The Loyalty Newswire – December 24, 2018

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By: Mike Giambattista, CLMP |

Posted on December 24, 2018

Is your brand being treated like a secret lover? And is that a bad thing?  Is your wearable giving up the goods on your life and lifestyle?  How does your cruise line loyalty program stack up?  And it’s a real-deal race to the finish points run.  Here’s what we’re following in loyalty news:


When a brand is like a secret lover

How can secrecy be leveraged to create deeper loyalty between consumers and brands?
The article gets a gold medal for the title alone but the deeper findings are even more intriguing.  Marinate for a few moments on this little snippet: “Researchers have long known that lovers in an illicit relationship will attempt to suppress thoughts about the other, which only leads to more intruding thoughts about the lover.”


Want to Move Cheese Curds in Aisle 3? Enlist Darth Vader

“In one experiment, half the participants saw an image of a Fiji bottle of water and half saw an ice cream bar. The description of the water bottle was either “Villainous Spring Water — unforgiving, cunning, and dangerous” or “Heroic Spring Water — patient, courageous, and with integrity.” You’ll need to read the article to see how respondents faired but the data seems to be pointing toward our desire to identify with less-than-charitable side of ourselves.


Mobile Behavior – Ready to Enter the ‘Safe-Zone’?

It has been well-demonstrated that mobile UX is its own unique discipline largely because of the unique contexts of mobile usage.  But this research from Wharton School points to a set of “states-of-mind” that influence how and why mobile users are making contextual decisions. In a phenomenon they are calling ‘safe zone’, “the device itself often serves as an attachment object that people turn to in times of worry or stress.”



Stopping the Data Breach Epidemic

Another week, another series of huge data breaches.  Remember back to the good old days of 2013 when millions of consumers’ personal data profiles were exposed in the Target hack and it was actually big news?  The frequency with which these new breaches are coming to light has almost made them part of the scenery.  From our perspective, we have an obligation to create constructive conversations around the topic and to force brands, marketers, data aggregators and consumers to be more vigilant and responsible.  This piece does a good job of outlining consumers’ responsibilities.


Aggregated Data from Wearables Don't Fully Conceal Individuals' Identities

The amount and detail of data that companies accumulate on us is staggering – possibly no more so than in the field of wearables.  Think about it, every aspect of your activity is being monitored by someone, somewhere – and that data is apparently not as completely private as consumers have been led to expect.  SIDE NOTE: I recently had occasion to contact the customer service department for my smartwatch company. I told the rep that the watch had shorted my morning workout and had recorded my routine incorrectly.  After a brief pause she informed me – with great detail – that I had in fact shorted myself and that I might consider re-doubling my commitment to the program.  Of all the nerve.



The Technology Turning Customer Footsteps into Rewards for Retailers

If you need some proof that we are indeed living in a fascinating age, here is a technology that produces usable energy by being walked on – and it is being leveraged to create enhanced customer loyalty.  Read and be amazed.



The Digital Path to Customer Loyalty

By now everyone in the financial world has heard (ad nauseum) the admonitions, the pitches and the warnings to go digital or die.  And they are largely true.  This difference here however, is that Bain & Company has outlined specific approaches to accelerate those critical processes. 


8 Cruise Line Loyalty Programs Compared: Perks & Requirements

We highlight this piece for a couple of reasons: 1) We think that everyone benefits from open program comparison.  The consumer gets enlightened and loyalty program operators (who likely already know how their competitors stack up) get to see how the press & public are responding. 


Simon-Kucher helps Uber roll out loyalty rewards program

Uber’s loyalty program captured a lot of attention and headlines when it was rolled out this past November.  We were particularly intrigued to understand the thinking behind the tiering and rewarding strategy.  Consulting credits go to Simon Kucher for big-picture guidance.



The Holiday Frenzy of Starbucks For Life Is Like Making A Mileage Run

Yes, responsible loyalty program management dictates that rewards (points, stars, etc.) expire at some point.  There are solid accounting reasons for this but there is also fundamental consumer psychology at play.  And nothing motivates like the fear of losing some of your hard-earned goodies.  Which is why we love this time of year so much.  Right now, we (and most of our friends) are spending and traveling hard to reach that next level before it’s too late.  Happy Holidays!


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