Former financial services and automotive marketer Jan Smith is spearheading development of the Co-operative Group’s membership programme.
Smith will be working as a consultant on the membership brief at the Co-op until early next year. She gained experience of working with co-operative societies when she was an interim marketing director at Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society in 2000. She is also a former marketing director for Mazda and the RAC, and worked on the launch of First Direct in 1989. The Co-op plans to bring back its “divi” – the group’s dividend for members paid out according to how much a customer spends – in a drive to compete against other high street retailers.
The dividend, phased out in the early 1970s, will be part of a complete membership programme that will embrace the group’s funeral, pharmacist, financial and travel services as well as retail.
The Co-op now plans to charge customers a pound to be Co-op society members. They will be issued with a card to measure their spending across all Co-op brands and they will be entitled to a proportionate share of Co-op profits.
Smith is talking to advertising agencies with the help of the Haystack Group about handling a campaign for its membership programme.