How Adidas Leverages Loyalty Programs to Give Customers Access to Products They Can’t Get Elsewhere

Home How Adidas Leverages Loyalty Programs to Give Customers Access to Products They Can’t Get Elsewhere

As the CEO of NFT Workx, a company at the intersection of web3 and loyalty programs, I’m always interested in learning how leading brands innovate in the loyalty space to engage and reward their top customers. 

One loyalty program that has caught my attention recently is AdiClub, the membership platform for Adidas focused on creating unique experiences and access for their most loyal members.

After all, loyal consumers of products are likely to spend up to 67% or more on their trusted brand than new customers. 

That’s why sports apparel is an intriguing category — die-hard fans will do almost anything to get their hands on limited-edition merchandise from their favourite teams and players.

Intrigued by how Adidas is leveraging loyalty programs to enable exclusivity and drive retail excitement, I sat down with Bruna, Director of Adidas’ AdiClub for Latin America, to understand the company’s initiatives to create unmatched rewards for their top members.

Elite Loyalty Tiers Unlock Exclusive Rewards

AdiClub utilises four membership levels, ranging from standard entry-level to premium VIP status. The highest level, dubbed the “Golden Ticket”, unlocks truly exclusive rewards and experiences for Adidas’ most loyal and valuable customers. 

As Bruna explained, “Things like the Golden Ticket are really a once-in-a-lifetime chance to unlock benefits and access to products people would usually need luck to get.”

This loyalty segmentation allows Adidas to build a direct connection with its most engaged fans to offer them money-can’t-buy rewards tailor-made to drive excitement. From getting the first opportunity at purchasing ultra-limited sneaker drops before they hit the broader market to securing tickets to huge sporting events like the World Cup final, the Golden Ticket holders get treated like brand royalty.

Bruna provided a prime example: “Last year, we had marathons and races where people got rewarded with an NFT medal instead of a physical medal.” 

For context, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets verified using blockchain technology. This makes them traceable, unique, and coveted — especially when tied to prominent brands. By tapping into innovation like NFTs for top-tier loyalty members, Adidas adds scarcity and builds serious buzz among its VIP customers.

In-Store Rewards Create Retail Excitement

A key priority emphasised by Bruna is making sure AdiClub has an omnichannel rewards structure where retail members feel valued on par with e-commerce members. She explained, “We put our best rewards in-store nowadays. 

For example, members can walk into our Mexico City location and exchange points for a Club-exclusive watch or an Ultraboost sneaker to take home right away.”

This focus on creating unique physical redemptions generates excitement and foot traffic at Adidas’ owned retail locations. Considering in-store shopping requires more effort, Adidas crafted compelling member-only products exclusively at brick-and-mortar shops. 

These could be limited edition apparel capsules with known designers, Friends & Family merchandise, signed memorabilia from top athletes, or access to services like early product waitlists.

As Bruna noted, “Nothing more fair than bringing one of the most rewarding experiences and letting people redeem points for a product on the spot, which is what members were expecting.” 

By enabling instant gratification and redemption for status, Adidas incentivises its loyal customers to keep engaging with the brand through physical retail channels.

Data Personalisation Drives Targeted Exclusivity

While the elite tiers and high-prestige products generate wide appeal, Adidas also relies heavily on data analytics and personalisation capabilities to create exclusivity on an individual level. 

As Bruna stated, “Personalised content will always perform better than generic content. But how do you understand your members well enough to provide them with the personalised content they want?”

To unlock this capability, Adidas focuses intently on monitoring engagement data and purchase behavior rather than asking overt questions to profile members. As Bruna noted, “We are trying to understand how they behave and interact with the brand.” 

These rich member insights, derived from both online and in-store activity, fuel the creation of tailored offers and experiences aligned with people’s unique interests.

For Adidas’ highest spenders, the brand can then coordinate more one-on-one exclusivity by identifying the particular product types, sports partnerships, events, or collaborations that will delight those individuals based on their analytics. This could mean securing tickets to the championship game of their favourite team or producing a custom shoe design reflecting their personal aesthetic tastes.

Personalised exclusivity founded on data intelligence versus general segmentation creates huge word-of-mouth and satisfaction when Adidas can intuitively understand members’ desires and deliver against them. The surprise/delight factor and sense of feeling “known” binds Adidas’ VIPs even tighter to the brand.

Partnerships Magnify Reach and Value

AdiClub enhances the perceived prestige and credibility of its rewards through collaborations with complementary external brands. As Bruna highlighted, “We partner with brands that connect with our values to give the best experiences to members.” Initiatives like co-created trips, special events, and local retailer offers expand the types of exclusive access privileges available. They also reinforce an aura of aspiration and insider status.

While joint initiatives bolster value, the most critical takeaway for brands striving to leverage loyalty for exclusivity is implementing a multilayered strategy spanning elite loyalty tier creation, omnichannel reward models, and personalisation through data. 

First, building a recognised VIP status hierarchy, with privileges escalating from entry-level to premium ‘Golden Ticket’ access. Second, focusing on exclusivity across both online and physical experiences. Finally, leveraging individualised insights so exclusivity feels tailored and rare.

As someone pioneering web3 integrations through NFT Workx to facilitate new digital and physical exclusivity models, it’s promising to see brands like Adidas already rewarding their top loyalty members with one-of-a-kind NFT medals and gear. Unlocking exclusivity will continue evolving to engage digitally-native generations.