The Evolution of Loyalty: Loblaw PC Optimum and its Implications

Posted by Richard Schenker

Nov 15, 2017 2:27:22 PM

Back in 1997 when I began to lead a loyalty project for Shoppers Drug Mart with the code name “ASA” (an acronym for Acetylsalicylic acid), little did I know that 20 years later we would be witnessing the evolution of Canada’s favorite and most successful loyalty program. This past week’s announcement of the merger of these two iconic loyalty programs makes great business sense for the brands and their customers. The Shoppers Optimum program was originally tested in Kingston, Halifax and Calgary over a 16-month period. Towards the end of the pilot in 1999, approval was granted to launch the Shoppers Optimum Program nationally.

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Loyalty Marketing, Loyalty Strategy, Loyalty points

10 Common Pitfalls of Loyalty Program Design

Posted by Richard Schenker

Oct 11, 2017 12:22:21 PM

Loyalty Programs are critical to fostering effective Customer Engagement strategies for brands. They enable Customer acquisition, onboarding, engagement, retention, and even win back a brand’s Customers. Many strategic brand marketers have made their Loyalty Programs a key business imperative and have invested significant financial and human capital against this important endeavor. We often see many Loyalty Programs underperform or even fail because of poor Program design and planning. When designing or renovating your Loyalty Program, marketers should avoid:

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Loyalty Marketing, Loyalty Strategy

Do you have the right ingredients for Customer Experience (CX) success?

Posted by Morana Bakula

Oct 3, 2017 11:44:34 AM

A customer obsessed culture is the core ingredient to CX success – but cultural change can be a daunting and difficult journey. You know you’re on the right cutstomer centric path when your organization has developed:

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Topics: Customer Experience

Is Your Loyalty Program Worth It? 5 ways to ensure your Program makes the cut

Posted by Bond Brand Loyalty

Aug 31, 2017 9:04:32 AM

Now in its seventh year, the Loyalty Report 2017 reveals that consumers have reached their Program engagement threshold despite an upward trend in new Program memberships. Our research finds that new program enrollment has grown by 31% in the past four years to 14.3 Programs per member; yet, only 6.7 Programs are active. This means that if your Program is not engaging or properly rewarding Members for their devotion, your Program is at risk and needs work.
 
A poor experience can significantly affect Member satisfaction, which can have a direct impact on spend, choice, advocacy, and retention, so it’s critical that you do everything possible to be among the active 6.7 Programs. Here are five ways to ensure your Program makes the cut.

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Loyalty Marketing, Loyalty Report, Customer Experience, Retail, mobile

Why Luxury Brands Need To Focus On The Human Customer Experience

Posted by Morana Bakula

Apr 4, 2017 10:26:46 AM

Yes, brands are dazzling customers with virtual and augmented reality, interactive screens and AI-powered everything, yet this provides an opportunity for brands to differentiate through the emotional value customers gain from their entire purchase experience.

It means brands need to get better at being emotional. Customers want “emotional luxury” derived from feeling recognized, special, and known; yet, only 20% of consumers say they feel special and recognized by a brand representative. This is a massive, untapped opportunity for brands to better engage with consumers.

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Loyalty Report, Customer Experience, CX, Training and Learning, Retail Luxury

Points Liability Management—Lowering The Tension Between Your CFO & CMO

Posted by Richard Schenker

Mar 14, 2017 4:42:44 PM

Almost all currency-based consumer loyalty Program designs inherently house a financial liability, which in many cases has a material impact on a brand’s balance sheet. Generally speaking, a brand incurs liability for a future loyalty Program reward as soon as it issues the Program’s currency (e.g., points, miles, credits, stars, etc.) to a Program Member. From an income statement perspective, there is a reduction in revenue as soon as the currency is issued to a Program Member. As such, the brand cannot account for the full sale, since a percentage will need to be remunerated in the form of a reward (or dividend) back to the Program Member upon redemption. The accounting principles which govern financial liability management are not for the faint of heart, and they more than often create an ongoing level of tension between a brand’s CFO and CMO. CFOs wish to minimize their currency liability and resulting financial exposure, while CMOs wish to issue currency to incent incremental transactional behaviors with the aspiration of maximizing Member redemptions. 

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Topics: Loyalty Program, Loyalty Report, Loyalty points, Rewards, Loyalty Strategy

How to Sustain Loyalty Through Your Mobile Engagement Strategy

Posted by Michelle Sequeira Yee

Feb 1, 2017 3:45:13 PM

In today’s mobile-driven marketplace, and with the rise of the Millennial “always on” consumer, having an app complement a retailer’s marketing strategy has become table stakes. Apps have evolved from simply being an extension of the digital ecosystem to leading the way for brand innovation, campaign awareness, and deeper loyalty engagement.

Never before has a brand had the opportunity to be part of such a personal customer connection—your customers’ mobile device is more than just a communication channel; it’s their hub to connect to all things, all people, and interact with your brand in more personal ways than ever before. The challenge this brings is for retailers to truly understand how users want to connect with their brand, and to develop features that enable those interactions in innovative, creative, relevant, and simple ways. The opportunity is to retain top-of-mind awareness for your brand, create habit-forming engagements, and obtain a higher reach of brand advocacy, especially when a formal loyalty program exists for your brand. Surprisingly, Bond Brand Loyalty’s 2016 Loyalty Report shows that almost 50% of consumers aren’t even aware if the loyalty program they engage with has an app, which is a lost opportunity for many retailers.

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Topics: Digital Loyalty, Loyalty Program, Loyalty Report, Mobile Loyalty

A Fraudster’s Ticket into Loyalty: Travel Program Operators Beware

Posted by Carlo Pirillo

Sep 28, 2016 10:38:55 AM

Over the past 15 years, loyalty programs have enjoyed a relatively low level of fraudulent activities. However, in recent months we have seen the level of loyalty program and loyalty card fraud increase. As “Chip & Pin” credit cards continue to become prevalent, specific industries whose business models include transactions where the physical card does not need to be present, have become the target of fraudsters. One of these in particular is the travel booking industry.

Lately, fraudulent activities have propagated to loyalty programs where the travel components of the program are the primary target. However, as there often is with fraud schemes, there’s a twist. The loyalty program is not the actual target of the fraud, but rather a means to facilitate the scheme.

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Topics: Digital Loyalty, Loyalty Program, Loyalty Report

#autobond: Uber, Autonomous Vehicles, and Bumps in the Road Ahead

Posted by Chris Travell

Sep 16, 2016 11:59:07 AM

This is a historic week in Pittsburgh. Uber is launching its fleet of Ford Fusions in an autonomous driving pilot. It’s not a big pilot—only four of the vehicles are outfitted with the technology and two people will sit in the front taking notes ready to take over in case something goes wrong. But, this is one of the more public displays of how ride sharing is changing the landscape of the global automotive industry. 

Manufacturers are also jumping on board. Toyota and Uber inked a deal earlier in the year; VW invested $300 million in Gett Inc; GM put $500 million into Lyft and spent just over $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automation; and not to be left out, Apple invested $1 billion into the Chinese company Didi Chuxing. The market for on demand autonomous transportation is growing—and fast.

A few observations: Manufacturers need to go this way since the sharing economy is no longer just a pleasant notion—it’s happening in everything from automobiles to garden implements. As sales are leveling out, especially in developed markets, shareholders are pushing for greater returns and this certainly seems like a reasonable bet. More, there’s the potential of safer roads, at least in the long term. 

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Topics: #autobond

Meeting Your Objectives Through Your People: 12 Considerations for Business Coaching

Posted by Nancy Dewar

Sep 8, 2016 3:02:03 PM

When or Why Would You Need to Hire a Business Coach?

Customer-centricity seems to be the new buzzworthy topic in boardrooms. But a customer “obsessed” culture is not created overnight. One way to accelerate through the change curve is to bring in a coach to ensure that the organization has the right guidance, support and focus needed to create the new customer-centric way of being.

A change toward customer-centricity starts with your people committing to making changes on a personal level. Business coaches are trained to help organizations meet objectives through their people.

Business coaches are individuals who have worked in various aspects of the corporate world, who have extensive real world experience, and who have the business acumen to deal with anyone from a CEO to a frontline employee. Coaches also typically have high EQ’s and the strategic ability to ask the pertinent questions, digging deep to uncover the insights of what’s really going on.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Coaching

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