Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2021 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on January 25, 2024.

Key Takeaways: 

There are several exclusive VIP membership level naming patterns amongst effective examples. Names that align with the customer journey, create an emotional connection, or relate to the brand, products, or industry, are memorable. These keep your VIP program top-of-mind with your most loyal customers while increasing your average customer lifetime value.

A VIP program is an amazing way to encourage every community member to engage with your brand. Not only does it show your best customers some extra appreciation, but it can also motivate your regular customers to pursue that elevated status. 

When it comes to building a VIP program, the conversation too often stops at which rewards you offer. While the perks and rewards you offer your VIPs are important, an often overlooked detail is the names you give your membership levels.

Your VIP tier names are important for motivating your customers to achieve the highest status. 

An effective name motivates your customers to achieve it and creates a sense of prestige when someone achieves it. This post will give you some real examples to draw inspiration from and the steps you need to create catchy and effective tier names that reflect your brand. 

Table of Contents: 

What are VIP membership levels?

VIP membership levels are the different tiers that customers can reach through your VIP loyalty program by meeting a pre-determined milestone, such as a specific level of points earned or revenue spent. You can also customize your milestone time period if you want it to include a customer’s lifetime activity with your store or just a rolling 365-day period. 

VIP tiers allow you to reward your most loyal customers while increasing your average customer lifetime value. With Smile.io, you can add or remove VIP tiers from your program at any time—meaning you can have as few as 2 tiers or as many as you’d like (we’ve seen a program with 17 before). 

When configuring your VIP tiers, ensure you have increasingly motivating benefits in each tier. Too many tiers with benefits that are only marginally better than the previous tier won’t incentivize customers to earn more to level up. The key to successful VIP tier configuration is maximizing exclusivity at each stage. 

"Smile.io has helped us create our custom rewards program and grow our returning customer base. The platform is easy to manage, which has allowed us to be flexible and versatile with what we do within the program."
- Dylan Rickit, CEO of The Laughing Pug Coffee Co.

With each VIP tier, you can offer both entry rewards and perks. Entry rewards are issued to customers once when they first earn enough points to enter a new VIP tier. They are primarily transactional, like a fixed amount discount, free shipping, a percentage off discount, a free product at checkout, or even more points. 

Whereas entry rewards are fixed, perks are more flexible, and there is no limit to what you can offer as a VIP tier perk. These are designed to enhance the overall customer experience with your brand and are offered outside of your loyalty program software. Common perks include early access to new products, invites to VIP-only events, exclusive merchandise, and more.  

The importance of creative VIP membership level names

Quick question—would you rather be in a tier named “Level 3” or “Diamond Tier”? Alright, maybe it was more of a rhetorical question because we’re going to go ahead and assume it was the latter. 

Generic VIP membership names run the risk of turning your entire VIP program into a generic, forgettable one. On the flip side, a creative VIP membership level sparks an emotional reaction from your customer, whether it’s joy, humor, inspiration, belonging, or another powerful feeling. 

Choosing creative VIP membership level names is equally as important as the rewards and perks you choose. Similar to naming your points currency, you want each membership level to clearly represent the value your customers are looking for as a member of that tier. 

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A creative VIP membership level that ties into your overall loyalty program name and brand name will create a cohesive loyalty experience. Unique VIP membership names that communicate the value of that status often become an intangible form of brand equity for you. 

Let’s consider Sephora’s VIB tier names, arguably one of the most successful VIP programs. The coveted top Rouge tier has become synonymous with an elite beauty status. Rouge members are proud to share when they reach that milestone because it communicates sophistication, glamour, and boldness. This is exactly how Sephora’s customers want to be seen, which is why this name works so well.   

3 methods for naming your VIP membership levels

When naming your VIP tiers, you want each to connect to your brand. Here are three things to consider when naming your VIP membership levels.

1. Reflect your customer journey

You can easily make your VIP tiers increasingly more valuable by choosing names that reflect how the perception of your brand will change as customers rise through the ranks. Naming your first level as something representative of the status-quo brand experience sets you up to name each higher level something that represents an enhanced brand experience.

A screenshot of Simon’s loyalty program explainer page showing the benefits of each of its 3 VIP tiers.
Simon’s VIP tier names reflect values of fashion.

Simons does this excellently with their three-tiered The Simons Loyalty program. Customers work their way from Enthusiasts to Conoissours to Insiders through this program. Simons uses human-centered photography and vibrant colors to make their program more relatable. They also leverage their products by showing an elevation in style for each VIP tier. Enthusiasts are dressed in comfortable attire, while Insiders are dressed to impress. The name Insiders indicates a more exclusive Simons experience not available to outsiders. 

2. Consider your customer’s ideal self

Understanding your customer’s dreams and desires is a powerful emotional motivator to consider when naming your membership levels. Ask yourself—who does your customer want to be, and how can you help them get there? Progressing through your program should mirror a customer’s journey toward achieving their desired lifestyle/self. 

A screenshot of Roolee’s rewards program explainer page showing how the program rules work and its 4 VIP tiers. 
Club Roolee encourages customers to become Style Icons. 

Take Club Roolee from apparel company Roolee, for example. This brand attracts a customer base that wants to stand out from the crowd as fashion icons (literally). The program challenges customers to achieve exclusive status by moving from an Insider to a Trendsetter, then a Style Muse, and finally, an Icon. With these names, Club Roolee effectively drives customer loyalty by challenging customers to get red-carpet-ready as fashion icons. 

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3. Level up with your product line 

If you have an extensive product line, naming your membership levels after your products is the perfect way to encourage customers to experiment with your entire catalog.

A screenshot of The Singer Featherweight Shop’s rewards program explainer page showing its 3 product-inspired VIP tiers and their benefits. 
The Singer Featherweight Shop named its VIP tiers after its products. 

The Singer Featherweight Shop does just that with their Featherweight Sewciety. As a sewing and quilt supply store, they chose tier names inspired by how skilled their customers would be at each stage in their customer journey. New, more novice customers are known as Stitchery Friends, who can advance to becoming a Patchwork Pal and, eventually, a Quilting Confidante. 

By combining both the type of craft they’re capable of and different levels of intimacy, Singer Featherweight’s VIP tiers reflect the investment members have made in their products and their relationship with the brand. 

Common mistakes to avoid when naming your VIP levels

While there are several strategies you can use to name your VIP membership levels effectively, there are also a few surefire ways to create a name that misses the mark. 

Some of the most common mistakes we see with VIP tier names are:

  • Wordy or misleading names
  • Names that are unrelated to your brand or loyalty program 
  • Unmotivating beginner tiers through generic names  
  • Too many VIP tiers 
  • No clear hierarchy evident

All of these common mistakes put your VIP program at risk of becoming confusing, unmotivating, and overwhelming. Your VIP tier names should be short, easy to remember, and clearly related to your overall brand. If you include too many VIP tiers, customers won’t remember all of your tier names, or worse, they’ll forget what tier they’re currently in and which ones they’re striving for. If you have no clear hierarchy visible through your VIP tier names, customers won’t remember the order of your tiers. Each tier name should become increasingly luxurious, exclusive, or valuable. 

When naming your VIP tiers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does each tier name get progressively more valuable or attractive?
  • Will your customers relate or emotionally connect to these statuses?
  • Do the names make sense within the context of your brand, industry, or products?
  • Are these names catchy enough to encourage word-of-mouth marketing? 
  • If I were a customer, would these tiers motivate me to spend more to level up?

5 real examples of catchy names for VIP membership levels

1. Topps’ Topps Now

A screenshot of Topps Topps Now page showing images of 3 sports cards. 
Topps offers a loyalty program called Now Rewards.

Topps is a beloved maker of sports cards and memorabilia and just so happens to have one of our favorite naming schemes. The Now Rewards program takes customers from Rookie, to All-Star, and then to Hall of Fame, just like their favorite athletes. 

In addition to being well aligned with their brand, Topps’ membership levels strike an emotional chord with fans by reminding them of their favorite moments in sports. This makes it a desirable community to join and builds lasting emotional relationships with customers as soon as they create an account.

A screenshot of Topps rewards program explainer page showing its 3 VIP tier names and the points required to enter each tier. 
Topps 3 VIP tier names mimic elite athletes’ journeys. 

These tier names are only one example how effectively Topps uses gamification throughout their program.  These cleverly crafted names, alongside their engagement actions, turn program membership into a game with increasing recognition and honor. Even if you don’t play pro ball, you can still be a Hall of Fame’r with Topps.

2. Judith Bright’s Bright Rewards 

A screenshot of Judith Bright’s rewards program explainer page showing some text explaining the program and an image of 3 women wearing jewelry. 
Judith Bright’s rewards program explainer page.

Judith Bright’s Bright Rewards is all about delivering a shiny and sparkling customer experience. Like other jewelry rewards programs, Bright Rewards leverages social status to create additional value and motivate customers to participate in their program. Their VIP program allows customers to move from a Minirock to a Rockstar by earning more Gems as they shop more. 

A screenshot from Judith Bright’s rewards program explainer page showing its 3 VIP tier names with information on the terms of each. 
Judith Bright’s VIP tier names reflect its products and increasingly significant value.

Judith Bright uses a clever naming technique by playing on the word “rock” as another term for diamonds and gems. Their final tier name, Rockstar, is excellent because it incorporates the term rock, but it also evokes the double meaning of being a rockstar when you reach that level. This allows Judith Bright’s best customers to feel elite and special when they reach the top. Bright Rewards is a great example of some VIP membership level names that totally rock. 

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3. Teddy the Dog’s Top Dogs Rewards Program

A screenshot of the banner of Teddy the Dog’s Top Dogs Rewards Program explainer page showing several dogs jumping in a field.
Teddy the Dog’s Top Dogs Rewards Program explainer page.

One of the first things you do when you get a new puppy is enroll it in obedience school. As your dog learns new tricks and commands, they progress through several levels until they graduate certified as a “top dog” among their furry friends.

Teddy the Dog appropriately incorporated this journey into their Top Dogs VIP program, choosing tier names that closely mirror a dog’s journey through obedience school. Starting as merely House Broken and ending as a coveted Pack Leader, customers can earn Bones for successfully completing a number of different actions at their store. 

A screenshot from Teddy the Dog’s Top Dog Tiers shows each tier’s required annual spending and points earning power. 
Teddy the Dog names its VIP tiers after the stages of puppy obedience training.

As they move up in the program, customers can earn Bones at an accelerated pace, earning rewards quicker than those in the lower tiers. Like obedience school, Teddy the Dog has set up an experience that rewards those with good behavior and strengthens the emotional connection between each member and their brand. 

By closely connecting each member’s beloved pets to their rewards program, Teddy the Dog allows members to share their experience with their pets (who are their best customers, after all)!

4. Jimmy Joy’s Rewards

A screenshot from Jimmy Joy’s website showing a curated social media feed of user-generated content through the hashtag #JimmyJoyFood.
Jimmy Joy displays user-generated content on its website.

Dutch health food brand Jimmy Joy is committed to making their customers feel their best—and their loyalty program is no different. Their social media perfectly reflects their brand and is filled with vibrant colors, quirky characters, and user-generated content to make them more relatable. Like most meal replacement brands, they heavily rely on reviews, which is why Jimmy Joy has successfully leveraged a referral rewards program. But they don’t stop there. 

A screenshot of a chart showing the requirements and benefits in each of its 3 VIP tiers.
Jimmy Joy offers three VIP tiers that reflect the brand’s overall branding. 

Jimmy Joy’s VIP rewards program effectively illustrates customers’ different phases with their brand. As a goofy, out-of-the-box brand, Jimmy Joy lets customers evolve from an Earthling to an Astronaut and eventually to a Time Traveler by earning Time Tokens. In an industry with such high purchase frequency, Jimmy Joy motivates customers to stick with them by giving them a silly, memorable, on-brand status to achieve. 

"The lovely people from Smile are awesome, and super helpful when something is needed and a solution is never far away. Always a pleasure to deal with them, and we’ve been doing so for years."
- Otto Mouton, Managing Director at Jimmy Joy

By including amusing illustrations with each tier, Jimmy Joy can help customers visualize the benefits of graduating to a higher membership level. With VIP tier names like these, they’ll have customers engaged and retained in no time.  

5. The Wrap Life

A screenshot of the Unwrap Rewards program explainer page on The Wrap Life’s website. The banner shows 3 animated cartoon characters wearing hair accessories. 
The Wrap Life cleverly calls its loyalty program Unwrap Rewards.

The Wrap Life is a Black-owned business celebrating Black women through its website’s various images, videos, and illustrations. West African expressions of headdresses inspire this head wrap brand and encourage customers of multiple backgrounds to shop with them to express their true selves through the products. These brand values come through immediately when customers land on the Unwrap Rewards program explainer page filled with bright, colorful illustrations. 

A screenshot of the Unwrap Rewards explainer page showing the 3 VIP tiers, with a description of the rewards and perks of each. 
The Wrap Life’s 3 VIP tiers connect with its brand values.

For The Wrap Life, the name of the game is winning the naming game. For starters, Unwrap Rewards is a highly clever and effective loyalty program name that ties together its brand name and the idea of unwrapping a valuable gift. It brings it a step further with its VIP membership level names. As a brand that celebrates diversity and self-expression, Maker, Trailblazer, and Visionary perfectly define who their customers aspire to be. These names align with the brand’s core values of creativity, uniqueness, and diversity.  

With inspirational descriptions of each tier, The Wrap Life is the perfect example of a brand whose program tier names reflect its customer’s ideal self.

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Naming your VIP membership levels?

While no two brands are the same, some naming tactics can work for any VIP program. Whether it comes from customer nostalgia, aspirations, or our respect for others, the power of emotion is one of the best tools at your disposal when designing creative and catchy VIP membership level names.

You are the best person to create VIP tier names for your brand — no one knows your brand better than you! Use these examples and our three naming tips, and you will surely come up with some amazing names that will be remembered. 

Let us know if you need help or want to brag about your awesome names!

Great VIP tier names start with a great loyalty program
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