Here’s an undeniable truth that can be applied to your customer retention strategy: very often you have to run just to stay in one place. In fact, if you don’t run, you risk falling behind!

Loyalty programs must constantly reinvent themselves to ensure they deliver value to their members. And not just value – more value than they were offering yesterday. Are you continually reassessing your loyalty program’s value proposition to make sure this happens?

In a dynamic market with changing goals, member expectations also continue to evolve. Today’s “exclusive privileges” in a loyalty program will be treated like hygiene tomorrow, prompting the member to start looking for newer and better products.

Each element of the program’s value proposition should be carefully organized at regular intervals to provide value to the membership base.

By: Mala Raj, CLMP

Take points or currency. If you have change, there are a few cardinal principles to follow:

  • Maintain an attractive winning rate (by market standards) – otherwise the member sees no value in the points.
  • Give enough opportunities to win – so that the speed is high. When the ticker moves, the member is motivated and engaged. Go to the creation of the currency omnipresent.
  • Have enough buyout choices at every step – and make sure they’re relevant to the membership base. Mix in a combination of liquidity and value.
  • Constantly reinvent the exchange catalog with new and better options to create curiosity and spark engagement.

Soft benefits

  • Benefits are a key point of differentiation for a loyalty program in a member’s mind – not easily replicated by competitors and a good way to mark your brand personality.
  • Members easily get used to the benefits you offer and can adopt an attitude of entitlement. Keep adding, modifying, differentiating members to create aspirations, but always keep them relevant. Continue to take the pulse of member expectations and satisfaction levels.
  • Make sure that the execution and delivery of employee benefits is flawless. It is a great moment of truth that can make or break your program.

Partnerships

  • This is becoming more and more common as members look for novelty and variety in a program – and greater opportunities to earn and burn if there is a change. Proprietary programs are starting to realize that they need partners to improve even a good value proposition.
  • Ensure synergistic partners who speak of the same values ​​as the parent brand.
  • And again, make sure the delivery is seamless. This is reflected on the parent brand if the partner does not deliver.

There are few loyalty programs in India that are lifelong examples of their ever-changing value proposition and member engagement..

Marriott Bonvoy has a healthy combination of rewards, benefits, partners that keeps members engaged in the program, even in a scenario like today where there is little or no travel.

Flipkart SuperCoins is another remarkable example. They took several active steps simultaneously to increase the value of the program in the minds of the members:

  • Already generous in terms of restitution (2% for non-Plus members and 4% for Plus members), they maintained the rate of gain and the value of the currency even during the pandemic.
  • Through SuperCoin Pay, they linked up with a host of online and offline brands where SuperCoins could be used as currency when buying – and this regardless of using SuperCoins to pay for purchases on the platform. form (Flipkart) and the rewards store.
  • With internal partnerships such as Cleartrip, Myntra and Phone Pe, they have dramatically increased the speed of earning SuperCoins, making them more attractive.
  • Other strategic partnerships of this type are underway with telecommunications, fuel, etc. to earn and burn SuperCoins, which means that around 60-70% of a household’s expenses will be able to earn SuperCoins.
  • “Almost There” Flipkart customers received a Plus subscription before reaching eligibility.
  • They increased the value proposition through content and games – both of which are non-transactional ways to engage with brand, program, and currency.

Some credit card programs – AmEx and Citi for example, made their currency more liquid by offering a payment option with points. When in-store redemptions are possible (Shoppers’ Stop First Citizen, Levi’s Loop for example) and there is no minimum redemption threshold, suddenly money becomes more liquid – almost as good as cash. As a result, you will find the number of clients using suddenly jumps because even small amounts of currency from their accounts can be used.

Remarkably, there is a plethora of programs that seem to officially tick the boxes in terms of offering proposition – points, partners, services – and yet do not sufficiently motivate members to engage with them.

You can avoid this dismal outcome by remembering these keys:

  1. Relevance – Build the foundations.
  2. Reinvention – Always be dynamic, not static. Keep evolving.
  3. Ubiquity – Make money more and more ubiquitous and be part of everyday life
  4. Liquidity – Remove trade restrictions, earn points almost as good as cash.
  5. Choice and control – Put both in the hands of the members.

One last important thought, more and more relevant these days given the pandemic – CAUSE. Whenever you can, link the loyalty program with a larger cause that goes beyond transactions. Nothing creates more goodwill than a brand or a program that expresses the same values ​​as its members.

Mala Raj is a consulting partner at Strategic caravan based in Mumbai. She has over 28 years of experience in media planning, direct marketing, CRM and customer retention. She is CLMP and faculty member of Loyalty Academy.

Do loyalty programs regularly reassess their value proposition?