Bin the Loyalty Cards & Sign-me Up for a Subscription

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Open your wallet today, and you will find it stuffed with loyalty cards that weigh most of us down. From the morning coffee, to groceries, restaurants, department stores, airlines & hotels, we all carry a significant amount of plastic in the hopes of converting spend into well-earned customer rewards.  

77% of Brits are subscribed to at least one loyalty programme, and on average we are enrolled in 14.3 schemes, according to a recent report from Bond Brand Loyalty. Yet the irony is that £6bn worth of points have not been redeemed from the top 10 loyalty providers.  Is it because so many of them are based on the traditional marketing drivers - product, price and people, irrelevant, complex and too confusing?  Or are they short-term rewards trying to win loyalty with ‘stuff’ rather than winning hearts and minds?

So many organisations have invested billions in loyalty schemes, but how much profit are they really generating?  Most of them are there to stop the leaky bucket.  In other words, trying to entice promiscuous browsers to avoid customer churn. 

The truth is that the cost of traditional loyalty programs significantly outweighs what they deliver. They are no longer a differentiator, but more mainstream.  And since most of these schemes were launched decades earlier, they are now outdated and less relevant for the digital browser who can shop around at the touch of a device. Deloitte tells us that 42% of consumers say that they need more than points to shop with a brand.  They want more for their money, and more for sharing their personal data.  They are looking for a customised, relevant, exclusive engagement across all touch points. 

The game has changed. Digital technology has opened up opportunities for new customer demands, new suppliers with new rules of engagement.

Usher in the Subscription era.

A new generation of companies that have experiences at the heart of their business models instead of static products.  Evolving transactional into experiential loyalty, where consumers are willing to engage with a brand and form a long-term relationship.  

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When you hear the word ‘subscription’ some of the tech giants such as: Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify spring to mind for your convenient delivery or streaming needs.  However, if you stop and think, subscriptions are closer than we realise - woven into our everyday lives.  Whether you are looking for Vegan treats from TheVeganKind.comor fancy a few wholesome snacks at work/home from Graze.comor want to expand your workout wardrobe to motivate yourself in the gym with Fabletics.comor get some flowers through the letterbox from BloomandWild.comor even treat your four-legged friend to bespoke pet food via Tails.com- The choice is yours. Subscriptions are not restricted to start-ups, some of the big players have also launched their own brands: P&G's Gillette on Demand, Sephora's Play! and Walmart's Beauty Box, and Unilever’s $1 billion acquisition of Dollar Shave Club. We are becoming subscription junkies, because loyalty has turned into love.

This exclusive agreement has now become a binding contract which has secured a paid and a mutual commitment between the customer and the brand.  This pledge virtually eliminates other potential suitors, making the relationship long-term and exclusive.  

However, it also means that the brand has to fulfil greater expectations to warrant the commitment and deliver innovative bespoke experiences.  In return, they will have the permission to use personal data to engage, delight, and influence customers in ‘real-time’ beyond the point of purchase.  Ultimately creating recurring revenue streams and consensual long-term loyalty. 

As the old saying goes ‘Membership has its privileges’.

About Us: 

We collaborate with strategic leadership teams to design customer-centric story selling that: Get brands listed, Convert Browsers into Buyers, and Unlock Commercial Growth.   

Trusted by some of the world’s most well-known & start-up brands and Omni-channel retailers such as:  Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Starbucks, Britvic/PepsiCo, Kolibri, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado and other Fortune 500 companies in the UK & International markets.  

Get in touch to see how we can Get your Brands Listed and Convert Browsers into Buyers… Let’s Talk On: +44 (0) 1727 860841 Or You can email us at: letstalk@splitsecondltd.com