Do you remember the time when airline tickets came in booklet form? There were the tickets themselves, printed on rich glossy paper followed by pages of Ts&Cs. The airline industry was the first to reward its customers for being loyal in the 1970s. And this was in a widespread and popular way. There was finally a thing such a ‘free flight’ then. Retail caught on later.
Now, with the emergence of ubiquitous tech, airline tickets appear in our mobile wallets, of course. But the whole game of customer loyalty has changed too. Take your stuff, tap a card, ka-ching! It’s just as easy as that. And with customized offers, great new discounts and convenience of a mobile – customer is now truly King (or Queen!)
Everything is also, much more immediate. We live in a world of real-time gratification. Our communications, thoughts, dreams, memories – everything is captured and chronicled as we collect them. With this sense, it is important for a customer to instantly accrue points, or redeem them. Using the data that companies hold, they can predict a purchase, even suggest it, and assist with it.
Our emotions can now be monetised. And some consumers, obviously engage more than others. But brands are now making it harder for us to remain unengaged. Life is now about the next aspirational holiday, or dinner out or those gorgeous cufflinks. If I can pick up some points for my spend, why not?
We are living through this evolution and time will tell if the most loved brands continue to grow their user base. Are there specific brands you are loyal to? Any programmes that you subscribe to, or better still, get your friends to subscribe to as well? We’d ove to hear some of your thoughts (promise we won’t be offended!)