According to a report from Luxury Institute, only 10 percent of customers revisit brands after their first visit, but repeat customers have a 60-70 percent chance of buying from brands on their next visit. Making a good impression on a new customer is crucial for retailers.

To help spring this objective is a gesture to offer customers small, yet sincere additive to their buy; a thank you for betting money on a brand they believe will best serve their needs.

This concept is captured in a tagline, well known to New Orleanians, called lagniappe.

Its history is just as rich as its pronunciation, entering into American consciousness centuries ago from Spanish Creole phrase. The Louisiana French adaptation roughly translates to “a little extra something” thrown in with a purchase.

This tradition is age-old, a staple of early trading practices in Louisiana.

Modern, more symbolic iterations of lagniappe are still practiced in New Orleans and, although it might not be explicitly labeled as such, the concept has made its way into mainstream brand communication tactics as well.

There’s a reason for lagniappe’s impressively long lifespan—it works.

While employing the concept of lagniappe in a loyalty program may require an extra cost, it’s worth it to acquire a customer that’ll return repeatedly.

Customers understand the value in racking up points and filling up visitor punch cards. It’s human nature to get excited about rewards born out of simple, seemingly effortless actions over time.

According to a 2017 report studying consumer interaction with brand loyalty efforts, shoppers are most satisfied if the programs are enjoyable and meet their needs, if they make the brand experience better, and if the points/rewards are easy to redeem and consistent with brand expectations.

Retailers see the value, too. While employing the concept of lagniappe in a loyalty program may require an extra cost, it’s worth it to acquire a customer that’ll return repeatedly, and retailers adjust their offerings accordingly.

The concept is in action at major companies, and it’s flexible to any industry. Retailers like Sephora and Starbucks are adopting interesting methods of delivering personal yet universal acts of gratuity to establish a stronghold in customers’ long-term memory.

Sephora flaunts its Beauty Insider program, granting loyal customers access to redeemable rewards switched out twice a week, a selection of beauty classes and even a free gift at local stores or online during the month of their birthday.

The Walgreens Balance Rewards program is simple and universal, adding points to every dollar they spend on most items. Points translate to cash amounts that users can apply to future purchases. The popular Starbucks Rewards program is similar in simplicity, awarding customers redeemable “stars” for every purchase that eventually adds up to free food and drinks. This program also comes with additional benefits, such as in-store refills, access to events and other offers, the option to pay by phone or order ahead, and a free birthday reward.

There’s something elegant to be said about this under-the-counter mutual transaction of trust.

Since 60 percent of shoppers say they want the option to earn points both online and in-store, lagniappe can work for all sorts of retailers of any size, as long as they understand their audience’s size, channels, behaviors and networks.

The trick is to offer personalized rewards that regularly grasp attention and incentivize customers to share the brand with friends. The majority of consumers weigh word-of-mouth recommendations, reviews and social media posts into their decision to make a purchase.

A 2016 report from Bond Brand Loyalty indicates that loyalty programs positively influence consumer behaviors and their internal relationship with brands.

There’s something elegant to be said about this under-the-counter mutual transaction of trust. And if lagniappe is executed in the right way, retailers will reap the results over time, to a great extent. It’s certainly worth a try.