Editor’s Note: This post was originally published July 11, 2017 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on July 27, 2018.
It seems that humans are obsessed with names. When couples find out they’re expecting, they’ll spend months debating baby names. Scientific research tells us that our brains light up when we hear our own name, and when we’re getting close with someone, we say we’re on a first name basis with them.
While I usually don’t buy into the naming hype, rewards programs are a special exception. Your program’s name sets the tone for new and returning customers, and has the power to encourage their participation or turn them away completely. We’ve written before that the best ways to get your customers excited about your program are to establish a strong emotion through your program name or incorporate your rewards currency. By doing so, you can present a unique, branded vision for your program that can light up a customer’s brain as if they’re hearing their own name.
Although this might sound extremely easy, it doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand awareness and promoting your loyalty program can take time, but the end results are always worth it! Since 7 is the luckiest number, we’ve gathered together the 7 most unique rewards program names to help get your creative juices flowing. Each of the brands on this list have found success with their program through a variety of naming tactics, and we’re sure that by the end of this list you’ll be that much closer to perfecting a name for your own successful rewards program.
Program Name: 3 Stripes
Industry: Fashion & Accessories, Health & Fitness
When you think of Adidas, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it’s their logo - three stripes arranged in ascending order to form an iconic triangle that for many represents athleticism, strength, and status.
As both a fashion and fitness retailer, Adidas has built a brand that customers want to buy and buy into for what it says about them and their lifestyle.Their unmistakable logo also makes Adidas gear impossible to miss. Whether it’s a pair of track pants, a jacket, or even just a soccer ball, the three stripes are there to let you know that their sporting and fashion game are second to none.
By highlighting their most distinguishable feature with their rewards program - that is, their iconic icon - the 3Stripes program is immediately equated with the social status and desirability of the overall brand, making it something Adidas loyal customers want to join. With 3Stripes, customers are embracing Adidas promise that nothing is impossible with the added benefit of amazing rewards. This status creates a valuable switching cost that keeps people coming back, ensuring high program engagement and even higher customer satisfaction.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names refer to what makes the brand unique.
Domino Pizza's Piece of the Pie Rewards
Who: Domino's Pizza
Program Name: Piece of the Pie Rewards
Industry: Food & Beverage
For many people, puns and “dad jokes” are a polarizing issue. While they might make you cringe, they’re also hard to forget, making them the perfect tool for coming up with a truly memorable and impact rewards program name.
No matter how you slice it, Domino’s definitely takes the cake (or the pie, I should say) with this naming method for a couple of reasons. For starters, the phrase “piece of the pie” sounds very similar to “pizza pie”, reminding customers of why they love Domino’s in the first place and what they stand to gain by joining the program. Secondly, “piece of the pie” is often used to describe sharing something valuable or worthwhile. By offering customers a piece of the pie, Domino’s is promising to share value with their customers, presenting them as a generous, worthwhile brand to engage with.
These literal and figurative translations of a simple, well known-phrase make Piece of the Pie Rewards a tasty, extra-large opportunity for customers who enjoy good pizza, extra cheesy puns, and valuable rewards.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names use humor to humanize the program and brand.
e.l.f. Cosmetics' Beauty Squad
Who: e.l.f. Cosmetics
Program Name: Beauty Squad
Industry: Hair & Beauty
The beauty industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest-evolving markets in the world of commerce. As trends and styles continue to change, brands are forced to adapt their business models and customer experiences to meet new industry standards. If they don’t, they end up falling behind. The thing it, it’s not just beauty and style trends that change over the years - the language we use to describe these things is changing, too.
The word “squad” is blowing up and is now at an all-time high. e.l.f. recognized this need to stay current, and jumped on the evolving idea of “girl squads” with their Beauty Squad rewards program. For many women, the term “squad” is synonymous with a group of girlfriends who respect, support, and love each other. This definition helps to position e.l.f.’s rewards program as a community that shares similar values, goals, and aspirations. In other words, a Beauty Squad.
This association presents the Beauty Squad as a group seeking to build real relationships with customers. This ties in well with the company’s commitment to social media marketing, emulating bonds of friendship that make customers feel supported, included, and important. People often say that there’s power in numbers, and being included in something that feels bigger than yourself can be an extremely powerful motivator that takes customers from a one-time purchaser to a repeat shopper.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names make customer relationships personal.
PenGem's Signature Rewards
Program Name: Signature Rewards
Industry: Stationery Fashion & Accessories
PenGem’s program is built around the unique products they sell. While the Signature Rewards might sound a bit generic at first, it’s actually a clever play on words that refers to what they sell — pens! When you make that connection, the relationship between their products and program is extremely clear, and powerful to boot. It’s a subtle play on words that matches the overall aesthetic of the PenGems brand.
By rewarding customers with Gems and offering an easy to understand explainer page with stylish gem shaped icons, the whole program is a fun call-out to their crystal-adorned stationery.
Signature Rewards also emphasizes the key reason customers should join the program: rewards. Customers are motivated to join rewards programs because they are looking for value over and above the products they buy. By blatantly addressing this motivator in their program name, PenGems is able to communicate the value that customers can get from their rewards program and set up realistic expectations. This puts both the customer and the value they stand to earn front and center, keeping the focus on the positive outcomes of joining Signature Rewards.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names make customer value a clear priority.
Program Name: inkfam
Industry: Fashion & Accessories
Rewards program aside, inkbox is a brand unlike any other. Offering temporary tattoos that last for only two weeks, the Toronto-based accessories brand has quickly grown to become an online sensation.
The concept for inkbox’s temporary tattoos was inspired by the indigenous tribes in Panama. These close-knit communities have been tattooing their skin for thousands of years, forging deep connections between each other and their environment through the social and artistic bonds of tattoos.
This intense community is what inspired inkbox’s founders to name their rewards program inkfam. For many, the word “fam”, which is short for family, conjures ideas of togetherness, trust, and support, and these images present the inkbox community as one that customers can feel safe joining. As part of the inkfam, customers can rest assured that they’ll be treated as a valued member of the community - one that supports its members and is open to everyone.
This heightened accessibility and focus on inclusion reconnects inkbox’s desire to be a brand that caters to everyone’s needs, connecting the core of their brand to their customer experience in a tangible, personal way.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names inspire a strong sense of community.
One Love Organics' The Love Club
Who: One Love Organics
Program Name: the love club
Industry: Hair & Beauty
As a brand that promises to deliver “beauty from the heart”, One Love Organics is built on ideas of love, beauty, and acceptance and their rewards program is no different! With beautiful pastel colors and floral photography, the love club’s explainer page is consistently branded and acts as a cohesive part of the overall brand experience. As customers navigate from product pages to their rewards account, it’s clear that they were made, work, and belong together, delivering consistent brand message that keeps customers firmly engaged in the shopping experience.
In addition, One Love Organics’ rewards program is easy to remember. With a short, sweet, and simple name, the love club is able to stay top of mind, prompting customers to engage as they interact with other aspects of the brand.
While these naming conventions might seem trivial, they make a huge impact on the overall effectiveness of a brand’s retention strategy, taking them from a mediocre to an exceptional customer rewards experience.
Takeaway: the most creative rewards program names are natural extensions of the whole brand.
BaubleBar's the Vault
Program Name: The Vault
Industry: Fashion & Accessories
When I was younger, my mom had this small jewelry box with a lock and key where she kept her favorite pieces. Every morning when she was getting ready for work, it was a magical experience to watch her open the box and extract each beautiful piece. This ritual made it clear to me that her jewelry was something to be protected and something she treasured dearly.
This desire to keep valuables safe is the inspiration for BaubleBar’s rewards program. Cleverly named “The Vault”, BaubleBar’s program prompts customers to view both their products and their program as valuable, luxurious, and worth of protection. As a member, customers are able to “unlock” the benefits of the rewards program, getting more value out of every transaction and with every piece of jewelry they purchase.
This simple but effective correlation of ideas prompts customers to draw conclusions about the quality of BaubleBar’s products and program, painting a picture of high quality, high class, and high value. After all, good things always seem to come out of vaults, don’t they?
Takeaway: the best rewards program names relate the products to the program.
Designing the best rewards program names
Each of these examples make it clear that at the end of the day, the best rewards program names deliver something unexpected. Whether it’s by connecting abstract ideas, using humor to create interest, or building on pre-existing brand experiences, the best rewards program names all move beyond the words used to promise something that shoppers can’t wait to experience for themselves.
But don’t just take our word for it - what do you think is the best rewards program name? Tweet us at @smilerewards and tell us which program name inspires you and join the conversation!