Australian B2B loyalty scheme aims at USA, UK & NZ
The Australian business-to-business loyalty programme Business Rewards is negotiating to expand into new territories around the world through the appointment of new licensees, initially covering New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and North America.
The Business Rewards programme is a strictly B2B loyalty programme, with members including many of Australia's largest companies, as well as a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The programme uses the motivational effect of travel opportunities to help change business buying habits while also reducing churn. When purchasing goods and services from participating merchants, member companies earn points that can be redeemed for travel from the programme's accredited travel agents.
Cash-backed Unlike consumer programmes, however, all points are 100% cash-backed. In Australia, 1 point equates to Aus$1, which is held in an externally-administered bank account until such time as the member redeems the point. At the time of redemption the cash itself is transferred to the participating travel agent in payment for almost any travel product. Qualifying award products and services include air travel, hotels, car rental, conference fees, cruises, airport taxes, government taxes, and even meal vouchers, and there are no travel restrictions or black-out dates.
Four years were spent fine-tuning the programme for the Australian marketplace, leading to a soft launch in July 2003 in conjunction with Australian business newspaper publisher John Fairfax Publications. Since then an internet e-commerce portal has been developed, including links to the participating merchants, and also allowing electronic direct marketing to member companies.
Direct loyalty Unlike a typical consumer loyalty programme, where loyalty is to a credit card no matter where the card is used, the Business Rewards programme is focused on loyalty between members and merchant partners, and on building repeat business with the help of electronic communications. And in the same way as domestic coalition programmes, members can earn increasing benefits by redirecting their everyday business spend to merchant partners (including vehicle maintenance, travel, printing, stationery, telecommunications, equipment, newspapers, business mortgages, and superannuation contributions).
Business Rewards' approach to licensing is the provision of a complete turn-key system. The company says it is currently in advanced negotiations for New Zealand and has seen initial interest from both the United Kingdom and the USA.