24 April 2018

Eternal war? What are the differences in building loyalty programs for women and men?

Creating your own loyalty programs is a difficult task that requires taking many factors into consideration. Among them there is the gender of our clients. As you know, expectations of men and women are different. The situation calls for appropriate diversification of activities in this area.

Loyalty as perceived by a man and a woman

Loyalty is one of the most desirable features of a client, which generally means an attachment to the brand and readiness to return to the product or service. Store owners know this and they should focus on well thought-out and well organized activities that foster consumer loyalty. However, appropriate steps, should be preceded by an in-depth study of their preferences. The fundamental difference is the understanding of loyalty itself and the resulting thereof divergent attitudes.

Fidelity of women to the company is associated primarily with concepts such as trust and devotion. For men, it is associated with honor and obligation fulfillment. Both approaches have been shaped historically and culturally and result from behavioral patterns prevailing in the society.

In the  case of women, loyalty program personalization plays a much more important role. The gentle gender expects an offer tailored to their individual preferences and needs. This is accompanied by a tendency to compare available options and analyze benefits associated with a specific product or service.

And men? For them the most important factor is the optimum use of time. Above all, they expect a specific choice that will not disrupt the purchasing process. They treat a product purchase as a mission, which should be accomplished as effectively as possible. Any disturbances and obstacles will therefore have a negative effect on their liking/opinion of the brand.

What other differences can be mentioned? It turns out that men show much greater loyalty to brands that bring together large groups of people. This is confirmed by statistical data. According to a research study, men,  by a margin of even 81.7%,  are more likely to re-use an offer following  prior positive experience. It is also harder to undermine their trust. Loyalty to the brand remains constant until it comes into contact with  negative,  repelling stimuli.

Rewards catalog versus gender

Attractive rewards are one of the main incentives to participate in a loyalty program. The list of available benefits should take into account gender of participants. With regard to men, the gratification should be real and easily identifiable. The system of awarding it must be transparent and straightforward.

Women, in turn, appreciate a large diversity of rewards and possibility to choose those that closely match their personality and needs. In this case, all the activities ensuring freedom of choice and enabling individual value assessment will prove successful.

Harmful stereotypes

Although gender is essential when organizing loyalty programs, motivation programs, as well as lotteries, it should not be confused with false beliefs. There is nothing more dangerous than stereotypes. Loyalty programs based on common and simplified views may have an opposite effect than assumed and, consequently, threaten the business. Therefore, during their implementation, one has to focus on psychological differences that have been described above, and not duplicate harmful, often destructive patterns.