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Loyalty Newswire
April 1, 2024

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 1, 2024

This Week's News

The weekly Loyalty Newswire from The Wise Marketer delivers a curated list of the latest news and announcements from around the globe on all topics related to customer loyalty. We share news on a spectrum of topics, all with the intention of giving you an “info boost” to start your week.

The Loyalty Newswire makes it simple for busy professionals (that means YOU) to quickly digest important industry news and to *maybe even* enable you to star in your next big meeting.

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Thanks for being on this journey with us!

Stay. Loyal. Always.

April Fools?

“Homeless” man uses frequent flyer and reward points to live in hotels

We have seen plenty of research indicating a new trend in customer loyalty. An increasing percentage of people participating in customer loyalty programs want to leverage their loyalty program value into something more practical than a dream trip to Hawaii. This research revealed that 92 percent of consumers use them to make their money stretch further.

Now we have found the extreme manifestation of this trend. A businessman in Orange County, California who lost his job 19 months ago and his home in January, has taken to living in hotels as a stopgap and doing it all through his accumulated stockpile of frequent flier miles. Truth is stranger than fiction. And this story is true. Read it here.

Starbucks finds profit in “Odyssey” closure

As we reported here, Starbucks recently terminated its Odyssey program, one that awarded NFT Stamps to customers who participated in specified journeys with the coffee giant. Despite its short-lived tenure, we learned of a financial windfall that Starbucks enjoyed from the Web3 feature in Starbucks Rewards.

According to an analysis by Catchit Loyalty, Starbucks reportedly earned over $1.3 million in royalties from minting "Stamps," (those NFTs), as well as royalties from the secondary market. And there’s more … as David Feldman shared in this post a Coindesk report confirms that Polygon Labs paid $4 million to Starbucks in 2022 as part of their deal to build and host the blockchain-based loyalty program. At least three blockchain ecosystems had been in competition for the hosting deal. Those numbers surely take the sting out of the program’s premature closure.

IAG Loyalty's first above-the-line campaign in over a decade features 35 e-foil surfers

Avios has a new advert out that features waves of daring E-Foil Surfers to highlight the “Everyday” nature of its program benefits. Spawned by Uncommon Creative Studio, the unique sight of 35 e-foil surfers dressed in normal clothing – even one in a bathrobe – is imagery that expresses how Avios members can use their points for a wide range of everyday transactions. It is reported the brand is aiming to widen its customer base and make its loyalty program ubiquitous.

Signing up for loyalty programs could be backfiring on you. Take our quiz to find out why

Australia’s Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) claims it's a widespread practice for businesses to trade information about customers with other companies. "They can create a profile about you — it can shape what you see online, what offers you may be excluded from or included in, and even what price you may pay for products and services," CPRC's digital policy director Chandni Gupta said.

Gee, where did they get that idea? To help warn bargain-hungry shoppers about the risks of providing businesses with personal information including their name, mobile and email addresses, this news outlet created a consumer data-awareness quiz. Take the quiz and see how you fare.

Now for April Fools-free content

Kognitiv Launches AI-Native, Outcome-Based Kognitiv Amplify

Kognitiv Corporation announced the addition of Kognitiv Amplify to its innovative omni-channel and omni-audience SaaS platform. The transformative AI-native, outcome-based paid media optimization software has been designed to reshape and propel brands’ acquisition and customer engagement strategies by delivering highly targeted cross-channel advertising at scale.

By leveraging zero- and first-party data, Kognitiv Amplify incorporates paid media channels into the full customer lifecycle journey from acquisition to retention, delivering highly relevant and engaging ad content to both new and existing customers. Anthony Wintheiser, Chief Product Officer at Kognitiv, commented “Kognitiv Amplify’s AI-native decisioning allows brands to combine their advertising data with zero- and first-party data, as well as curated third-party sources to deliver highly personalized ads to new and existing customers for a connected cross-channel experience, while continually refining audience targeting based on real-time insights.”

MilleMiglia, Alitalia's loyalty program ends up in the hands of Trenitalia

Italian railways operator Trenitalia has acquired MilleMiglia, the loyalty company of Alitalia (officially known as Italia Loyalty Spa), giving it access to the membership of 6.2 million members and the ability to streamline it with its existing CartaFRECCIA (estimated to have 10 million members) and X-GO programs.

Mario Alovisi, current Chief marketing and product officer of Trenitalia, will be CEO of the company that manages MilleMiglia. The priority is to integrate Alitalia's loyalty program with that of the railway company CartaFreccia (reserved for Frecciarossa customers) and X-Go (dedicated to customers who use Regional and Intercity trains).

Saudi Arabia has a growing customer loyalty market

Saudi Arabia's loyalty program market is on the rise, and as Simon Roach, CLMP™ reports, it's not just about points anymore. Simon predicts 5 trends to watch in the KSA loyalty market.

1. Strategic Alliances - Airlines like Saudi and Riyadh Air are syncing up for shared loyalty perks.
2. Digital Growth - Mobile-based loyalty schemes are the new frontier.
3. E-commerce Expansion - Online marketplaces like those fronted by retailer noon are extending perks across borders.
4. Government Engagement - Programs like DOAM Al-Rajhi, an employee loyalty program that that floats exclusive offers for 1.2 million government employees through 2,500 service providers, are enhancing public sector efficiency.
5. Consumer-Centric - Tailored rewards are shaping the loyalty landscape.

Yesway's Growth Momentum Continues in 2024

Yesway, one of the country's fastest growing convenience store chains, is significantly expanding its presence in Oklahoma, with its portfolio of stores in the state expected to stand at 15 locations by the end of 2024. Yesway has received numerous industry awards for its growth initiatives, management team, loyalty program, and employees' contributions to the industry.

Closer Look releases research report with findings to that lead to emotional loyalty

A Closer Look's groundbreaking market research report, "Beyond Surveys: A Deep Dive into Customer Experiences and the Path to Brand Loyalty," reveals the key to building emotionally connected, long-term relationships with customers that transcend transactional rewards and discounts. The report provides data-driven insights and actionable recommendations for brands seeking to create meaningful, lasting relationships with customers that go beyond transactional loyalty.

The comprehensive study, based on three customer surveys with a total of 3,242 responses, uncovers crucial findings related to customer feedback behaviors, negative experience triggers, and the drivers of emotional loyalty.

CLMP™s can find the report in the Loyalty Academy VAULT.

United Makes it Easier to Share Award Miles with Family and Friends

United becomes first major U.S. airline to allow members of its loyalty program, MileagePlus®, to pool their miles with family and friends into a joint account. This new feature makes it easier for family members of all ages -- and groups to sha United launched MileagePlus miles pooling – a new way for MileagePlus members to contribute and combine their miles into a joint account. Available on United.com, groups of up to five members can now share and redeem miles in one linked account. United allows any MileagePlus member – whether relatives or close friends – to be in a pool with other members.

Stay. Loyal. Always.