Google Local Guides may not come to mind as a Gamification Loyalty Program, in fact most consumers aren’t even aware of it. Take a closer look though, and you’ll see that it’s the GOAT of gamification in loyalty programs! How many other programs can tout so many members who have had such a transformative effect on their business? Google Local guides is tough to beat, with over 150 million Local Guides globally, who:
Loyalty Program Examples
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”.
The online travel agent (OTA) space is highly competitive, and undergoing consolidation down to two key players: Booking Holdings (e.g booking.com, Priceline, Cheapflights and OpenTable), and Expedia Group (e.g. Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and VRBO), and they are battling it out for market leadership.
Subscription is a new frontier in loyalty programs that’s been carved out so famously by Amazon Prime. However, over the last few years an exciting battle has emerged in the alpine ski industry between Vail Associate’s Epic Pass and Alterra Mountain’s Ikon Pass. While the lines between product and loyalty program get blurry in this space, it’s clear to me that the aim of these programs is loyalty: retention, cross-sell and maximizing share of wallet – just like it is for Amazon. So, while not a rewards program per se, subscription is certainly an avenue to be explored by marketers with these objectives. This article looks at these two competitors through the LoyaltyLevers lens and provides insights that can be applied to any category.
Just as Amazon Prime has changed the face of ecommerce, the Epic and Ikon passes have changed the complexion of the ski industry, pitting elite pairings of the most famous resorts against each-other in this high-stake battle.
Category titans Sephora and Ulta both have powerful loyalty programs, in fact according to Newsweek’s “America’s Best Loyalty Programs 2021” survey they are at parity with each receiving a 7.6 rating from consumers . This article provides a thorough review of each program, digging in to how they are applying loyalty design and best practices. Both programs are strong, with Beauty Insider delivering over 80% of Sephora’s revenue and Ultamate Rewards delivering over 90% for Ulta. However, they take dramatically different approaches, and the contrast provides insight to practitioners who are considering their program design and how it plays to their brand’s strengths.
McDonald's is rolling out their Rewards program, so as part of our Loyalty Program Examples series I wanted to take a quick look at how it compares to other fast food programs, in this case Chick-Fil-A One. McDonald's is usually not the first, but rather takes the time to learn from competitors, coming in later in to outflank them with an informed strategy.