Spirit brands Glenlivet, Patrón, and Knob Creek have successful loyalty programs featured in our Digital IQ Index: Spirits, all which take a different approach than prevalent Beauty retailer rewards cards. Instead of focusing on points earned from purchases to apply towards discounts and gifts, they take the form of an exclusive club selling members on heritage and access to events.
Glenlivet’s “The Guardians’ Chapter” provides editorial content promoting an aspirational lifestyle and engages members (or ‘Guardians of Glenlivet’) by asking for input on future products. In 2013, for example, members voted on three options for the next Glenlivet whisky. Glenlivet also hosts private tastings through brand ambassadors, and helps members host their own by providing a tasting matt and tips from Glenlivet master distiller Alan Winchester.
Knob Creek’s “Brothers of Bourbon” distributes information to members exclusively through email. Members use email to request for a nearby distributor to carry the whisky and RSVP to offline brand events. Patrón has created a social club with a Secret Dining Society select members are invited to join. The dining society hosts pop-up events in different cities in partnership with local chef and mixologists.
There’s no telling whether this type of loyalty program yields better results than discount or gift-based ones, but it does offers a new perspective on what they should entail.