Loyalty has a price

Richard Madden’s recent column on loyalty schemes called “I’veregained my faith in loyalty programmes” prompted much discussion on

MarketingWeek.co.uk. The comments can be found here and some readers’ views are below

I agree about the value of loyalty. I have over a dozen airline cards, a few from hotel chains and three cards from major car rental companies. And am I loyal? Certainly not – the offers/discounts/ incentives are all pretty much the same so my choice of which brand to use comes down to convenience and price at the time. Until the companies developing loyalty programmes come up with something along the lines suggested by Richard, the money spent on most of them seems a waste.
Adrian Lawes

It is astonishing to be debating the value of brand loyalty as a behaviour, and loyalty programmes as a medium to create this much cherished state of affairs.

The truth is that loyalty programmes do work and the more well-thought out they are, the better they work.

Tesco Clubcard is an excellent example of a basic tenet of a successful loyalty programme. Just take a look at the returns the company has achieved. Returning customers, return on investment and a return to the philosophy of the good old days – treat your customers as individuals and they will become the best sales force you could imagine.

“Smart” loyalty is no more than this. It is a good loyalty programme where the use of data drives relevant offers to customers, which drives sales, and where customers climb up the loyalty ladder and assist prospects in getting on it.

Like Richard, I am wondering what might happen next, but I also agree with Adrian that there is an awful lot of work to do right now on the plethora of existing loyalty programmes that really do seem to be unimaginative, bland, pointless and badly thought out.
Steve Brown

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