Food for thought: it’s hard to believe 5 years have passed since the Plenti Customer Loyalty Program ended, but it’s true. And for some, it was a hard truth to swallow. Why did this coalition loyalty program stumble? Launched by American Express in 2015, the program got off to a hot start, with a seemingly impressive roster of brands like Macy’s, Rite Aid, ExxonMobil, Alamo, Enterprise, Chili’s, and more.
But the devil is in the details, and these details underscore the importance of sensible coalition partnerships and ensuring broad customer access. The first thing to note is that the program lacked focus; many entities working together can be a tremendously powerful force, but contextual relevance is key, and without alignment to an overarching cause, the message becomes diluted. Plus, with credit card access being limited to AmEx cardholders only – no Visa or MasterCard card alternative like with other coalition programs around the world – many potential members lost their appetite for the program in the face of such a sweeping limitation.
However, the construct of enabling coalition loyalty may be changing as the technology that allows for card-linked offers may be the right amount of spice needed to get US consumers finally eating coalition up. And how about enabling them to support a Cause of their choice – and a local one at that? Now there’s food for thought!