The important thing for brands is to think about is how their loyalty strategy is positioned in relation to what customers want from the relationship, according to Phil Szymala, client services director for proprietary loyalty at Aimia, which owns the Nectar scheme and manages Coca-Cola’s Coke Zone.
He argues that consumers’ needs have not changed in the past decade, despite the developments in new technologies such as social media, mobile devices and new channels.
“As touch points proliferate, success will come through keeping things simple and joined up. Social media, geo location apps and offers – these are shiny new toys, but the future of loyalty isn’t technology. It’s actually having a simple focus to use technology in the right way to cater for simple needs,” he says.
“The future of loyalty becomes about extending the loyalty cycle and thinking about the value of interaction and then connecting the dots. Connecting social interaction with transaction and understanding the total value of a customer’s relationship with your brand.”