TREW Alpine Club Breakdown
See how TREW Gear turned its Alpine Club into a source of recurring revenue
TREW Gear's Alpine Club offers a tiered membership that scales with customer engagement, from accessible perks to premium options for those with a higher willingness to pay. This approach not only incentivizes spending but also enriches the customer experience with a mix of transactional and experiential rewards. The standout Capow Sweepstakes offers members a shot at authentic TREW experiences, emphasizing the brand's commitment to community and adventure.
Now, let's jump into the program's structure to unpack the incentives and strategic goals.
The landing page
Breaking core benefits down into clear categories with visual aids like icons is a great way to convey the value proposition.
As its flagship offering and key differentiator from competing programs, the Capow Sweepstakes benefit would be better utilized as a standalone content block. Highlighting this benefit further up the page would allow the brand’s unique offering to shine driving higher conversion and upsell opportunities.
TREW interestingly offers three different tiers each with their own set of entry requirements.
The first tier (Green circle) is free and open to all. The second tier (Blue Square) is free and available to those with an annual spend of $700 or more. The third tier is a pay to play offer at an annual $549 price point (includes a complimentary jacket or bib).
While tiering provides its benefits, structuring tiers with differing entry requirements presents its challenges. Tying membership status to customer spend is a slippery slope potentially leading to customer dissatisfaction (what happens when a member misses the thresh hold one year?). The varying entry requirements also risk confusing prospective members.
The problem here is not the benefits themselves, it’s that the benefits are misaligned. The black diamond tier is a better deal than the blue square. Despite including an out of pocket cost, black diamond members receive a complimentary jacked (MSRP of ~500USD) plus a whopping 35% discount on select products.
Allow us to illustrate with an example:
In focusing on building out their paid membership program (hence the massive incentives), TREW has misaligned the value of each tier, potentially undermining the appeal of the program (and more importantly, the funnel driving members toward paid).
Brands will always do well to lead with the benefits that are most authentic to who they are. On this score, TREW does well in highlighting its CAPOW offering. However, it misses the opportunity to highlight another major pillar of the membership— the Afterlife, their trade-in program. Not only does this program provide tremendous value for consumers (you must be a member to receive credit for trade-ins) it also serves the marketing function of promoting something unique to the brand.
The cost of returning unwanted items is a significant one. This benefit encourages trial and experimentation among members, reducing the barrier to purchase high-quality gear. By ensuring a risk-free shopping experience, TREW not only fosters confidence in their product lineup but also strengthens the loyalty and retention of their community. This is a particularly valuable benefit in industries where returns rates are high and/or shipping costs expensive (ie. this would also be a great benefit for furniture brands).
This can get expensive. Before you consider offering free returns, make sure you have a firm understanding of the costs associated. You will want to make sure you are baking these costs into your membership fees.
TREW leverages a points program to reward members on every transaction. Leveraging a point multiplier is an easy way to increase the value of higher tiers by simply awarding higher tiered members with more points per dollar.
Points are most commonly redeemable for discounts, however, TREW does something clever by gamifying their Capow Sweepstakes to give members another way to use their hard earned points: sweepstake entries.
TREW’s Capow Sweepstakes offer members with a unique opportunity to win an incredible prize that is highly aligned with the brand: an all expenses paid ski trip to British Columbia. What is perhaps most interesting about this prize is that the trip is part of a larger company wide retreat, meaning winners not only get to ski in BC, but they also get the chance to meet the team behind the gear and build a closer relationship with the brand.
Overall, TREW’s membership program is strong, with accessible entry points and a healthy mix of transactional (points, discounts, etc..) and experiential benefits (sweepstakes, trade in program, etc…). Despite a few conflicting elements in their tier architecture, the Alpine Club offers members a unique and authentic way to engage with the brand.
Tiering is a great way to provide multiple entry points
Keep pricing consistent when applying a tiered membership strategy
Free returns are a great benefit for brands with high return rates
Blend internal activities with external ones for max authenticity