Virgin launches VIP loyalty card in US Megastores
Music retailer Virgin Entertainment Group has launched a loyalty programme in selected Virgin Megastores throughout North America, based on the thermochromic GraphiCard loyalty platform provided by Visible Results USA.
The new programme is called the V.I.P. card (which stands for "Virgin Important Person"). In keeping with Virgin Entertainment's sense of fun, the card carries the tag line "It's not the size of your VIP-ness, it's how you use it". The points and rewards programme provides members with special discounts and entertainment incentives, such as backstage passes, concert tickets, and various instant prizes.
Customers can join the programme for free at participating Megastores and receive their V.I.P. card on the spot. Points earned on every transaction at Virgin Megastores are instantly displayed on the face of the member's card (which is thermally rewritable), along with their new points balance and the points required to reach the next reward level.
Unique premiums According to Dee Mc Laughlin, senior director of marketing for Virgin Entertainment Group North America, "We know that the market for loyalty programmes is competitive, and we also know there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to this type of programme. However, we are confident that the V.I.P. programme offers unique premiums that will motivate and reward our most loyal customers."
Reward points The Virgin V.I.P. programme is structured to give members 1 point for every US$1 they spend while shopping with their V.I.P. card. Every time they use their card, they are also automatically entered into a major prize draw (a chance to win prizes such as a trip for two to London).
To earn points with each purchase, the Virgin V.I.P. member's card is simply inserted into a free-standing counter-top unit at the point-of-sale during the sales transaction. A thermal process rewrites the front of the card with each transaction, to display point totals and other personalised information designed to pique the customer's interest. The card's face can include targeted offers, details of special promotions and sales, advertising messages, details of instant win games, and the member's loyalty points balance. A re-writeable magnetic strip incorporated into the back of the card also stores specific data about transactions as they occur.
Using the data Of course the real prize for Virgin is the ability the programme provides to collect extensive customer data. Virgin Megastore's marketers will now be able to mine transaction data, profile customers to determine the products that resonate with particular profiles, and identify the company's most profitable customers.
Each product, its genre, media type, and a range of other parameters can then be automatically matched with V.I.P. members to communicate the most relevant offers for each segment of the customer base.
Measuring customer loyalty "According to expert analysts, retailers that get the most payback from loyalty programmes are careful to measure vital metrics, like gross margin per customer and the lifetime value of a customer, as well as getting on-going feedback from their customers to provide rewards that customers feel are valuable," explained Simon Wright, CEO for Virgin Entertainment Group North America. "That's exactly what we're doing with the V.I.P. programme. We have researched the type of loyalty programmes that work and we are confident that this programme will add to our success as a music retailer."
Visible Results, while headquartered in New Zealand, provides loyalty programmes and CRM services for clients in the convenience, fast-food, fuel, restaurant, and general retail industries. The company currently operates programmes in fifteen countries including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe and parts of South America.