Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Missing Ingredients

Have I become delusional...why do most loyalty programmes appear the same to me?! The application form, personalised loyalty card, points, upgrades, gift catalogues or air miles.......

To the extent that loyalty programmes quite often appear to have been created out of force of habit or as a matter of "hygiene"...which is a wicked waste of money and resources.

When is the last time you were blown away by a new feature, application or gizmo in this space? I believe the closest we have come to an inflection point has been the introduction and growth of coalition loyalty programmes with Nectar and Air Miles leading the pack.
With the exception of the customers at the "top of the pyramid", loyalty programmes will increasingly be faced with the existential question "Are we really influencing customer choice?"

A couple of questions you may like to ask to determine those "missing ingredients" to wow your customers:

a. Show me the Rolls! : Is there a stage in the customer life-cycle, wherein she can say "Wow" - You need not give a Rolls Royce, perhaps offer her a day in a chauffeur driven Rolls!

b. What was that again ? : Can she explain one feature in your programme that makes it more distinctive than that of your competitor?

c. Dick & Jane : We've got separate shopping sections for men and women to address their differing needs and tastes...So why not different loyalty programmes?..My favorite subject - Segmentation...

A few thoughts on the missing ingredients, to tickle your grey cells!

i. Bespoke Loyalty Services : Can your customer design and customize the loyalty programe to meet their needs

ii. Family Rewards : Have’nt seen too many loyalty programmes that address the complete family or customer formed groups, with the exception of Air Miles and upromise

iii. Merge Loyalty Points : Could customers converge the loyalty points earned across programmes in a common exchange platform. Coalition loyalty but at the next level. You may notice redemption levels going through the roof, but thats where the opportunity lies for the brands.

Well, we could go on forever, but quite clearly a need for some introspection and fresh perspectives on user experience and customer life-cycle management!

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