If you want to manage a successful outdoor company, a well-managed customer loyalty program is essential.
You want customers that keep coming back, right?
It really doesn’t matter if you have a small, new business or a well-established, thriving enterprise. Either way, customer loyalty programs are a crucial part of brand strategy.
Before we take a look at some excellent examples of customer loyalty programs for outdoor enthusiasts, let’s break down what makes a customer loyalty program and why it’s so important for your brand.
What Is a Customer Loyalty Program?
Admittedly, “customer loyalty program” is a fairly broad term. It covers affiliate marketing, referral marketing, brand ambassador marketing, hybrid programs, and more. But essentially, loyalty programs reward customers who keep coming back and offer perks for customers who share your brand in specific ways.
Perks vary from brand to brand but commonly come in the form of points, discounts, or free products.
Loyalty programs are extremely common with airlines, hotels, and credit card companies. However, many brands and many niche markets utilize loyalty programs with amazing results.
When done right, not only will you retain regular customers with a loyalty program, but you’ll build brand trust and awareness as well.
One type of loyalty program that we see frequently with the outdoor brands below, affiliate programs offer commissions to people who drive sales on a brand’s behalf.
Usually, sales occur through an affiliate’s unique, trackable link. And, on average, companies offer anywhere between 5% and 20% commission on affiliate sales.
Rather than creating customer loyalty, affiliate programs aim to increase sales or encourage affiliates to sell for you.
Instead of employing a huge sales team or selling yourself, affiliates allow almost anyone to go and sell for you!
Best of all, they provide a legitimate incentive for the affiliate! A winning scenario for both affiliate and brand.
Popular with outdoor and adventure brands, pro programs offer discounts and perks exclusively to professionals. They target professions such as climbing instructors, ski instructors, hiking guides, and professional athletes.
As you’ll learn in the examples below, nurturing relationships with respected professionals who use your products builds trust and establishes credibility within your niche.
Pro programs typically offer discounted products (often wholesale prices), rewards perks, sales percentages, and even free gear.
Why Are Customer Loyalty Programs Important for Your Brand?
There are so many reasons customer loyalty programs are important for your brand.
But ultimately, it comes down to one thing.
By offering loyalty programs of any kind, you retain customers, increase credibility, get more sales, increase trust, and give your brand an incredible basis for exponential growth!
Customer Loyalty Programs for Outdoor Enthusiasts
So let’s take a look at some of the best customer loyalty programs for outdoor enthusiasts.
All of these are examples to inspire you to get started with your very own program.
Subaru is the famous, go-to automobile company for outdoors and adventure.
I mean, you’ve seen the ads, right?
The brand has become synonymous with outdoor adventure and racing culture—a great example of truly excellent branding.
When it comes to their loyalty program, things are no different.
The Japanese company offers an ambassador program that aims to “spread the word” and brand message among the community.
While their program is more of an outreach program aimed at the community, it still comes with some perks.
Each ambassador gets $150 to purchase merch every quarter to wear or gift. In addition, ambassadors are provided with discounts they can use and offer to others.
Ambassadors volunteer at events (such as rallies), which is a great way for people to meet, give out Subaru merch, and provide a platform to discuss cars and events, thus further spreading the brand.
From this, Subaru positions itself as the authority at rally events and has become so associated with the sport and these events that people automatically associate the two!
A company providing high-quality, long-lasting outdoor equipment.
They also offer great loyalty programs, giving people the chance to participate in both a traditional loyalty and affiliate program.
The company offers a lifetime membership for a one-time payment of $20 in exchange for a lifetime’s worth of perks.
Used gear trade-in, insider tips, bike and shop services, and discounted rental costs are just some of the perks they offer to anyone in their program.
In addition to this, they also offer an REI MasterCard for which a loyal customer can receive $100 in store credit, just for signing up! It’s a great way to encourage continued customer spending.
REI also offers an affiliate program for bloggers and influencers with high traffic.
Marmot is a well-established outdoor adventure gear and equipment company.
Often referred to as the leader in designing travel and outdoor clothing, the company offers a Pro Program to reinforce this and offer professionals exclusive savings for personal gear use.
The affiliate program is also strong and offers affiliates an 8% commission on purchases.
What’s so awesome about Marmot’s affiliate program (and something you should keep in mind for setting up yours) is they provide each affiliate with all the tools needed to sell Marmot products online.
For example, they provide graphics, logos, and banners for your website or blog.
The North Face
Most outdoor enthusiasts know about The North Face. It’s an extremely well-established outdoor brand, synonymous with the outdoors and all things adventure.
If you look at just about any group hiking photo, you’ll see a North Face logo somewhere in the mix.
The North Face offers a fantastic customer loyalty program dubbed the “Explorer Pass.”
The pack offers customers 10% off their first purchase and provides one point for every $1 spent with the brand directly.
In addition, loyalty members enjoy exclusive gear, members-only field testing, customer service, explorer pass gifts, and bonus points.
Customers can earn points by referring friends, using reusable bags, shopping rewards collections, checking in at national parks (worldwide), downloading the free app, and checking in at a store on social media!
A brilliant example of a brand that’s created solid credibility and brand awareness, The North Face gives customers a healthy incentive to keep coming back for more.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Hyperlite began back in 2009 and boasts the most lightweight and durable outdoor products on the market. Focused on all things adventure, the brand produces clothing, equipment, camping gear, accessories, and more or less anything made for outdoors and extreme environments.
Their affiliate program is solid, offering a healthy 10% commission. With an average online store purchase of $350, that’s not bad as far as passive income goes.
The program, however, is only available to bloggers with high traffic and websites that exclusively review outdoor adventure gear.
Starting in Seattle back in 1897, Filson is one of the leading outfitters in long-lasting, durable outdoor gear. They specialize in men’s and women’s clothing, equipment, accessories, and luggage.
Their brand message is “connecting people to the wild,” and their motto “you might as well have the best” is no exaggeration as their products are simply… the best. Specifically, Filson caters to anglers and hunters in North America.
The brand offers both affiliate and pro programs, with the affiliate program offering a 7% sales commission, high average orders, and strong conversion rates.
The pro program offers gear and equipment at significantly reduced rates to those who work in the industry.
Patagonia also celebrates the outdoors and adventure. The brand provides high-quality, long-lasting gear for hiking, skiing, and surfing.
Known for an incredible lifetime warranty on all their products and a strong emphasis on positive environmental practices, the brand is well known across different sub-niches and is associated with excellent products.
Just like Patagonia’s overall brand, their pro program is well-respected. It rewards qualified outdoor professionals, outdoor industry partners, and organizations with environmental grants and healthy discounts on gear and products.
Patagonia is a great example of a brand that has marketed and identified itself extremely well with its message and mission.
Kathmandu is a worldwide chain that began out of New Zealand in 1987.
They focus entirely on outdoor, travel, and adventure clothing and equipment with retail stores across Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
As for customer loyalty, the company offers a program named “The Summit Club.” It’s a traditional membership program that offers rewards and exclusive offers to its members.
The program claims to make it easier for members to enjoy living the outdoor lifestyle and offers a $10 reward voucher for every $250 spent. Anyone can join, and it is currently free to sign up and start earning rewards.
Although Kathmandu’s loyalty perks don’t seem huge compared to other brands, the company still boasts a worldwide returning customer base, thanks to its loyalty program and its high-quality products.
Why Your Brand Should Have a Loyalty Program?
As we now know, customer loyalty programs are essential to brand growth for several reasons.
Let’s recap some of those benefits:
- Social proof
- Brand awareness
- Customer retention
- Much more!
So, what’s next?
Summary: Customer Loyalty Programs for Outdoor Enthusiasts
To grow your brand, launch a customer loyalty program. It’s as simple as that.
As we move into 2022, your brand’s ability to retain customers, build awareness, gain trust, and spread your mission statement is increasingly competitive. So, it’s time to think outside the box to come up with new ways to grow.
Here at BrandChamp, we specialize in taking customer loyalty programs to the next level. Our all-in-one brand ambassador management software platform makes it easy to launch a program from scratch or improve an existing one.
What’s more, you can get started right now and start growing your brand today.
So, why wait? Let’s talk!