Loyalty Spotlight: The Latest Trends In Reward Loyalty Programmes
As we’ve seen, there’s a lot going on within the world of loyalty right now. Technology is enabling new kinds of user experiences and the expectations of customers have never been higher.
On top of that, we’re witnessing a global trend to move towards more sustainable and ethical business practices, whilst brands are in a position of strength to be change makers within their respective industries and beyond.
Here, we touch on the key trends happening within reward loyalty programmes that are being shaped by wider forces across technology, society and business.
Innovation in reward type and execution
Innovation is everywhere! From the ‘metaverse’, web3, to the much-hyped NFTs, new-age technology is allowing brands to experiment in the ‘future of the internet’.
Whilst there’s a lot of noise in this future-gazing space, there is merit and value to be had if you know what to look for. Essentially, what this technology allows for is a new kind of customer experience. And in the world of loyalty, customer experience is always going to play an important role in shaping the perception of your brand.
Forward-thinking brands have adapted to these new technologies and ways of doing things.
For example, with real life events put on hold during the pandemic, the pivot to livestream was seen across lots of industries - not just sports and entertainment. Brands were quick to jump on this in the loyalty space, with retailers such as Marks & Spencer in the UK using livestreamed events to reach a large proportion of member base, creating a sense of community and bringing some much-needed entertainment to the homes of their customers.
Marks & Spencer launches events hub for loyalty members
Burger King tapped into the gaming phenomenon of ‘glitching’ to promote hidden offers within their rewards app.
Starbucks is looking to use NFTs to reward customers via its loyalty programme.
Across the board brands are looking to address growing customer concerns around the impact of business on the environment.
Loyalty and rewards programmes provide a unique opportunity to do this in a meaningful and impactful way, whilst also empowering customers to join in and become more sustainable in the process.
Ethically minded beauty retailer LUSH has always been one step ahead when it comes to empowering customers to act sustainably.
Coffee powerhouse Costa Coffee is making it twice as rewarding for customers who use a reusable cup.
For every four drinks using a reusable cup, Costa Club rewards customers with a free drink. This is usually a free drink after eight purchases using a takeaway cup, so it’s twice as quick for acting sustainably. A win-win for all.
CSR / Purpose
Brands are intertwining their charitable and CSR partnerships into their loyalty programmes, giving customers the chance to spend points or transfer their rewards to a worthy cause.
A win-win for both the brand, charity and the customer.
American Express Membership Rewards have a partnership with charity fundraising platform JustGiving.
Allowing customers to exchange their points balance towards a monetary donation to a charity of their choice.
Personalisation continues to be spoken about as the holy grail of marketing and loyalty. But there’s no denying true personalisation, at scale, is hard.
One brand that nails using data to truly deliver a personalised customer experience (albeit not within a loyalty scheme… but one that is as rewarding, loved and talked about as any other) is Spotify’s now annual Wrapped campaign.
At Rapport Group, our team is experienced in developing and optimising loyalty programs that drive customer engagement and growth. If you're looking to develop a loyalty program for your business or want to optimise an existing one, we're here to help!
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