In an increasingly competitive retail market, it takes creativity and innovation to maintain consumer engagement – and to win the sale over competitors that frequently go off-price or use other tactics.

That’s exactly the nimble mindset behind Active’s new referral program, “The Crew.”

The program allows youth to refer friends and family with a hefty discount code, and make a lifetime commission from those referrals. It also gives them access to exclusive events and to the Active Skate Park.

Right now the referrals are online-only, but Active is working on a roll-out for in-store use, as well.

TransWorld Business spoke with Active’s Director of Special Projects Nick Jacobs about the inspiration behind this new program and their strategy when it comes to retaining a new generation of youth consumers – and recruiting new ones.

“Our main goal with this program is to bring our audience closer to the brand,” Jacobs said. “Over the next few months, we’re going to pay close attention to our market and do everything we can to keep them excited.”

Active has built a loyal following. Particularly amongst teenagers.

How does “The Crew” stack up to a typical referral program?

It’s similar in the way that it allows everybody to have an incentive to spread the word for Active. The most distinguishing feature is that our program is eligible for kids that are 13 years old. Most referral programs have 18-years or-older age limits.

Also unique – but not totally unheard of – is the opportunity to turn reward points into cash, and not just store credit.

From a business standpoint, how does this program make sense to help grow Active?

We are most popular in our own backyard (Southern California) and when we expand to other regions – further away from our core audience – we’ve found that the most success when we’re really engaged with the local community. We’ve been lucky enough to have a pretty loyal following, so instead of simply launching a traditional loyalty program, we wanted to be creative and build something that brings our community closer to us.

Are there going to be exclusive products available for members in addition to other incentives?

The primary benefit of being a part of The Crew is the cash reward. We’re also offering access to the Active Skate Park, exclusive events and products.

Our main goal over the next few months is to tap into our community and see what type of products get them most excited. From there, make products specifically for them.

Kids rushing into the Active HQ skatepark on National go Skate Day 2017.

Are you able to spill the beans on any sort of events that The Crew members will be invited to?

Active Skate Park days, Volcom Skate Park clinics and movie premieres. The details are still in the works. We also want to find a way to include them in our quarterly employee award trips.

There’s all types of cool things that come along with working in this industry and I think at times, it’s easy to feel jaded by it. But it’s important to remember that all these things are still exciting – especially for kids.

All we want to do is make our followers feel just as much a part of it as we are.

Head to Active’s website for more information

All photos by Active.

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