The Loyalty Newswire: December 11, 2018

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on December 11, 2018

As if the whole world of data is reaching a sort of inflection point, recent news of Marriott’s data breach and the growing number of other large-scale data hacks, all seem to be pointing toward a new era of protections, consequences and expectations. So, we’re happy to report this first item as a something good that is happening in that arena. Beyond that, there are a handful of big-brand loyalty launches in the news, CX insights you may not have been aware of, and a big tip of the hat to some stars in airline loyalty. Here’s what were following:


Kudelski Group and Pepper IoT Announce Joint Initiative to Protect Consumer Data on Connected Devices Bought in U.S. Retail

This is some of the first good-big-news on the topic of consumer data after a spate of really bad ones.  Two industry powerhouses have come together to address data protections in the explosive world of IoT.  Look for more news of this sort from the world of customer loyalty.


Facebook Internal Emails Show Need for Users to Safeguard Personal Data

The fact that the company sold your personal data to a series of bad actors is old news (Cambridge Analytica, etc.). And this article is only the latest to show that their practices were not only sloppy but that they have bordered on malicious.  It’s a shame to see a company run by a group of clearly smart people who were so willing to compromise their ethical standards.



6 Ways to Take Your CX Strategy to the Next Level in 2019

What’s great about this list of CX tips is that you probably haven’t heard them before.  They’re smart, they’re counterintuitive and they’re going to add some good perspective to your ongoing customer experience thinking.


Price wars make a comeback as brands lose patience with CX – Forrester predictions 2019

We had what might be best described as a “robust discussion”on the topic of CX and its long-term importance to customer loyalty at one of our recent Loyalty Academy conferences. The pro / con sides lined up almost evenly at the end of the day.  It’s hard to dispute the value of great CX but companies are notoriously empirical



It’s going to be interesting to see how all these premium loyalty programs fare over the long term.  Amazon Prime, after all, has huge (and growing)slate of offerings and benefits for their members.  Can an athleisure wear company create enough value to attract and retain members at $128 USD annually?  That fee gets you some merchandise and access to their curated work-out experiences.


Loblaw rolls out Amazon Prime-style loyalty program for $99 a year

Loblaw, on the other hand, has the corporate breadth to assemble a very wide portfolio of benefits for users.  And at $99 per year, PC Insiders followsAmazon’s pricing structure almost identically. Loblaw is offering its PC Insiders program to all 16 million of its PC Optimum members.


Papa John’s rolls out new rewards program

It would be hard to identify another major brand that has taken more of a hit to its brand than Papa John’s, the pizza chain.  After much-publicized turmoil with its CEO& founder and a series of PR missteps that followed, the company badly needs to stem customer flight.  “Instead of earning points toward specific rewards, users will be able to convert their dollars spent into “Papa Dough,” which can be collected and used toward anything on the Papa John’s menu.” But here’s the program’s real kicker: “You can earn points five times faster in this program than in the old one.”


Buckeye Nation Rewards loyalty program connects fans, university

On the far opposite end of the brand-affinity spectrum, OhioState University suffers no such lack of loyalty.  In fact, the words rabid, obsessive and dedicated might be better apt to describe the relationship that the school has with its fans.  But as any loyalty practitioner will tell you, customer loyalty is about behavior change, and to its credit, the sports administration at OSU are implementing a program to do exactly that.


Amazon Prime Channels revenues jump to $1.7 bn over 2018

Speaking of Amazon Prime, BMO Capital Markets reports that revenue from Amazon’s video channels jumped to $1.7Billion from $700 Million last year. “Amazon has profited from the unique scale it can bring to the business, via a global audience of 75m Prime Video subscribers, as well as eliminating barriers to subscribers by fully integrating channels within its existing payments infrastructure.”  Sounds like smart loyalty programming.



Only 38% of Customers Feel Rewarded for Their Loyalty to Travel Providers

We referred to the Collinson report in an earlier edition of the Loyalty Newswire but this particular nugget surfaced and we think it’s worth highlighting.  Further, “64 percent of travel companies fail to understand their customers or why they are loyal to their brand.”  These are more than just incidental failings – Collinson’s research would seem to indicate something much deeper and more systemic.


MileagePlus Named Top Airline Loyalty Program in the Americas by the Frequent Traveler Awards

But there are some very bright spots in Airline loyalty.  We would like to extend our congratulations to Luc Bondar and team at United’s Mileage Plus for taking this year’s Frequent Traveler Titan Award as the “as the leading and most innovative airline loyalty program in the Americas.”  The award is well deserved.



Understanding the irrational forces that shape consumer behavior

“It turns out we’re actually not very good at knowing what drives our own behaviour and what we say in focus groups is not always a reliable predictor of what we’ll end up doing in the real world”.  Customer loyalty and behavioral economics are inextricably interwoven fields.  Hit the link for a very high-level view of the value of behavioral economics as it relates to what we all do for a living.  And then start exploring it further.  We are.


Mike Giambattista is Editor in Chief at The Wise Marketer and is a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional (CLMP).