American Express shook up the loyalty landscape last month when it announced the launch of Plenti, a coalition loyalty program that allows members to earn and redeem points with various brands—including Macy’s, Rite Aid, Nationwide, and AT&T.
This is significant because the US has traditionally been unfriendly territory when it comes to coalition loyalty. Let’s examine some of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of coalition loyalty and why it hasn’t taken off in the US.
So you can now imagine the uphill battle American Express had as part of years of business development and negotiations with prospective coalition partners. One must commend them on this tremendous accomplishment. Surely, other coalition operators must be scratching their heads wondering, “what if?”
For CMO’s, they need to carefully consider all the options when it comes to building the right experience, engagement and relationship with their customers and their brand. As we know, the life of a CMO is usually 3-4 years and no CMO wants to have their successful proprietary loyalty program converted to a coalition program, and take on the risk that the coalition does not yield success for their brand under their watch. Coalition is certainly something CMO’s need to consider but is investing or reinvesting in a proprietary loyalty program a better path forward?
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