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Are Your Loyalty Program Members in A Zombie Or Zumba Zone?

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By: Adam Posner, CLMP™ | The Point of Loyalty |

Posted on April 24, 2024

How to be sure your loyalty program members are active and dancing with you


A person who has no energy, seems to act without thinking, and does not notice what is happening (Cambridge Dictionary definition).

Zombie loyalty program members (Adam Posner definition)

Members of a program who don’t know why they are members, what’s in for them, don’t really identify or scan (or if they do, don't know why) and rarely redeem…with little or no care factor or knowledge of the program.

(In one of favourite Loyalty Leader interviews, Glenn Baker (who at the time of the interview was General Manager of Everyday Rewards) spoke about active engagement in loyalty programs and members who are “not just ‘zombie scanning’, which some people can do in retail loyalty programs”. Thanks, Glenn, for highlighting “Zombie” to help me wake up and shake up the land of loyalty programs!)


A brand name for a type of exercise in which you do dance moves and other exercises to Latin American music, usually in class with other people (Cambridge Dictionary definition).

Zumba loyalty program members (Adam Posner definition)

Members who are active and engaged in their programs, have more of an emotional connection than transactional. They love their programs, have Joyalty* in their hearts about the program, talk about the program, share the joy with others and look forward to the rewards they receive (aka Beauty Loop Members – read more here).

Is it possible to have more Zumba members than Zombie members?


However, behind that simple answer is a well deep and wide.

Here are some Zumba inspired thoughts. These were created with this Zumba music playing – try it! OR go to Spotify – Zumba Dance Music.

While playing the music, ask your team the Joyalty question, meaning your members’ feeling of maximum joy and delight from one or a series of Moments of Magic (MoMs) delivered by your program.

  • "What would our members not expect that we can do to add a Moment of Magic (one-off or ongoing) that adds Joyalty* to their lives…or for that matter, makes them feel like they are dancing to Zumba Dance Music?"

Here is list of 13 of these MoMs that we researched with members of loyalty programs in For Love or Money™ (2023 and soon to be released 2024). It’s not an exhaustive list.

  1. A surprise gift for no reason
  2. Randomly receiving a purchase for free
  3. A little note/ gift/ chocolate in your delivery
  4. Finding a secret benefit or reward with clues given, on a website or in-store
  5. A happy birthday gift/reward
  6. An unexpected exclusive invitation to an event or experience
  7. Access to a limited release of product (only a few members receive the limited release)
  8. The program unexpectedly matches your purchase amount as a donation to a charity of your choice
  9. An incorrect online order is sent by a brand, and as part of an apology with the correct item, they also let you keep the other one
  10. Free product samples with a purchase (instore or online)
  11. Randomly receiving a surprise gift for free with a purchase
  12. An online order is delivered later than expected and there is a small gift or discount code to apologize for the delay
  13. Receiving points/rewards from a friend or family as an unexpected gift

If you want to go deeper, here are some inspirational books that have provided Joyalty ideas to my life:

  1. Unreasonable Hospitality – Will Guidara
  2. Joyful – Ingrid Fettell Lee
  3. The Power of Moments - Chip and Dan Heath
  4. Talk Triggers – Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin

Why is it critical to have more Zumba members than Zombie members in your program?

An active and engaged membership who love your program (are emotionally connected) will do all the behaviours you want:

  1. Purchase more often over the longer term
  2. Spend more over the longer term
  3. Be your customer acquisition by sharing the joy with others to get onboard

(This is not just hearsay; it’s been proven time and again and in For Love or MoneyTM 2024 we will reveal the benefits to brands of Joyalty)

Without active and engaged members who love your loyalty program, your program is pretty much in a Zombie Zone!

Now it’s your chance! Turn up the Zumba music and start creating ideas for Joyalty. Have some fun and move your members from Zombie Zone to Zumba Zone.

Have a happy Joyalty day!

(If you want a copy of Adam’s 2023 paper on Joyalty with the seven principles to consider to when designing more Joyalty into your program, email him here: adam@thepointofloyalty.com.au)


About the Author

Adam is the founder of The Point of Loyalty and has been a data-driven marketer for over 29 years. He is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP™ and the creator of the Loyalty Program Experience Index SPVx TM  - a rating of a loyalty program by its members based on their experience with the program weighted against three key variables of how Simple (S), Personal (P) and Valuable (V) the program is to them. Adam has designed and deployed customer loyalty, rewards and membership program strategies, customer and member research for organisations operating in retail (various categories of retail), hospitality, hotels & holiday parks, child-care, financial services, shopping centres, leisure and entertainment, trade, education and B2B industries.