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Loyalty and the global brand: A Marvel Comics case study

by | Sep 7, 2016 | Branding, Popculture

In today’s industry, even the biggest-name brands in the world should be working toward gaining and retaining loyal customers. For a brand like Marvel Comics, brand loyalty has never seemed to be an issue.

The brand’s following has naturally transitioned into a “super-fandom” over the years—its comics have turned into video games, video games into incredible motion pictures, with even an entire theme park to be built in the coming years. The brand boasts a massive group of superfans, ones that will advocate for Marvel and wait in lines for hours to catch the brand’s latest flick or comic release. Marvel Comics certainly isn’t a brand that’s going to disappear any time soon.

Although world-renown and known for its immersive fan experiences, Marvel is like all other brands in that it will need to work just as much to keep its fans loyal, and even more importantly, to gain new fans as the brand expands and evolves for years to come. A recent survey conducted by CrowdTwist found that 57 percent of Fortune 500 brands plan to increase their loyalty budgets in 2017—and with trends in loyalty heading toward wearable technology, virtual reality and consistent, multichannel engagement, Marvel understands it’s not exempt to these demands.

To follow suit, Marvel has just launched its first ever loyalty and rewards program, Marvel Insider. Powered by CrowdTwist, a multichannel engagement solution provider, Marvel Insider aims to meet the demands of a global brand in the realm of consumer loyalty.

Here a few important components of the program that will help build upon the brand’s already loyal fan base:

The tiered-style program will encourage loyal fans to become die-hard insiders

Marvel “Insiders” can earn points through engaging with different brand touchpoints across each of Marvel’s channels, including social media, the brand webpage and in-person events. As members rack up more points, they move up through different tiers of program membership that include better and more exclusive rewards and experiences. The highest level, called “True Believers,” incites a feeling of exclusivity and achievement—something that will appeal to and motivate Marvel’s already eager and loyal fanbase. Additionally, True Believers will be the only ones with access to redeem points for the most exclusive prizes the program offers.

The more options to earn points, the more insiders will engage

Marvel Insider offers an abundance of ways to earn points and move up through the program. From tracking points, to being notified of new opportunities to keep earning, Marvel Insider sets its participants up for success and to truly feel engaged with the brand in authentic ways. According to more CrowdTwist research, approximately 37 percent of people who enroll in a multichannel loyalty program remain actively engaged with that brand on a monthly basis. And with active engagement being defined as making a purchase or taking an action just a single time per month, Marvel Insider will aid the brand in going far beyond this reach with its program in place.

Data collection will help Marvel deliver more relevant content

While Insiders redeem points for awesome prizes, Marvel will reap the benefits of something even more valuable: consumer data. More than simple demographic information, Marvel will get a better sense of what its fans prefer in terms of channels, timing, content, and more. If it puts this data to good use, Marvel can begin to deliver more relevant content, at the right time, to more specialized segments of its audience.

The takeaway

Marvel Insider includes all the ingredients to grow into a successful program, both to retain its currently group of hyper-loyal customers, as well as to motivate new fans to join its crew as well. By rewarding Insiders for continued loyalty and elevating its fandom to a true “experience,” Marvel is a step closer to remaining one of the most well-known brands in the world.

Guest writer Rachel Felix is an Account Coordinator at The Abbi Agency.

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