Building Brand Loyalty: Bingo EGR Forum 10th May 2012
WHAT IS A BRAND? • In it’s most literal sense it is a make or type of product given a name to help companies differentiate from one another. • However a Brand has become much more than that. It has in many cases become synonymous with the item itself. “Hoover” or “Google” for example. • Remember that a Brand is not just a name though, it is everything that your company portrays itself to be and is perceived to be. When a company is perceived differently from how it wants to be and you don’t adapt; the brand will not inspire any loyalty. You need your customers to believe in the brand.
DEFINING BRAND LOYALTY? • Defining “Brand Loyalty” itself is easy, simply put it means that a person will chose your product over another due to trust, liking or belief that the company producing the product is in some way superior. • Brand Loyalty and Brand Evangelism are different • Brand Loyalists are the people who always chose your products over alternatives. • Evangelists are the annoying people who never shut up about how their favourite product is better (otherwise known as mac users). These are great for getting you greater brand exposure, but remember that brand evangelists represent your brand whether you like it or not.
BUILDING A BRAND ONLINE • Before you build loyalty you MUST build a brand. • You can’t just throw money at the issue, you will need to create a distinct message/feel. In the online world where dozens of sites look identical due to their platforms this can be a huge issue. • Remember you only get one chance at a 1st impression, Launch (or re-launch) BIG. • If you can’t go big, go niche! • Targeting a small audience is more likely to create brand evangelists.
WHY CUSTOMERS BECOME ZEALOTS The reasons customers become Zealots are the same reasons people chose a product. The brand panders to their ego and allows them to feel superior in one of 3 ways: 1. They got the best value product (cheapest for performance – cheapest tickets for prize). 2. They got the slickest/most innovative/most popular product (marketing yourself as this is risky it can backfire for every IPOD there is an “I’m a PC” campaign). 3. They got the most expensive/highest spec product (bingo’s relevance would be most expensive tickets and biggest prizes). Cater to one of these streams repeatedly and your customers will return.
THE DEMOGRAPHIC SPLIT • Traditional land based bingo appeals to the over 50 bracket 1. Computer literacy 2. Getting out of the house 3. LOYALTY 4. Trust 5. About a 3rd are Men • Online and the under 50 bracket 1. Cheaper than a night at a bingo hall (sometimes) 2. Accessible from home 3. Embraced online conversation (chat) 4. Free Play 5. About a 5th are Men (recent study) • And Facebook and Mobile only to the young? 1. Easily accessible 2. The NOW generation 3. On the go
DEMOGRAPHIC SPLIT : BRIDGING THE GAP Segregate your marketing, not everything that works for one group works for the others. • Over 50s 1. Simple Sign Up 2. Live Callers - The personal touch 3. Established land brands have an edge – Trust and Loyalty 4. Make it less complicated – packages! 5. Traditional marketing – mail outs (not the electronic kind) • The Young Player 1. Quick games 2. Cheap games 3. Bonus hunting • The Men 1. Almost not targeting for this demographic!
OUTSIDE OF BINGO • Some of the best examples of pure branding come from the worlds of cars. • People blindly pay more for a car built in the same factory with the same parts that looks the same based on the badge. So why is this? • Creative advertising, performance in sport, lineage, endorsements, belief in the supposed superiority or inferiority of certain brands. Deals for loyalty, trade in values higher at dealership garage, offers on finance for buying a second car. People believe their car says something about them as a person, if they liked it the 1st time they will continue to like the product. • You don’t have to be perfect it’s how you deal with your screw ups that counts. The “Rolls-Royce’s don’t break down” legend for example. People shouting about how well you rectified your mistake can often be better than not making the mistake to begin with. This can be applied to Bingo. Basically customer service REALLY counts.
HOW LAND BINGO DOES IT • Land Bingo has an advantage, customer interaction and in many cases geography. • Comparatively competition is a lot lower. • People go to the same bingo hall for 30years+ wouldn’t that be great CRM online? • Giveaways, Drink Offers and Cheap Food and Seasonal Promotions and Prize Bingo often don’t really drum up higher Par Fees or more custom, but does create a feel good factor. • Socialising!!! Bingo is social. If your customers interact they will keep returning to see the same faces. • Understanding their target market, - cheap afternoons for the older customers – consistent and simple package deals – varying game speeds depending on the players
HOW ONLINE BINGO DOES IT • Quite often we’re rather crude and follow the model of throw our logo and colours everywhere and hope we become a brand worth remembering. For example PPC stalking/retargeting. • Customer retention spam mails – not naming someone in particular however I received 5 mails in 1 week from a certain brand. This is not good. • Loyalty Deposit Bonuses – Not everywhere – they should be. • Offers • Social Media – Some brands get this more than others. • Affiliates are your best brand evangelists. Use them well!
USING A HOLISTIC APPROACH There are of course a few points that we could pick up from the other sectors. • Self perpetuation of Urban Myths like Rolls-Royce. • Giveaways, in the something for everyone approach like you get in the land sector. • Offline and Online branding need to tie together. • Get it right with the Affiliates. • Talk to (and listen to) your customers using social. • Understand your audience and your demographics. • Your staff must believe your product is best from grass roots to the CEO. • Make the most of your chat feature, it’s your biggest friend.
LIVE CALLERS ONLINE • The caller can make or break a land based bingo hall. Online has yet to get it right. I’ve seen customers plan their nights out based on which caller would be doing the main session. • Live callers will be the future, think of it as caller loyalty. It’s a lot easier to get customers to like a person than an intangible concept. • Shifting the demographics – pushed correctly live callers could be used to bridge the gap. To some extent the more aged customers will often chose the bingo hall because it “gets them out of the house” however the softer image of a person calling against a machine will appeal a lot more to this customer base. Keeping in mind a lot have no issue with playing electronically based on sales of Whizz’s, Bee’s, Genies and other tablet based land based machines.
BINGO IS A SOCIAL GAME • Bingo IS Social – Possibly more so than any other form of gambling. • So Promote on Social Channels – Getting your brand message right on Social Media is a great way to build loyalty. • Interact with your customers well and engage their comments and that will go a long way to generating some the community that online loses simply by being online. If you’re a large company not investing strongly in social (you know who you are) then you’re missing a trick here.