the right decisions.
But what really gets my vote is the focus on engagement. This program rewards you not just for shopping, but for showing up. Activities like engaging in planning sessions and participating in events or workshops will earn you ‘keys’ that you can use to unlock more perks. (I know I’m dragging out the family analogy, but this sounds a lot like my mum around the festive season).
Both, the respectful data collection philosophy, and the resulting experience-led value creation are designed to win the member’s trust and establish deeper relationships. And that is the other thing I love about this program.
Just like the refreshing lack of frenzy around data collection, there is a similar lack of frenzy around the actual rewards. Sure, there are the perks – free hot beverages, discounted member prices, the free ‘oops’ insurance.
But there is also a reassurance, that when you need them, when the moment arrives, there will always be workshops, expert advice, and just the right products and services you need to solve whatever problems or confusion you have.
It all gives members the confidence they need to make big changes they will literally have to live with.
Lucky for Ikea that because the home is ‘never quite done’, neither are those moments.
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