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Background


In an increasingly competitive marketplace, maintaining customer loyalty while simultaneously enhancing brand reach and sales is a significant challenge. Al-Futtaim, a diversified conglomerate with a presence in multiple industries and regions, faced this very issue. Despite its long history and strong market presence, Al-Futtaim recognized the need to innovate its customer engagement strategies to stay ahead in the dynamic retail sector.
Al-Futtaim's retail division manages a plethora of brands in various categories, demonstrating a significant market presence. However, the retail landscape is notoriously volatile, with consumer preferences shifting rapidly and competition intensifying from both local and international players. The acquisition of The Entertainer in 2020 for USD 150 million was a strategic move to strengthen its entertainment and leisure offerings, further broadening its customer base.

Challenges


Integrating Diverse Brands: With a diverse portfolio under its umbrella, creating a unified loyalty program that could cater to and engage customers across all these brands was daunting.


Cross-Border Consistency: Implementing a loyalty program that maintained consistency across different countries, each with unique market dynamics and consumer preferences, added another layer of complexity.

Objectives


Loyalty Program Goals

To address the challenge of launching the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty brand, a series of targeted objectives were outlined to ensure the creation and implementation of a successful branding strategy. These objectives provided a roadmap for the creation of a brand that would resonate with customers across various regions and industries:

Create a Unique Brand Identity: Develop a distinctive and memorable brand identity for Al-Futtaim Blue, distinguishing it from competitors and ensuring it resonates with a diverse customer base. This identity should encapsulate the core values of Al-Futtaim while appealing to modern sensibilities.

Achieve Cross-Border Synergy: Ensure the brand identity and messaging are consistent and effective across all operational regions, accommodating cultural nuances while maintaining a unified global brand presence. This involves harmonizing the branding strategy across multiple countries and ensuring it aligns with local consumer behaviors and preferences.

Develop Brand Guidelines: Develop comprehensive brand guidelines that clearly articulate the usage of brand assets, tone of voice, visual identity, and other branding elements. These guidelines will ensure consistency in all brand communications and interactions, both internally and externally.

Create Marketing Collaterals: Design and produce a suite of marketing collaterals including brochures, flyers, and digital assets that align with the new brand identity. These materials are essential for communicating the value proposition of the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program to customers and stakeholders.

Create ATL and BTL Campaigns: Develop and execute Above The Line (ATL) and Below The Line (BTL) marketing campaigns to launch and promote the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program. These campaigns should be designed to maximize reach and engagement, utilizing a mix of traditional media, digital marketing, and direct marketing tactics.

Create Web Landing Page: Design a dedicated landing page for the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program, providing potential and existing members with a comprehensive overview of the program benefits, enrollment process, and terms and conditions. The landing page should be user-friendly, mobile-optimized, and designed to convert visitors into program members.

Design a Mobile App: Design a mobile app for the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program that reflects the new brand identity and provides a seamless user experience. The app should offer functionalities such as account management, rewards tracking, and personalized offers, enhancing the overall customer experience.

By meticulously pursuing these objectives, Al-Futtaim aimed to launch the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program with a strong and cohesive brand identity that would not only attract new customers but also foster loyalty and increase sales across its diverse portfolio of brands.

Strategy and Execution


Launch Strategy Insights

The overarching strategy was to leverage consumer insights to design a loyalty program that resonates deeply with target demographics. Tactics were developed to utilize Al-Futtaim's own properties for maximum reach and impact.

In-Mall Campaigns: Utilizing digital screens, banners, and billboards within Al-Futtaim owned malls ensured high visibility among a captive audience. This capitalized on the conglomerate's extensive retail footprint and facilitated direct engagement with potential loyalty program members.

Point of Sale Campaigns: In-store campaigns across Al-Futtaim's brand outlets were leveraged to directly communicate the benefits of the loyalty program to shoppers at the point of purchase, encouraging immediate sign-up and engagement.

Emailers: Targeted email campaigns were sent to existing customers of Al-Futtaim's owned brands. These emailers were designed to inform customers about the program, highlighting the benefits of joining and how to sign up, thereby leveraging the existing customer base to build the loyalty program's membership.

This strategic use of in-house marketing channels was key to the program's initial momentum, enabling Al-Futtaim to effectively communicate the value proposition of the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program to a wide audience with minimal external advertising costs. The integration of these tactics with the insights gained from the comprehensive research phase ensured that the loyalty program was not only highly visible but also deeply aligned with consumer needs and motivations.

Results


Loyalty Program Success

The Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program achieved remarkable success, meeting and surpassing its initial objectives through a combination of strategic messaging, targeted marketing, and a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior. Notable results include:

New User Acquisitions: The program attracted 1.1 million users to the app, with 500,000 based in the United Arab Emirates alone. This widespread adoption across different geographies underscores the effectiveness of the program's messaging and its resonance with a diverse audience.

Revenue Impact: A significant 30% of Al-Futtaim Retail's revenue was attributed to transactions made by Al-Futtaim Blue members. This indicates a substantial increase in loyalty and repeat business among members, proving the program’s ability to enhance customer retention and increase spending within the Al-Futtaim ecosystem.

Transaction Share: Al-Futtaim Blue transactions accounted for 20% of the total transaction share. This statistic reveals that on average, loyalty program members spent more per transaction compared to non-members, showcasing the program's success in encouraging higher spending.

Increased Visit Frequency: Members of the Al-Futtaim Blue program visited Al-Futtaim Group establishments 2.5 times more frequently than non-members. This heightened engagement demonstrates the program’s effectiveness in boosting footfall and reinforcing customer loyalty to the Al-Futtaim brand.

These outcomes not only validate the strategic approach and tactics employed in launching and promoting the Al-Futtaim Blue loyalty program but also illustrate the program’s significant impact on customer behavior, loyalty, and overall revenue generation for Al-Futtaim Retail.



1.1 Million

New User Acquisitions

30% Growth

Revenue Impact

20%

Transaction Share

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