Friday, August 22, 2008

Why The Beatles Don't Issue Reward Points?

One of the highest grossers of this century, having sold millions of records across the world and a sprinkling of fan clubs with a maniacal following that has an etheral magic about it. Music lovers across generations continue to purchase and listen to their favourite tracks across analog & digital, from cds to mp3, audio cassettes to Blue Ray formats.

WalMart has proven (often considered obstinately) time and again that its EDLP platform continue to drive the customers back into stores. Apple products have a maniacal cult following across geographies and the adventure continues with the iphone.

So why is it that some of the leading brands do not issue reward points, but in fact charge a premium to facilitate entry into the inner circles.'s a contra view. Reward point issuing loyalty programmes is the bastion of those brands that stand a couple of rungs below the truly iconic brands. A true brand delivers value to its customer base. A true brand is respected for its contributions & innovations and prodded on when it faulters or misses a step.

Are loyalty programmes that missing ingredient in the econometric equation that mask the shortcomings and faults in the product / service range? Do loyalty points actually say thanks for your business, because we know you may have taken your business elsewhere? Now, is'nt that it in itself a constant confession of shortcomings! slightly radical...

The fact of the matter lies in the fact that several brands and businesses believe that reward programmes can truly camoflouge their faults. In these increasingly demanding times, its important to understand truly what drives value to your customers and to your businesses. In these days of rising fuel prices is forcing customers to shop online, should the business redirect its budgets in points to a more efficient delivery system.

Loyalty programme managers need to consistently prove the business value of their points and programme costs. Its not surprising to see presentations and statistics that proclaim that their loyalty customer base contribute to over 60% of spends and 70% of profits. When was the last cause and effect study undertaken? and how can one be convinced that the locational, pricing and merchandising range were in fact the driving factors and not perhaps reward points.

Time to tighten the belts and perhaps sing " I should have known better..."

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