What are the implications of the Plenti launch on May 4th? While the U.S. marketplace has distinct differences compared to other countries where coalition models thrive, one can suspect a lot of attention against this landmark initiative. Coalition, by design, has an inherent power of helping partners acquire new customers by harnessing each brand’s customer pool. It can also move market share away from retailers with standalone programs, as customers tend to gravitate toward programs that alleviate the need to carry multiple cards, and collect multiple currencies. Last, but not least, coalition tends to accelerate members’ currency-earning power by getting them to their rewards quicker.
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.
This past Wednesday, American Express made an historic U.S. customer loyalty announcement revealing that it is launching a coalition loyalty program called Plenti in the U.S. this coming May. Why was this announcement so historic? Well for one thing, coalition loyalty has thrived for decades in other parts of the world, including Germany, the UK, the Middle East, New Zealand, and just north of the U.S. boarder in Canada. Strangely enough, it has never really caught on here in the U.S.