Poor brand loyalty. Everybody talks about it but nobody quite understands it. Some brands think if they call programs loyalty then it will magically happen, even if they’re really dealing with a completely different animal such as a rewards program or payment system. It’s more than a tweet or a “like.” Throw in buzzy buzzwords like social, mobile, gamification, and brand advocates into the mess along with its touchy-feely nature and it’s no wonder 72% of CMOs don’t feel sufficiently prepared to build it. Here are some reasons why.
I think we all gave the same disbelieving headshake the moment we learned that Kim Kardashian pulls in $10K for a promotional tweet (unless you didn’t yet know, in which case you’re doing it now). Increasingly, it appears similar offers may be on their way to you and me (albeit at a drastically reduced rate). More and more companies are willing to give out discounts, merchandise or even cold, hard cash in exchange for you utilizing your social networking tools on their behalf.
Yesterday, a friend forwarded me a Google Offer for 50% off Virgin America roundtrip tickets. Within minutes, I had bought the offer and purchased my roundtrip ticket. Victory! I saved $55 and earned a standard 2% cashback with my Fidelity AMEX.
Soon after, as a proud cashback nazi, I realized the rookie mistakes I had just made:
Square recently announced they were getting into the loyalty game. They join a growing trend of third party loyalty program providers to accompany the ever-expanding programs that are offered by companies themselves totaling over two billion participants worldwide. Loyalty is only second to female archery as the new hotness in the US.
As more startups pop up to offer “loyalty” programs and larger, more traditional brands look to get into the “loyalty” game, there’s something we have to address right now. Many of these programs don’t generate loyalty.