Branded currency is an excellent tool for brands to optimize their performance and respond to ever-changing consumer needs. It delivers your messaging directly to the consumer’s wallet while increasing your brand awareness along the way.
From gift cards and coupon codes to loyalty points and rewards, branded currency essentially helps reduce friction in getting the consumer to say yes. That’s why it’s critical to avoid possible missed opportunities by communicating your currency programs properly and promoting them in the best possible way.
Keep reading to learn how to increase the value of your branded currency and make it accessible throughout the customer journey.
What Is Branded Currency?
Branded currency encompasses any alternative payment method from a specific brand or merchant in exchange for goods and services. It can take a physical or digital form. These tools share a common objective, which is to influence purchase decisions by equipping consumers with accumulative spending power for specific brands and retailers.
Examples of branded currency include:
- Gift cards
- Loyalty programs
- Reward programs
With just a single click at the register or online, you can make a payment, receive a discount, pay with a gift card, redeem promotion codes and coupons and save loyalty points. In an ever-changing digital world, more and more companies are utilizing digital branding currency so consumers can handle their coupons, cards or other payment methods in one transaction.
What Are the Benefits of Branded Currency?
Branded currency holds an immense amount of unlocked potential to bring more value to customers. Gift cards, for instance, have had an unassuming presence in our lives for decades as we’ve bought and received them as gifts for favorite brands or experiences. However, these tiny cards can meet consumers’ ever-changing needs when integrated into a broader branded currency strategy.
When considering the difference between branded currency and gift cards, imagine them as one entity that can be optimized for your branding and improve the customer experience. Keep reading to learn the benefits of branded currency:
1. Increases Sales
A strong branded currency program goes beyond branding — it becomes affixed to the customer experience. Gift cards can become a billboard for your brand, help you lift your sales and improve the customer journey all at once. So, how does branded currency boost sales?
You can lift sales by guaranteeing someone will spend the money at your store and bring in new customers. Plus, when customers enter your store to use their gift cards, they may be more inclined to make further purchases. In fact, many card recipients spend more than the amount on their cards.
The customers who use rewards and loyalty programs are encouraged to spend more to increase their points and reap the benefits.
2. Strengthens Customer Satisfaction
When used correctly, branded currency allows you to take a holistic approach to various consumer segments and specific situations. When you streamline customer engagement, you can significantly strengthen customer satisfaction.
At times when the world is changing and more customers prefer online shopping, digital rewards and gift card programs can respond to the challenge by improving customer satisfaction.
3. Optimizes the Customer Journey
Branded currency is convenient for the customer. Contactless payment methods are becoming more popular as customers prefer the convenience of simply tapping their cards or scanning their phones and spending less time at the checkout.
Branded currency allows brands to stay relevant in the coming years. Mobile wallets like Apple’s Passbook place gift cards, loyalty cards and coupons in one place, allowing for more convenience without the constraints of a physical wallet and checkout counters.
4. Builds Customer Loyalty
From the customer’s perspective, a gift card is a gift. It comes with no strings attached. Unlike loyalty or reward programs that require a certain amount of spending before you earn a discounted item, there are no barriers between gift cards and purchases. While this improves the customer experience, it also helps spread your message far and wide. It allows you to retain your relationships with old and new customers.
Ultimately, loyalty programs are just like they sound — a way to reward existing customers for their loyalty to your brand. When they shop more, they’ll get the benefits while deepening their commitment to you. Using gift cards incentivizes customers to shop with and stay with the brand.
How to Use Branded Currency
Branded currency is an excellent tool to support several initiatives, but it’s essential to remember it’s not a “set it and forget it” product. Follow these simple methods to increase the value of your branded currency and keep up with the ever-changing buying patterns:
1. Communicate at Checkout
Your branded currency must communicate its value to the customer. Through online and in-store checkout, your loyalty programs should communicate the value its points have, what they can get the customer and encourage them to spend them.
Customers should be told how many points they have at checkout counters and asked whether they’d like to redeem them. Their points should be shown to the customer, so they can save for a large reward or spend it on smaller ones. These strategies allow customers to see how they can clearly redeem their points.
2. Provide a Mobile Wallet Experience
Whether it’s gift cards, vouchers or other payment methods, they should merge and create a seamless experience for the customer. Mobile wallets allow customers to manage their branded currency programs all in one place.
These store apps allow customers to easily see, manage and convert their balance into real currency from their phones. Giving customers the option to add their reward points to a mobile wallet helps validate your programs and lets buyers see it as a legitimate form of currency.
3. Create a Currency Hub
The more simplified the medium of exchange, the better the customer engagement. Brands that put mobile applications front and center can unify deals, offers, payments and loyalty online and offline. Working with third-party platforms and wallets helps them use their data to create value for their customers.
Having a place for consumers to learn about your rewards program helps you stay clear and concise about your currency offerings, show how they work and communicate your conversion rate. Keeping this information in a web application, landing page or mobile wallet can go a long way. Utilizing visuals can create a fun, engaging user experience and reduce friction for the customer to convert.
4. Listen to Customer Feedback
Remember to listen to customer feedback to enhance your current branded currency program. Keep your branded currency digitally up-to-date and accessible so it can solve customer problems. This ensures a strong connection between your branded currency, customer experience and loyalty.
Trust PLI For Innovative Marketing Solutions
PLI brings the industry’s best in quality, customer service and fulfillment of plastic and paper retail cards. Our retail offerings comprise loyalty cards and key tags, prepaid gift cards, advertising cards and closed-looped payment cards.
PLI also knows that most card programs require marketing support to stand apart in the industry. That’s why we deliver innovative card marketing solutions tailored to your needs. Appreciate an experienced team of professionals who will work with you to develop unique solutions to achieve your business goals.
To get started, contact us today.