Innovative loyalty programs. How to build relationships with customers through your platform? | KISS digital

A co-founder and managing partner of KISS digital.

Senior Editor.

Innovative loyalty programs. How to build relationships with customers through your platform?

Today's loyalty programs are often innovative projects. In many cases they're sophisticated platforms for communicating with customers – on the brand's own terms, independent of the Facebook or Google environment. Here are examples of loyalty systems that stand out for their ingenuity and effectiveness.

Loyalty programs are marketing activities that serve to build a brand's image and strengthen its positive relations with customers. In practice, the idea is to ensure that the brand has good associations, and occasional buyers turn into company’s loyal customers – and buy more and more.

Of course, such loyalty cannot be based solely on sincere feelings. The customer must derive specific benefits from this relationship. In the past, these were mainly discounts or points redeemable for prizes, i.e. specific products from or outside a brand's offer.

Nowadays, loyalty programs also use such incentives, but they are created in a more sophisticated way – both in terms of customer benefits and those achieved by the brand. The standards and communication channels have also changed. One thing has not changed: loyalty programs still guarantee a win-win situation.

Loyalty programs as an effective alternative to social media

From the point of view of brands, the key advantage of loyalty programs is their relatively low cost and fairly high effectiveness. Relatively low because compared to many other forms of marketing activity, they provide a greater return on investment at a lower cost. In other words, acquiring and retaining customers through a loyalty program is usually much cheaper than achieving a similar sales effect through, for instance, social media advertising or a billboard campaign.

The benefits of brand loyalty programs are even more apparent in this era of dominance by tech giants. Modern business is in many ways dependent on the ecosystems of companies like Google or Facebook. Under these conditions, reaching your audience is expensive, especially in highly competitive industries. Loyalty programs provide a convenient alternative, allowing brands to communicate with customers more cheaply and effectively through their own channels.

Such projects are becoming more and more ambitious and are not limited to a simple distribution of points or prizes. A well thought out and developed loyalty program is a platform for communication between the brand and the customer, allowing the brand to maintain constant connection with the consumer in the so-called owned medium and on its own terms – not those offered by Google, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. With the right loyalty strategy and a well-designed loyalty application, such a solution can bring long-term benefits to a brand both in terms of increased turnover and increased customer retention.

Delikarta – loyalty program and own environment for communication with the customer

Delikarta is an example of a modern approach to loyalty programs. This is a platform for communication with customers that we implemented online for the Delikatesy Centrum chain (see the case study). The key role in the program is played by the pricing mechanism. Delikarta holders receive discounts on selected products available in Delikatesy stores, marked with the Delicena symbol. They can also count on special offers, not available to other customers.

Participation in the program also allows the customers to receive personalized discounts. The brand can offer its customers attractive prices on products tailored to their tastes as well as encourage them to test new products related to their existing purchasing decisions. There are more benefits on the customer side. Delikarta allows to participate in special promotions, monitor and plan savings, check transaction history or save and edit shopping lists.

Delikarta is an loyalty program for the Polish retail store chain with over 2 millions users

From the brand's point of view Delikarta is a platform that enables communication with its own target group and its activation without intermediation of external media. As a result, the company can save on the costs of paid campaigns and is not dependent on the policies of individual websites. The comprehensive nature of Delikatesy Centrum's loyalty program also makes it possible to continuously make the offer more attractive and effectively strengthen customer loyalty as well as to create additional incentive mechanisms.

An example of such activities is the Points Platform we created for our client. It is an extension of Delikarta which makes it easier for Delikatesy to establish cooperation with other brands in order to create special offers for the program participants. For example, the Points Platform allows the company to offer consumers a deal such as “buy five products of brand X within a month and get the sixth product for a penny”. The specific solutions obviously depend on the strategy and objectives of the campaign.

TASL – a platform for (micro)loyalty programs

TASL represents a completely innovative approach to loyalty. The mechanism of the solution is based much more on the emotional involvement of users than in standard programs. The name of the system is an acronym of the phrase "This App Saves Lives" which to some extent describes the function of this tool. It consists in rewarding the user by awarding points for not using the phone while driving.

The idea is simple: less time spent "playing" with a smartphone means more focus on driving and more safety on the road. The use of maps or music apps is allowed, but any interaction with the device that might distract the driver, such as texting, is penalized by points deduction. It is worth noting that TASL requires virtually no user attention. The app works in "set it and forget it" mode: just install it and run it.

This App Saves Lives encourages safe drivig awarding point for driving without distractions

Points earned for safe driving can be redeemed for prizes offered by TASL partners across the United States. It is a win-win-win situation. The application benefits the user, the system operator, and the companies that sign up. For the latter, TASL is a kind of loyalty platform through which they can attract customers, tie them to their brands and offer discounts or specific products. In a sense, TASL is a loyalty microprogram generator for micro and small companies that cannot afford to create their own application but would like to develop their own brand awareness. It is worth noting that TASL provides an additional channel of contact with customers for businesses whose communication is usually limited to social media.

The TASL app qualified for the prestigious 2020 Class of Techstars Atlanta program as one of ten out of several hundred submissions. It was launched in early 2020. Since then, the tool has been rapidly growing in popularity. The TASL brand has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and other well-known press titles. As KISS digital we cooperated with our client practically at every stage of project execution: from concept and branding to development work.

Olimp Premium Club – loyalty program without intermediaries based on Data Matrix codes

Olimp Premium Club is a loyalty program whose innovativeness consists in eliminating intermediaries and enabling direct communication between the manufacturer and its customers. It operates on the basis of Data Matrix technology – a type of 2D (two-dimensional) codes with a wide range of applications in industry and business – and the associated application. Data Matrix codes make it possible, among other things, to monitor the flow of products in the supply chain, track goods in warehouses or combat counterfeiting (see more on this topic). They are also suitable for marketing applications which is still their underestimated asset.

Due to their relatively large capacity, Data Matrix codes have a huge advantage over "classic" barcodes, i.e. EAN. In terms of error correction level, they are superior to the popular QR codes, also based on 2D standard. In addition, Data Matrix Codes allow a large amount of information to be recorded on a small area, which makes it possible to place them on the packaging of even very small products. All these advantages make Data Matrix Codes an ideal tool for loyalty programs (see more on the Data Matrix code potential) and other types of sales support systems such as incentive programs for sales representatives.

In the case of Olimp Premium Club, we applied Data Matrix codes, used by Olimp Labs for product labeling, to extend their use for loyalty purposes. At the client's request, we developed an application that enables scanning Data Matrix codes placed on product packaging and adding points to one's account in the loyalty program, which can then be exchanged for prizes.

Olimp Premium Club is a loyalty program using Data Matrix codes

This way, the Olimp Labs brand reaches directly to the purchasers of its dietary supplements and may offer them discounts, special offers or other benefits without intervention of external providers. Thanks to the use of Data Matrix codes and an application developed by us, the company has full control over its own channel of communication with customers and can create its own customer loyalty strategy.

The system developed by us is not only perfectly designed in terms of usability but it is also protected against any forgery attempts. The solution we implemented for Olimp Labs is an ideal way to expand the capabilities of Data Matrix codes in order to increase the consumer base, attach active customers, protect the brand and buyers from counterfeits, and ultimately increase company revenues.

PAYBACK – market leader in loyalty programs

Our portfolio also includes extensive cooperation with the PAYBACK brand in the development and promotion of its multi-partner loyalty program. It allows the customer to collect points when shopping online and offline, and then exchange them for prizes. What is particularly noteworthy in the context of PAYBACK is the extent and scope of the program. Several dozen leading brands from various industries have joined the project as partners, including Allegro, BP, Orange, LOT, Multikino, Empik, Hyundai, Energa and PAYBACK, after starting its operations, quickly became the market leader. The program has been operating in Poland since 2009.

For PAYBACK we prepared game-based user activation

Do you need a loyalty program? We will help you create it!

At KISS digital, we have been dealing with loyalty programs since the beginning of our business. We have worked on developing unique loyalty solutions in the area of:

If you want to develop an independent communication platform for your customers to benefit from their loyalty, contact us. We will be happy to help you at every stage of working on your loyalty program.

Do you need a loyalty program for your brand? Contact us!


A co-founder and managing partner of KISS digital. Responsible for the development strategy and cooperating with clients and partners.

Przemysław Ćwik

Senior Editor.