The vegan community is growing as people all over the globe discover the health and environmental benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. In January 2021, a record 500,000 people signed up to the Veganuary challenge, which was double the number of participants it had in January 2019. This growing openness toward plant-based foods creates opportunities for businesses to optimize their brand strategy and develop customer loyalty programs.

Whether you own a vegan fashion company or operate a vegan food chain, there are millions of passionate vegans willing to support the growth of your brand. 

How Can a Customer Loyalty Program Support Your Vegan Business?

“Satisfaction is a rating. Loyalty is a brand.” — Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Customer Experience Expert

With so many marketing strategies focused on finding customers, it may be time to turn your attention to the importance of customer retention. After all, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current one. That is why customer loyalty is so powerful. When a consumer is willing to return to a company to give it their business yet again, that’s customer loyalty. 

Not only will your loyal customers support a healthy bottom line, but they can also help you grow your business faster — sometimes even more rapidly than your marketing team. 

Why?

Because word-of-mouth referral is everything. 

In today’s business world, buyers are enlightened. They seek brands they can trust, and when a friend or family member tells them about a great experience they had, these buyers are apt to support that brand too. In fact, 83% of Americans say that a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone they know makes them more likely to purchase a product or service.

And when it comes to veganism, the community is passionate. If a brand’s values align with those of people living the vegan lifestyle, the brand will have this community’s support — especially if its products or services have already impressed other people who the consumer knows and trusts. 

This is the basis of customer loyalty programs, including ambassador programs.

When brands support those who support them, it creates a positive referral cycle. 

Let’s dive deeper into what these programs entail. Here are six brands that are succeeding because of their brand strategy. 

HappyCow 

Happy cow on green fields with a lake

HappyCow is an online resource for vegan, vegetarian, and healthy food. Posting vegan restaurant reviews, natural food store recommendations, vegan recipes, and travel ideas, it is a global brand with a significant following

HappyCow’s brand ambassador program is simple. It seeks enthusiastic individuals willing to represent their city to help travelers find great food. The goal is to continue building a passionate community about the vegan/plant-based movement, partnering with people regarded as local authorities. 

Accepted ambassadors know the best spots in their neighborhoods. They can confidently recommend their top picks for where to go when looking for the best veggie burger, vegan cupcake, etc.

Ambassadors must also:

  • Be active members of the HappyCow community. This includes regularly adding or reviewing restaurants and uploading pictures. It is helpful if applicants are also active on the brand’s forum and familiar with the mobile app.
  • Be great representatives of where they are from, even if that city doesn’t have a large vegan community. 

To sign up, applicants must create a ticket that includes their name, city, profile link, and an explanation as to why they are a good fit for the program. 

The perks of doing so?

  • Becoming involved in a global initiative to spread veganism worldwide 
  • Exclusive extras, such as invites to events and Cow swag
  • A profile badge showcasing involvement 

e.l.f. Cosmetics 

Based in Oakland, California, e.l.f. Cosmetics is an American cosmetics brand that offers eyeliners, lipstick, bronzers, brushes, glasses, blushes, mascara, and other beauty tools. The company has always stood behind its brand, being an affordable, clean, vegan, and cruelty-free makeup and skincare line. 

e.l.f. developed a loyalty program, offering its biggest fans major rewards and surprises. They call it the Beauty Squad, which focuses on an inclusive community. Members receive rewards for shopping and engaging with the brand, allowing them to rack up e.l.f. points. 

This is the tier system and some of the perks offered:

Example perks  FAN (0-999 points) PRO (1000-1999 points) ICON (2000+ points)
Birthday gift YESYESYES
Access to loyalty exclusivesYESYESYES
Personalized and discounted recommendations YES YES
Free shipping $10 minimumNo minimum 
Try new products before they launch for free  YES

The program is free to join — anyone who buys e.l.f. products is encouraged to create an account (or sign in). For an even better experience, shoppers can download the app. As long as members are signed in when they make a purchase, they get points. For every $10 spent, shoppers earn 10 points. 

If shopping at a retailer like Walmart, members must upload a photo of their receipt. There are also opportunities to collect points when engaging with the brand. 

Here’s how easy it is to sign up

Toad&Co

Toad&Co is a sustainable, organic, eco-friendly clothing line committed to doing its part. Using organic cotton, hemp, and other sustainable materials, this brand proudly facilitates the production of vegan clothing. This means that none of their garments include animal products. All materials consist of plant-based or manufactured fibers. 

Toad&Co created an affiliate program and a referral program

The affiliate program is easy peasy. Sign up, start driving traffic to the company website, then earn up to 8% commission on every purchase made by buyers who come to the website from a tracked affiliate’s link. 

The benefits of joining include:

  • Up to 8% commission 
  • 30-day cookie duration 
  • Seasonal promotions and sales 
  • Free shipping on orders over $100
  • Strong website conversion rate 
  • High average order value 

The referral program is more of a loyalty program — the brand gives $20 to referrals (off their first purchase of $100+) and then $20 (in points) to the person who referred them. This “Give $20, Get $20” model repeats for every successful referral. 

Foods Alive 

Foods Alive are creators of REAL Health food, crafted in small batches. Ingredients are gluten-free, vegan, organic, non-GMO, and kosher. From crackers and salad dressings to nutritional yeast and aloe vera liquid, Foods Alive’s offerings appeal to a large market — that includes anyone who wants to eat a clean, healthy diet. Vegan individuals often fall into this category. 

With so many plant-based options available, Foods Alive enjoys the support of the vegan community. The brand also shares many of the same values as its customers. 

Foods Alive developed its brand ambassador/influencer program to connect with its target audience. The brand continuously seeks social media influencers who are passionate about health, wellness, and Foods Alive. The company asks these ambassadors to create REAL healthy food and then share it with the world. 

Ambassadors must share Foods Alive content three or more times on social media each month, while tagging the brand. These posts should be creative and include Foods Alive products. 

The benefits of participating include:

  • A $50 voucher every few months to purchase products online. This allows ambassadors to choose the products their followers and subscribers would like best. 
  • A farther online reach as Foods Alive shares the posts they love. 

Those interested can fill out a brand ambassador application

The Very Good Butchers

The words “butcher” and “vegan” don’t normally relate to one another. However, the Very Good Butchers isn’t your average butcher. As the brand says, it “butchers beans” to create vegan meats made with real, whole-food ingredients. As the Canadian West Coast’s first plant-based butchery, the Very Good Butchers opened its online Butcher Shop. 

A unique brand with a dedicated following, the Very Good Butchers has since launched its affiliate program

Once approved, ambassadors receive a personalized affiliate link. When customers make a purchase through an affiliated link, ambassadors make a 15% commission. Ambassadors also receive a 10% commission for any ongoing subscription bundle. 

The application process is simple. You can find the program forms and terms here

Vegan Grocery Store 

Vegetables, fruits, bread, and cookies

Offering the largest range of vegan food and products in Australia, the Vegan Grocery Store has over 80 types of vegan cheese; plant-based meats; chocolates; egg and dairy replacements; snacks; meals; and more. Customers can order these products online or go into the company’s Sydney or Melbourne locations. 

To say thank you to their amazing customers, the Vegan Grocery Store created a customer loyalty program. Customers earn points for supporting the business.

For example, customers earn:

  • 1 point for every $1 spent in-store or online 
  • 25 points to create an account 
  • 25 points to complete a customer profile 

These points accumulate so that customers can enjoy vouchers — every 200 points = $10. Members also receive a $10 voucher each year for their birthday. 

To join, customers can sign up in-store, make a purchase online, or create an account. Then, every time they shop, they accumulate points. 

Register here.

Launch a Brand Ambassador Program for Your Vegan Brand

Like the brands above, you too can leverage the power of loyalty and brand ambassador programs. 

If you’re ready to take your brand strategy to the next level, BrandChamp can help. Our all-in-one brand ambassador management software will help you increase brand awareness and boost conversion rates. 

BrandChamp will help you launch a customer loyalty program or upgrade your current program. Get started by contacting our team today!