Does David’s Bridal need a loyalty program?

Discussion
Source: David’s Bridal
Dec 18, 2020
Tom Ryan

David’s Bridal has become the first major national bridal retailer to establish a loyalty program. Not unsurprisingly, the program appears to be all about the bride.

The program, called Diamond Loyalty Program by David’s, works in many ways like points-based programs. Members earn one Diamond point for every $1 spent.

Upon sign-up, members receive welcome coupons and are incentivized to reach higher tiers:

  • Shimmer (3,000 – 3,999 Diamond points): Earn a free “Hello, beautiful” tote “full of goodies,” a bridal bouquet, and more;
  • Shine (4,000 – 4,999 diamond points): Receive free streaming fitness classes, plus $200 gift cards for photography and flowers, etc.;
  • Sparkle (5,000-plus diamond points): Earn a free honeymoon or getaway.

The twist in David Bridal’s loyalty program is that brides can share their loyalty numbers with friends and family to help her earn points towards, potentially, a free honeymoon.

Family and friends use the bride’s (or groom’s) phone number on each purchase. Invitations sent to friends to join the loyalty program include a free insert for the couple’s phone number.

“Two words: FREE honeymoon,” said Kelly Cook, David’s Bridal’s chief marketing and IT officer, in a statement. “During our research phase, we were ecstatic to find out how excited our brides were when they realized their families, bridal party, and wedding guests could all participate in the points-earning fun towards their FREE honeymoon or getaway.”

She noted that one bride in their research described the program as a “gamechanger”. Another said, “we’ve already booked our honeymoon so I plan to use the FREE getaway for bachelorette party weekend!”

Loyalty members can accumulate points for bridesmaid dresses, as well as for dresses purchased by other wedding attendees and dresses for other social occasions. Ms. Cook told CNBC, “We really want to own all of the dresses in her closet — not just the bridal gown.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think David’s Bridal has structured its loyalty program in a way that makes sense for the chain and its target customers? Can other retailers benefit from enabling the sharing of points among rewards members?

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Braintrust
"In concept, it’s definitely a good way to both increase transaction value and acquire new customers. Just don’t call it a loyalty program."

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12 Comments on "Does David’s Bridal need a loyalty program?"


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Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

Calling it a loyalty program is funny. Sort of like “Come back every time you get married.” I’m not sure what the right description is — maybe “bridal treat program” or something.

But in concept, it’s definitely a good way to both increase transaction value and acquire new customers. Just don’t call it a loyalty program.

Kathleen Fischer
BrainTrust

I agree – when I heard loyalty program I immediately thought that it seemed to be encouraging multiple marriages over the lifetime of the customer! So loyalty program may not be the correct terminology but the program is compelling for a bride-to-be and certainly encourages further purchasing from David’s Bridal.

Rich Duprey
Guest

A friend’s father gave the following toast at his wedding: “Marriage is a sacred institution because it is something a man only does two or three times in his life.” Maybe David’s Bridal should run with something like that as its tag line.

Suresh Chaganti
BrainTrust

This isn’t really a loyalty program because it is so event driven. That in turn might diminish the impact. I would expected David’s Bridal to think of building loyalty based on a lifecycle approach from prom to wedding and possibly beyond for baby shower, etc. The category is too narrowly defined for their own good. And the narrowly designed loyalty program doesn’t help.

Di Di Chan
BrainTrust

The wedding industry’s loyalty program feels unromantic, but the statistics are there to make the business case. According to U.S. Census data from 2013, over 9 million Americans have been married three times or more. That works out to roughly 5.3 percent of the total married population. Add in referrals to their friends, and there are enough potential referrals to be a win-win. Personal referrals are the cheapest and most effective marketing schemes.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I don’t know if calling this a loyalty program is the correct term. I believe you can build a program if you perhaps focus on major milestones in a woman’s life – your first child, an anniversary, the marriage of your daughter, etc. Tie-ins would be possible – food, drink, accessories, venues, etc.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Loyalty program definitely gives the impression that the program will be used over time for several weddings. A customer bonus program would be a more appropriate name since the goal is to get all purchases for that one event. The current name will not help David’s Bridal.

Bindu Gupta
BrainTrust

It is the first of its kind in the bridal retailer space, kudos for that. The spending-based loyalty program with the allure to earn a free honeymoon or a getaway if the member spends $5,000+ is a great idea to increase transaction value. In addition, the fact that the bride can share their loyalty numbers with friends and family to help her earn points is a good strategy to not only achieve a higher tier but also spread word of mouth about the brand and the program itself. However, for long term retention, it is essential for David’s Bridal to position the loyalty program for all young girls and women and not just for brides.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I agree with Paula, the first thing to do is change the words, “loyalty program.” The notion of pooling and/or sharing points is an interesting one, with real potential in lots of kinds of retailing. I’m just still not all that convinced bridal wear is one of them.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

Definitely a case of bad branding. I read the program’s title and my first thought was, are they trying to tell the bride she will be getting married again even before she states “I do” at this wedding? I’m not sure what I would call it, but I know what I wouldn’t – a loyalty program.

Shikha Jain
BrainTrust
On the surface, a “loyalty program” for a bridal retailer is an odd concept since it signals transactions over a sustained period of time. However, David’s is really trying something different in trying to disrupt the wedding market. The program could be successful with a certain segment of brides (albeit small). Those that are looking for a simple, streamlined, and consolidated process. It minimizes the guesswork for this segment of brides and the need to research all options and the burden of choice that exists today. Additionally, for someone swept up in the wedding planning process, the “gamification” aspect of spend $X to get X points can be exciting — I get married AND I get free things. We’ve seen this work for companies like Starbucks where customers end up spending more to get the points needed for that next freebie. While the analogy is not fair since the occasions are completely different, it relies on the concept for a shorter amount of time albeit still many months. With that said, brides don’t necessarily plan… Read more »
Allison McGuire
BrainTrust

Great idea, it just has a flawed name. Most people getting married could benefit from a free getaway. Funding it by encouraging family members to buy attire for the event from David’s Bridal is a smart marketing play.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"In concept, it’s definitely a good way to both increase transaction value and acquire new customers. Just don’t call it a loyalty program."

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