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A Loyalty Management Screenplay

By Adam Sarner | June 10, 2015 | 2 Comments

In the U.S. alone, loyalty membership is approaching the 3 billion mark. A Gartner consumer survey shows that 62% of respondents are members of one or more loyalty programs.

However, more than one-third of participants report never using those programs.

Traditional loyalty programs that offer points, rewards and discounts as the core of their offerings are becoming commoditized, forcing providers to find fresh, new ways to encourage brand affinity, expressions of loyalty and to improve the overall customer experience. See Market Guide for Loyalty Marketing Platforms (clients only).  This trend also encourages the marketing community to re-examine the definition and value of loyalty. At its heart, loyalty is earned when customers consistently choose your products and services over the competition, over an extended period of time. This type of loyalty is rarely achieved through points from an accrual and redemption engine alone. It takes a loyalty hierarchy of needs.

Marketers are recognizing the limitations of stand-alone accrual/redemption engines. In response, they focus on a more strategic, long-term relationship with customers, based on techniques and treatments that add to affinity, where point programs are part of the approach, but not all.

This week,  I offer a screenplay (I wrote at Starbucks) involving a loyalty program exchange between company and customer. Please leave your ideas in the comment section regarding what the retailer might have done better to get their loyalty strategy off the ground.

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  • Beth Torrie says:

    You are too funny.
    Yes – you are right- there’s a ton of room for improvement with loyalty cards. Once loyalty programs are better connected to email and WCM, and technologies that are more adaptive to environments like an experience platform, “Adam” will experience something like this:

    Thank you for your purchase sir. We wouldn’t be in business without our customers like you.I know you are just trying to get out of here, but we are really trying to better understand our customer needs, so we can continue to offer you the best prices.Based on the t-shirt you are wearing, it looks like you once ran a 5K for charity. Would you allow BIG BOX to make a 5 donation to a charity in your name?, we’d just need your email.

    Great. Thank you Adam, see you next time.

  • Richard Fouts says:

    Thanks for some comic relief about loyalty. Reminds me of a time I was checking into a hotel. My flight was late getting in, I was tired, hungry .. just wanted to order room service and go to bed. But … as I was trying to check in the registration person wouldn’t stop hammering me with the joys of its loyalty program. Grrr….