Points Rewards programs are certainly a popular form of loyalty program, but it's important to remember that there are numerous loyalty program designs that don’t include points at all. In fact, there are 7 distinct types of loyalty programs to consider when revamping a loyalty program or starting a brand new one. A sound loyalty program design process will start with your objectives and the unique opportunities that exist for your brand, and only then move to program concepts that are best aligned. Although you’ll want to mix and match to achieve a balanced program design, these 7 different loyalty program types provide a good starting point for brainstorming and ideation.
Engaging with a loyalty consultant can provide a specific expertise, objective viewpoint or fresh thinking that benefits even for the most sophisticated loyalty firms and program operators. However, it can also be a challenge for program executives to manage the process and most importantly, get an actionable result from a loyalty consulting group. Well managed consulting engagements are based on loyalty insights and will deliver a viable program design that is well substantiated and will differentiate the brand.
As noted in the Nov 5 New York Times Article How Frequent Flier Programs Are Changing in a Changed World, business travel is still way off of pre-pandemic levels, and US Airlines are battling to retain the loyalty of frequent travelers. Tactics include lowering elite tier thresholds and increasing the credit allowed for non-flying transactions such as credit card spend. In addition, they are reducing focus on mileage due to the environmental concerns related to the notion of travelers taking unnecessary trips just to earn or retain their status.
Much of this response is due to the changes felt due to Covid-19, though as the author notes, some “may be disenchanted with airline loyalty programs, which, in the years leading up to the pandemic, had made upgrades and free tickets more elusive”.
As noted in Loyalty Measurement: C-Suite Needs a Balanced Scorecard, executives need a balanced presentation of results to gauge program performance. As part of that, loyalty practitioners must measure and optimize the incremental impact of their programs. LoyaltyLevers Balanced Scorecard provides a unique solution to the challenge of causality. This article goes deeper into measuring Behavior changes and translating that into an estimate of incremental margin attributable to the program.
Ask your loyalty program owner to report out on their program results, and you might hear answers like “It’s hard to measure ROI”, “Redemptions are improving” or “Total revenue is up!”. This article is written especially for the busy CEO, CFO or CMO who wants a reliable yardstick, and it outlines the LoyaltyLevers Balanced Scorecard which provides a unique solution to measurement and optimization.