Quick service restaurant industries, such as Chipotle, has become a highly competitive space with loyalty. With remarkable progress from a 70% year-over-year increase to 3 million memberships and a 9.9% growth in the first quarter of same-store sales, Chipotle is soaring high by emphasizing visibly and consumer engagement. But where are these numbers coming from?

Their success is sourced from the effective use of site assets, email campaigns, and display advertising prospects which incentivizes membership sign ups and app downloads. Along with that, their homepage consist of a feature that leverages loyalty awareness, encouraging prospects to join their clear calls to actions. The brand dedicates nearly half of their total email campaigns to Chipotle Rewards, outperforming a 128% loyalty campaign open rate from just engagement. 

Loyalty programs can be great for consumers and brands, but where are they rooted from? How do brands know what their consumers want? Let’s take a deeper dive and analyze the basic points that lead towards creating the most effective loyalty program. 

The basic approach comes from the model exampled above. Brands say time and budget are the two largest barriers to meeting their consumers’ needs, so knowing what consumers value most and prioritizing the brand’s efforts is key. With this in mind, there are three basic needs that are identified to overlook these barriers and create greater customer engagement. 

1. Simplicity: One of brands’ biggest opportunities is in making communications clearer and easier to understand, especially in promotional content. Test streamlined messaging against existing content to optimize.

2. Personalization: Consumers want more relevant messages, and they expect brands to strategically use their data to provide promotions on the items they want to purchase

3. Control: Consumers are actively seeking more control over their inboxes and experiences. Brands should offer simple tools and options that make consumers feel more empowered.

Additionally, consumers connect with retailers online and offline as well. Consumers who are digitally engaged have higher rates in ratings and reviews in verified buyers, control over the kinds of content they receive, ratings and reviews that include user uploaded photos, and product photos within a retailers email or a social media post compared to all other consumers. As brand engagement increases, consumer satisfaction increases as well. Promoting channels used to communicate and actively encourage consumers to interact drives satisfaction through technology. 

When consumers are accustomed to shop for themselves, it sets a baseline for how they want their shopping experience to be with the brands they love.