Build A Brand Customer Loyalty Data & Privacy

What can brands learn from Kith’s ‘thoughtful’ loyalty program?


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

April 3, 2024 | 7 min read

Brands have been evolving their loyalty programs over the past few years by trying and testing new ways to collect points and reward customers. Fashion retailer Kith’s loyalty program has been held up as the gold standard; we ask why.

Kith loyalty cards

What can brands learn from Kith points-based loyalty program / Kith

Kith is the uber-cool lifestyle brand founded by Ronnie Fieg and it gained the attention of adland earlier this year when it rolled out its loyalty program.

According to Stijn Nachtergaele, the founder of the lifestyle marketing agency Nightingale: “Kith’s new loyalty program redefines brand loyalty in 2024, prioritizing personalized rewards and community engagement.”

The points-based scheme rewards Kith shoppers with experiences, early access and exclusive products. Two points are awarded for every Kith-branded purchase and one point for a non-Kith product sold through the retailer. Points are collected through the Kith App.

Existing Kith customers won’t have to start collecting points from scratch as Kith has automatically backdated past purchases based on the registration email.

Using a tiered system, customers that bank between 0 and 1,999 points are on tier one (named Molecule), 2,000 to 9,999 on tier two (Elevation) and tier three is for 10,000+ points (Vitality).

With the average price of a Kith t-shirt being $88 (£70), reaching the Vitality tier would set you back a lot of money. But there are other ways to earn points: members can enter contests, get rewarded for adding shopping preferences to the app or checking into events and stores.

All tiers entitle members to a welcome gift, exclusive products, a birthday gift and early access to selected products. The top tier, or Vitality tier, gets member access to Kith events, the ability to skip the queue at store entry and early access to collaborations.

For example, being a Kith loyalty member would get you early access to buy the co-branded Bose headphones, which sold out within the first 48 hours of release. Or entry to Kith’s Star Wars event in the Angelika Theatre in New York City, which debuted a new collection and a screening of the 1983 Star Wars movie.

To promote the launch of the loyalty program, Kith teamed up with Adidas and Clarks to create a three-way co-branded trainer exclusive to Kith loyalty members.

So, why has the marketing industry hailed the Kith program as such a triumph?

Stijn Nachtergaele, founder of Nightingale: “With a focus on enhancing the customer experience, it offers tailored incentives through the Kith app, driving increased purchase frequency and revenue growth. The tiered structure grants exclusive perks like early product access and bespoke capsule collections, making membership aspirational.

“By rewarding historical purchases and incentivizing desired behaviors, Kith fosters goodwill and community among its loyal base. With unique benefits like rare meetups and made-to-order capsule wardrobes, Kith effectively drives sales and deepens customer loyalty, setting a new standard for brand advocacy.”

Nathan Poekert, CMO adviser for clients including Old Navy, Claire and Fenty: “A brand with an already existing cult-like following, Kith, launched one of the most thoughtful loyalty programs I’ve ever seen. Kith’s romanticization of the language and tiers showcases just how much they desire to affirm their customers. Offering access to exclusive experiences for their highest tiers creates Fomo but also solidifies the relationship through physical touchpoints.

“Creating pipelines for exclusive custom-made, made-to-order gear just for loyalty members could have been enough to drive this program, but it’s just a small aspect of it. Offering membership gifts that are truly unique (not just gift coupons and gift cards) shows that they know their customers and want to provide a unique experience.”

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Vohara Gunaratna, chief revenue officer at the loyalty app provider ethos: “Kith’s innovative loyalty program transcends traditional discounts, offering exclusive experiences like early access to drops and unique capsule collections. This fosters a deeper connection with its customers. By gamifying rewards and emphasizing community engagement, Kith not only drives consumer behavior but also strengthens its dedicated fan base, positioning it for sustained growth in a competitive market.

“Investing in a loyalty program like this demonstrates Kith’s commitment to excellence. It also prompts reflection on the changing landscape of loyalty programs, where a balance between in-house development and vendor partnerships could lead to wider adoption.”

Robin Sacawa, vice-president of healthcare social strategy at Edelman: “Kith is one of those brands known for its loyalty, both from repeat purchasers and those who look forward to the day when their aspiration turns into a purchase.

“Whereas most loyalty programs fall flat and, in some cases, receive backlash, Kith’s latest way to thank its community for its loyalty shows brands what the modern-day system can look like (hint, it’s not like airline miles that expire). One of the most surprising ways the Kith Loyalty Program is doing this is their plan of retroactively rewarding customers for their prior purchases dating back to 2014.

“We haven’t seen this kind of ‘shake up’ since Sephora launched its Beauty Insider program, which most brands have been chasing ever since. Brands like Kith and Sephora show how there needs to be a clear payoff for the consumer to drive brand loyalty – not just immediacy but benefiting them for the long haul.”

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