Corporate Eye

Skechers Launches Creative Rewards Program with a Crowdsourcing Twist

Consumers who purchase Skechers shoes and products are quite vocal about those purchases. As Adweek reports, there are 60,000 product reviews and 32,000 questions and answers published by consumers on the website. In an effort to boost loyalty, build a stronger online community, and increase engagement on the Skechers website, the company launched a new twist to its rewards program that leverages crowdsourcing in a creative way.

Members of the Skechers Elite rewards program can now earn points not just for purchasing Skechers products but also for their activities on the website. For example, members of the rewards program can earn points when they publish product reviews or when they answer questions published on the site by other customers. These points will be added to the rewards points they earn when they make purchases, and points can be redeemed for coupons or used toward future purchases.

The clever part of this rewards program announcement is the use of customers who have already demonstrated their loyalty to Skechers by joining the Skechers Elite program. These people are likely to be brand advocates who will engage with other users and create content for the company. Rather than paying a team of customer service representatives to field questions on the website, other customers can manage some of that burden. By rewarding them for their time and effort, they feel valued. Furthermore, visitors to the Skechers website will see the active community of customers, which will help to add a perception of credibility and brand trust. It’s a win-win-win situation for the Skechers brand and company, loyal customers, and new customers.

Of course, one could argue that by rewarding customers who publish product reviews, you run the risk of being accused of indirectly paying for those reviews. The trick for Skechers is to ensure that there is no perception of dishonesty. Reviewers in the Skechers program whose reviews are most frequently flagged as most helpful will get special badges to add to their user profiles. This could be a step in the wrong direction. In other words, there is a temptation for customers to write a more extreme review in order to get more people to flag that review as helpful. As long as rewards points aren’t tied to the type of review — positive or negative — then the Skechers program should work.

Remember, it’s all about perception. If you try to implement a similar crowdsourcing effort tied to your brand loyalty program, be very careful and monitor customer reviews and conversations closely to make sure no one tries to game the system. It only takes one dishonest review or user to launch a mass of negative publicity.

Image: Clay Irving

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.