Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March, 2016 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on Nov 22, 2018.
Previously we’ve talked about the importance of selecting the right name for your loyalty program. Now, I’m going to go over why you want to give your loyalty point currency a name, and how you can go about doing it. I’ll even provide you with 5 examples of point currencies I love and why they’re so effective.
So without further ado, let’s learn how to name your loyalty point currency.
3 steps to naming your point currency
I know from experience that trying to name your program and points is not as easy as it sounds. However, no matter how tough it seems, do not fall into the trap of naming it “My Company Loyalty Program” and using “Points” as the currency. These programs are dull, and fail to make your brand community sounds interesting enough for customers to join.
Since I know you are much more creative than that, here are three steps to help you come up with the perfect currency name.
Step 1: pick an emotion
To your customers, loyalty is not your program —it’s an emotion. Their loyalty is directly tied to your ability to create an emotional connection with them beyond simply getting them to make a purchase. If you want your customers to give you their loyalty, you need to create a positive emotion with both your rewards program and brand community.
This emotion should always be a happy one, but it will differ based on what you sell. If you are selling suits or mens’ grooming apparel, you may want the name to focus on creating confidence. If you are a designer clothing company, you may want the name to feel prestigious.
Pick an emotion that reflects your brand image and values, and the way you want your customers to feel. Once you’ve done that, it becomes easier to narrow in on a name that plays on that emotion.
Step 2: don't just call your currency "points'
Please, please, please don’t just call your currency “points”. This generic name paints your brand as unimaginative and unoriginal. No matter how great your products or brand experience might be, nobody wants to be part of a lackluster community.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use “points” as part of a more creative name. Call them cool points or gold points, but never just points. Why would your shoppers want to earn something so disconnected from everything your brand represents?? If they wanted a generic experience they’d be shopping with Amazon or Wal-Mart.
Step 3: decide on a currency based name or creative one
There are two types of names you can give your point currency: currency based or creative based.
Currency based names are based on a type of currency. This could be dollars, pounds, bucks, or even credit. These names make it easy to show members the value of your program because the name is tied to a real currency.
Creative names, on the other hand, are ones that do not reference a real currency. These could include things like crowns, stars, or goals. Even though this type of currency doesn’t portray the immediate value, it does make your currency stand out from others. At the end of the day, you could even argue this is more valuable than a currency connection!
Personally, I like creative names over currency ones. One of the biggest reasons is that they remove any possible confusion between the perceived value of your points and the actual value. For instance, if you use the word dollars in your point name, people want that point to be equal to a dollar. If it isn’t, they can become confused or even frustrated.
When you choose a creative name, you can present your currency as part of your entire brand experience, making it infinitely more valuable.
5 examples of creative loyalty currencies
There are lots of great reward programs out there, and plenty with great point currency names. To help you get inspired for naming your own loyalty program points, here are 5 of my favorite currency names from across ecommerce.
Like most airline reward programs, Delta wants to emphasize the value they offer in such a highly competitive industry, and I think their loyalty currency does a great job of that! Naming their currency “SkyMiles” lets members know that the more they earn, the further they can travel
By connecting their currency to what members can redeem them for, Delta is constantly demonstrating the value of their rewards program. This gives their members a good reason to stay engaged and keep earning points every time they need to travel.
For a brand whose business revolves around selling workout supplements, “Whey Cool” is a clever play on words. Since whey protein is one of their most popular powders, Bulk Nutrients’ brand community members can immediately see the association between the rewards they’re earning and their purchases.
I love how Bulk Nutrients has created a currency name that is easy to remember, creative, and immediately associated with the product it’s related to. The “whey” they branded their currency is brilliant!
Another brand that did a great job of naming their rewards currency was Glow Recipe. Glow Miles is so effective because it creates an emotional connection with their customers. The word “miles” implies travel or a journey, rooting their program to the idea that there’s no instant fix for healthier skin. Instead, the process is a journey.
In this way, Glow Miles begin to feel like milestones on a customer’s journey towards glowing skin. This emotional connection creates a switching cost for their customers: if members choose to purchase from another brand, they won’t be able to track their journey towards healthy skin like they can with Glow Miles.
This is a fantastic example of how a creative rewards currency name can make it more likely that customers will continue their journey with your brand instead of a competitor.
Sometimes the best way to name your reward currency is to come up with something completely original that is specific to your brand alone. That is exactly what Chinook Seedery did when they came up with their currency name, Chinookeries. Rather than using “points” or a currency related name, they wanted to make sure that every time their program members earned rewards, their earnings were completely tied back to their brand.
Naming like this is great way to solidify the connection between your brand and your rewards, especially if you aren’t great at coming up with puns!
I don’t have to hype this loyalty program too much since it is one of the most popular ones in the world. However, there are a couple things worth noting about Starbucks’ Gold Rewards program.
I like that Starbucks decided to use “Stars” as their point name instead of something related to a specific currency. As an international brand, they likely knew that something like “bucks” would really only work in North America, whereas “Stars” works no matter where you are in the world.
Naming your loyalty currency
The name of your rewards program and point currency are the first impressions your program and brand community make. As a result, you need to put some thought into how your brand is presenting itself to ensure that you always put your best foot forward.
I hope the above tips and examples have made choosing a currency name easier for you. If you still have loyalty questions that need to be answered, head over to our resource center. It has ebooks, case studies, and industry guides to turn you into a loyalty and retention all-star.