Generating a love for loyalty

I’m the type of person that would make every loyalty programme manager out there take a deep sigh.

I have lots of loyalty cards, but I rarely use them. I used to be an avid collector of my supermarket points and I got a real thrill getting my Christmas shopping (ahem, bottles of prosecco) for ‘free’ with all my points from the year. Then something as trivial as moving from a wallet to a card holder (who carries cash anymore?) meant I had to down-size and the loyalty cards just didn’t make the cut. Now, every time I’m asked if I have a card, I feel a small pang of regret, but not enough to make me remember to put them in my bag next time!

I know I’m missing out, but I just don’t have enough motivation to make more effort and anything that involves vouchers or coupon codes is just too much for me. Sounds lazy I know, but I’m not alone.

I’ve spoken lots of people about reward programmes on recent projects and in my mind there are two distinct types: 1. Savvy Savers – who want to make sure they get anything and everything they can in return for their spend and 2. Unengaged Collectors – who know it’s probably a good idea, but just aren’t consistent in doing it.  There’s clearly a sliding scale and a lot probably fall somewhere between the two, but you get my gist.

All-in-all, it’s a real challenge for brands to capture the attention of those of us on the more unengaged end of the spectrum.  Therefore, my suggestion would be to help us make loyalty into an engrained habit

Habits form when they are easy to remember to do, easy to action and repeat, and are as desirable as possible!

  • Brands should be thinking about what they can do to make loyalty programmes top of mind and as simple and convenient to collect/ redeem as possible. Apps certainly help with this and many brands are making use of them, but there’s always more that can be done!
  • In addition, brands should deliver a sense of personalisation and generosity so that rewards feel more meaningful, motivating and importantly, desirable. This may mean a multi-layered approach to rewards for some brands.

A good example that I’ve heard a lot about recently is the Tesco Clubcard – easy to use through the app, a large variety of rewards to choose from and a pricing initiative that gives Clubcard members exclusive prices with instant gratification at the till, which makes it feel more rewarding.

There’s a lot to be said for meaningful loyalty programmes and I’m excited to see what brands will do to engage even more customers in 2021.