The Beauty of Soft Benefits

 
June 22, 2011 | by Sharon Goldman

In the “stuff we really, really, like” department, we’re ready to add the new “Beauty Board” from CVS’ ExtraCare Beauty Club. In a recent announcement, the 8 million member-strong program announced that it is introducing a panel of beauty and style experts who will provide interactive content and advice for the CVS Beauty Club’s Facebook Page.

The ExtraCare Beauty Club was launched this past January in an effort to woo customers who aren’t just in the store to pick up a prescription, but who spend plenty of time in the primping aisle. Now, in addition to special beauty-specific rewards, the “Beauty Board” — which includes a celebrity makeup artist, a style blogger and a fashion designer — offers an important soft benefit in the form of exclusive expert content.

At COLLOQUY, we think this kind of soft benefit is just the kind of thing programs should do more of. If done in the right way it can offer a great ancillary to straight discounts and can offer a targeted, enhanced add-on that customers who are really interested in this segment will truly appreciate.

In addition, this example is one that is tied to a social networking platform, which drives interaction and can add true relationship-building qualities to the ExtraCare Beauty Club. According to CVS, the content will appear on a dedicated Facebook tab that includes welcome videos from each expert, responses to fans style questions, how-to advice and product recommendations. Members can also interact with the Beauty Board through the Facebook Wall and through discussion tabs and live chats. With the typical brand’s Facebook Wall with posts that rarely inspire interaction, I think this kind of interactive content could offer great way to get members involved on a regular basis.

CVS’ new efforts in the beauty category are no surprise to us here at COLLOQUY. Last fall, in the first issue of our new journal, Enterprise Loyalty in Practice, senior vice president of member engagement Bari Harlam said that by digging through membership data the company had identified a strong opportunity in the beauty area.

What is refreshing is how sure-footedly CVS has moved since then — it debuted the Beauty Club only six months ago, and is proving that it is always tweaking and expanding the program’s reward mix. The “Beauty Board” seems to fit very well beside some of the program’s more straightforward hard benefits, including a 10% off beauty shopping pass upon enrollment, $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 in qualifying beauty purchases, and $3 in ExtraBucks Rewards on the member’s birthday.

Remember — benefits don’t have to be hard to be strong. Soft benefits, done the right way and within the right mix, can take your program to a whole other level.


Topics: Loyalty Programs , Marketing , Pharmacy/Drugstores , Retail - Apparel , Retail - General , Shopper Marketing , Social Media


Sharon Goldman / In her role as Senior Editor, Sharon writes and edits stories for COLLOQUY magazine. She helps develop future communications and research initiatives, and also works on white papers and thought leadership content for other lines of business within LoyaltyOne.
www View Sharon Goldman's profile on LinkedIn

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