Think about the word “loyalty.” By definition, it means being dedicated and faithful to a person, cause or concept, and is intrinsically tied to emotion.
When brands offer loyalty programs, they often take a practical approach, using points, tiers or discounts to encourage more purchases. While this is effective, leaning into emotions may be the trick to a bigger return on investment.
Enter live music. When fans buy tickets to a show, they’re also buying a piece of emotion. Live music drives emotion like nothing else. After all, 67% of global fans say one of the most memorable moments of their lives was at a live music event.¹ Moreover, our recent study on live music’s ability to drive loyalty found that live music attendees are more engaged with loyalty programs than the general population. Emotion plus engagement is a compelling recipe for loyalty amplification.
Here are four ways live music experiences can supercharge loyalty offerings.
1. Live music reinforces a brand’s value and relevance. Beyond the emotions, the vast majority of live music goers agree that offering live music perks, such as presale access, exclusive VIP experiences and artist meet-and-greets, shows a brand is more aligned with their values (93%), is more relevant (93%) and cares more about its community (92%). This is a brand they’re more likely to purchase from in the future (89%).¹
In fact, music-related loyalty perks proved more popular than access to brand-specific rewards such as sales and gift cards. An impressive 95% of fans are likely to join a loyalty program that offers live music perks.¹ And 55% of fans ages 25 to 34 say, with price and features being equal, they would switch loyalty to a brand that offers live music rewards.¹
So what music-related perks should a brand be offering?
2. It’s all about access, benefits and transactions. Effective programs offer one of three things:
● Access—Creating pathways for customers to get the tickets they want.
● Benefits—Giving them an exceptional experience.
● Transactions—Allowing fans to use a brand’s points or currency at live events.
Hilton leverages live music to help connect more than 165 million Hilton Honors members to their passions. Hilton Honors points can be used to buy concert tickets, which in turn makes those points more functional. Because, after all, you may not have enough points for an entire vacation, but you can still turn them into unforgettable experiences with your favorite artists.
Citi provides its cardmembers access to presale and preferred tickets to thousands of events per year for some of the biggest concerts and music festivals, plus VIP experiences, cardmember-only events and more.
3. Offering experiences that money can’t buy. Nine in 10 live-music goers agree that loyalty programs make them feel valued by a brand, like they’re part of an exclusive club.¹ Customers have come to expect utility and discounts with any type of loyalty program, but offering connection and money-can’t-buy experiences can cut through the noise.
Hilton understands this well and hosts a variety of intimate, curated music experiences for its customers, like drum lessons with Travis Barker of the rock band Blink-182 and music singalongs with pop group Pentatonix. However, these up-close-and-personal events are only available with Hilton Honors points. And while only a small group of Hilton Honors members may get the experience, these moments have a strong halo effect through social media and content.
4. Impact customers when they are most receptive. Live Nation’s global study found that live music surpasses travel, shopping, restaurants and movies as global consumers' top choice for future discretionary spending. At music events, brands have a unique opening to influence fans when they’re emotionally open and creating their own memories.
Dunkin’, for example, found great success with its two-story activation last year, bringing it to even more music festivals this summer. Historically, coffee hasn’t been widely available at live music events. But after dancing all day at a festival, iced coffee is a hot commodity. This was proven true at Dunkin’s activation, which featured iced coffee, a prime viewing deck, artist meet-and-greets, photo moments and a space to lounge. All fans had to do was download the Dunkin’ app to access these offerings, which is a great form of acquisition for their Dunkin’ Rewards program.
Out of the 450 visitors we surveyed, one in three fans who visited the activation this year downloaded the app to access the lounge (over 50% of visitors already had the app) and 60% said they are more likely to purchase Dunkin’ because of the experience.²
All brands should be seeking emotional connections to supercharge their loyalty programs, and live music is a proven solution with a feel-good component that also comes with tangible results. By partnering with live-music experiences, brands can bring that emotional, money-can’t-buy magic that will drive KPIs, build positive associations and ultimately deliver more bang for your buck.