How loyal can points reward schemes be?

The article by Branwell Johnson (MW September 5) makes it clear that a points-means-prizes mechanism represents the tried-and-tested way to deliver coalition loyalty marketing programmes. But is it really effective in engendering true loyalty from consumers? Schemes like Nectar and Air Miles reward consumers for their purchases, but are we really loyal to these companies, their partners with whom we collect the points, or to the rewards themselves.

With an unsustainable points liability on their balance sheets, it is easy to understand why some Nectar partners would want to develop a new coalition loyalty programme. However, we have seen from past attempts at similar initiatives that the difficulties coalition partners face in sustaining consumer interest in such programmes.

In order to assess the merits of different loyalty initiatives we must understand what loyalty means to a consumer and how brands can use this to influence buying habits. Can multiple brands really achieve the same loyalty, passion and engagement as say football supporters direct to their clubs through a points-based scheme? We’ll have to wait and see.

Nick Chambers

Sales and marketing manager


London SW8

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here