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Loyalty Programs – What’s The Point?

Posted April 4, 2016

By Adam Posner –Talking Food Stage Speaker

In a world cluttered with loyalty programs where every café and their competitors have a coffee card or some sort of loyalty program, why should any business even consider a loyalty program?

In fact according to – ‘For Love or Money 2015’, the Australian Research study on consumers relationships with loyalty programs, 84% of Australians over 18 years old are a member of at least one loyalty program with the average memberships around 4 programs and interestingly women are members of closer to 5 vs men who are members of on average 3 programs.

So, in the changing consumer and technology landscape do loyalty programs really work? Is mobile killing the loyalty card? Do members of programs spend more? Are programs a profitable business growth strategy? Do programs genuinely drive customer loyalty?

So many questions which all deserve a detailed answer which will be provided by Adam Posner during his loyalty presentation at the Talking Food Stage. However, if you are thinking about the value and viability of a program or have a program that is need of a review and revamp, then here are three traps to avoid that lead to loyalty program tears:

No clarity on metrics of success

A program is a living, breathing asset of a business and knowing upfront why your business will benefit is critical. Setting RoL = Return on Loyalty metrics is perhaps the most critical. In simple terms it is made up of revenue influencers (members x value of spend x frequency of visit) over investment inputs (systems, marketing, maintenance & reporting). Any of these revenue and investment elements can be leveraged towards a positive RoL

Program structure does not match the profile of customer

Ensure your program structure (benefits and rewards) also matches the profile of your customers so that they look forward to joining and participating.

Team not in love with loyalty

Without your team in love with your program, it will die very quickly, so get their ideas and get them to be part of the program from its birth to delivery and thereon. Set performance criteria, measure and report and reward your team for their program engagement. (Tip: Appoint some loyalty ambassadors to your program).


These are the most common traps that brands and their programs (of all shapes and sizes) fall into, so if you get these 3 fundamentals right, you are well on your way to valuable loyalty program with benefits that can come back to your business in both behavior (they spend more, more often) and belief (they rave and refer).

Check out the Talking Food Stage schedule for this and many more other topics.