Your organization has come to the conclusion that a brand loyalty program would provide a marketable differentiator and strategic advantage for your business and now it’s up to you to make it happen.
The first steps are to assess your in-house capabilities, determine the operating model you would like to move forward with and how figure out how much expertise you need to hire on. You definitely don't want to start from scratch!
The Market Reality
We all know that the market reality is that there is little to no patience for ground up builds, so an off the shelf software service can be a viable option when looking for a platform partner. Be aware though that the one size fits all approach may not live up to your end goals. Off the shelf SAS products provide a very attractive price point and end user tools, but may not line up with your initial objective—to provide a marketable differentiator for your business.
You also have to take into account the burden of building in-house expertise on loyalty strategy and the operations of a niche platform. Now the brilliant and innovative concept developed by your team may never make it further than your whiteboards and let’s face it, you’re already running a complex business. Even the concepts that you do wish to bring to life often need to be assessed by your SAS partner against their roadmap and timeline.
Every platform has its limitations; none of them can possibly anticipate every client’s needs or wants. The question you should ask is, “if I think of something, what is the process to get it implemented and how can I be assured I will be a priority?” In many cases your ideas may not mesh with the platform’s roadmap, so now what do you do?
Benefits of a Hybrid
There is an alternative approach, a hybrid product model, such as SYNAPZE™, in which many of the benefits of an off the shelf product are reserved while removing the limitations that can prevent a good program from being great. Hybrid solutions provide product evolution roadmaps, which individual clients can pick and choose enhancements from that are relevant to their needs. This ensures the continued evolution of your loyalty program by leveraging new capabilities and best practice offerings.
The result is that no idea is too wild, no concept too foreign for the SYNAPZE™ product roadmap. And that's not all—all of these unique capabilities fall under your standard SLAs, providing you the predictability of an off the shelf solution with the flexibility of a custom build. This model allows you to focus your attention on those unique concepts that will truly make your loyalty program stand out and fulfill that primary need of providing a market differentiator.