Talk to any branding consultant, and they’ll frequently mention “consistency.” Brands should present themselves as consistent as possible, regardless of medium or customer touchpoint. This consistent approach should extend to the payment experience.
Brands can draw in more customers and increase retention rates when payments and gift cards are consistently branded with a company logo and other consistent design elements. Internally, branded payments boost sales incentives and streamline the commissions and expenses process, which benefits the sales staff and the bottom line. Here are three ways to do it right:
Align Payments With Purpose
Consider giving rewards to a customer after they make a certain required number of purchases. This reward would include congratulatory branding with exciting language and tone. For example, to signify a customer’s appreciated loyalty, brand a pre-paid card with the company logo, adorned with bright colors and confetti matching the brand’s color scheme, with “Thanks for being a loyal customer!” Or a gift card with balloons with “Happy Birthday” to show the customer the brand cares about their business.
On the other hand, presenting this type of reward to a customer to make up for a terrible experience will not be met positively. Instead, adjust the language and design per the particular use case to make it more relevant and connected.
Review the end-to-end payment experience and payment methods to ensure the related branding matches the payment’s or reward’s purpose. There’s a considerable cost in acquiring customers, even unhappy ones. Therefore, there’s value in using custom branding for multiple situations to improve customer experiences and boost retention rates.
Outsource Back-End Processes
Managing a branded payment experience in-house is a significant undertaking in terms of both staff time and back-end tech expertise. Processing payments securely requires certain technical capabilities that must be tested and proven.
A third-party vendor can streamline and improve branded payments by managing the back-end tech. For example, it can manage the release of branded physical and virtual payment cards. This also includes branded portals for users to check balances and transactions, which increases the frequency of their visits to the brand's digital properties.
Custom online redemption pages are another option from top-tier vendors. These pages match the company’s look and feel and offer a more interactive touchpoint for customers or partners. They're customizable with surveys, questionnaires and even games to confirm personal information and to gather more data intelligence.
Incentivize Customers Impactfully
To attract customers to your product or service, you need to speak to them emotionally and intellectually to build a positive experience. Develop the same dynamic through your branded payments by presenting incentives that resonate with customers or partners.
If you're sending branded pre-paid cards as a special reward, then take the time to customize the outside of the letter and the envelope. Don’t miss a chance to connect with the customer; each customer touchpoint matters.
Get creative with branded payments. Combine gift cards with limited-time discounts to further drive customer actions such as visiting brick-and-mortar locations. Reward customers who provide positive or negative (but constructive) feedback with specially branded cards that thank them for their contribution. Or add gift cards to your social campaigns or contests to improve engagement and participation rates.
The intent for branded money campaigns and products is simple: to strengthen the connection between a company and its customers. Realizing this intention requires a thoughtful and customizable strategy. One that relies on secure back-end technology to present customers, partners and internal staff with a consistent, easy and identifiable way to spend and receive money.
Jonathon Hamburg is CEO and founder of Berkeley Payment Solutions, a leading global payments solution provider which offers fully branded, mass-payment solutions to companies looking to disburse funds to customers, employees and suppliers via physical prepaid cards or virtual real-time payments.
Jonathon Hamburg is CEO and Founder of Berkeley Payment Solutions, a leading global payments solution provider which offers fully branded, mass-payment solutions to companies looking to disburse funds to customers, employees and suppliers via physical prepaid cards or virtual real-time payments.