Our goal is to help business owners reach their loyal customers with an engaging rewards program. However, not every business has a built-in base of loyal followers. Due mostly to location, some businesses cater more to the traveler than the neighborhood customer. These businesses often typified by airports, hotels, or vacation areas represent what we call “Non-Local Customer Base Locations” or NCBL’s.
Although non-local customers present a clear challenge for developing loyalty and recurring revenue, there are many possibilities for engaging non-local customers in a unique and memorable way which can have a significant impact on their value to your business. It’s also possible to gain valuable knowledge about new products or marketing initiatives from non-locals, as outsiders are less likely to give skewed feedback due to loyalty bias.
In an effort to better understand what can make an NCBLs successful, we reached out to the Retail Operations Manager of Green Beans Coffee: Preston Stohs. Green Beans Coffee has locations across the United States and the Middle East, primarily on military bases and most recently, in airport terminals. This provides a mix of locations with very loyal customers (as in the case of their military base locations) and very transient customers (at the airport locations).
For his airport locations, Preston employs a tactic of targeted outreach to those who do have the ability to frequent the business – such as airport employees. He offers standing discounts to airport employees, and hand delivers Green Beans Coffee marketing materials to kiosks and businesses throughout the airport. By turning locals into “crazy loyal local customers” they become brand champions and drive additional business from travelers or other locals without being prompted.
After talking with Preston, we realized that he invests a lot of intentional effort into his loyalty strategy. He pays close attention to sales data and customer demographics at each location. He knows his audience, and plans carefully how to reach them. His strategy is an excellent one for getting the most out of an NCBL, and is the reason why Green Beans Coffee is such a successful LoyalTree business.
We’ve used Preston’s insights, and some of our own through working with a variety of NCBLs, to compile a table of possible strategies for capitalizing on the non-local consumer market. We’ve outlined four possible business objectives, and have provided a breakdown of the loyalty strategy for realizing each one.
The loyalty strategy includes a plan for marketing (how to promote your objective/communicate to the public), rewarding (what kinds of rewards are most likely to help you achieve your goal), and giving points (how to use loyalty points/the points economy within LoyalTree to help you achieve your goal). The table also outlines the ideal business conditions for pursuing each objective.