• The Power of Marketplace: Leveraging Brands2Communities to Incentivize Engagement

    One of the most hotly anticipated sessions at Loylogic LIVE 2024, was the discussion that centred around the power of marketplace and how loyalty programs can leverage the Brands2Communities strategy discussed earlier in the event to incentivize engagement.

    For this session, Loylogic’s Emma Shakespeare and Ahmad Oneissi delved into the strategy of using incentives to enhance consumer engagement and foster enduring loyalty. The pair used examples from Loylogic’s incentives marketplace to show how a wide-ranging reward catalog can give consumers the power of choice and boost loyalty, while optimizing incentive costs for programs.

    Further key talking points from the session included the need for personalization, why data is so important to loyalty program success and the trends that are impacting global marketplace engagement, including brand relationships with communities of loyal customers, sustainability and high customer expectations.

    Find out more in our video from Loylogic LIVE here:

    To chat with one of the team about how Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach can boost engagement across your loyalty program, click here.

  • The Power of Marketplace: Leveraging Brands2Communities to Incentivize Engagement

    One of the most hotly anticipated sessions at Loylogic LIVE 2024, was the discussion that centred around the power of marketplace and how loyalty programs can leverage the Brands2Communities strategy discussed earlier in the event to incentivize engagement.

    For this session, Loylogic’s Emma Shakespeare and Ahmad Oneissi delved into the strategy of using incentives to enhance consumer engagement and foster enduring loyalty. The pair used examples from Loylogic’s incentives marketplace to show how a wide-ranging reward catalog can give consumers the power of choice and boost loyalty, while optimizing incentive costs for programs.

    Further key talking points from the session included the need for personalization, why data is so important to loyalty program success and the trends that are impacting global marketplace engagement, including brand relationships with communities of loyal customers, sustainability and high customer expectations.

    Find out more in our video from Loylogic LIVE here:

    To chat with one of the team about how Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach can boost engagement across your loyalty program, click here.

  • Brands2Communities: The New Era of Loyalty Head and shoulders photo of Gabi Kool next to title of article

    At last month’s Loylogic LIVE event, Loylogic’s CEO, Gabi Kool, opened proceedings by presenting a strategy for loyalty success called Brands2Communities.

    In his presentation, Gabi stressed how traditional loyalty programs are becoming too generic, offering one-size-fits-all rewards and relying on easy technological integrations. Instead, Loylogic is working with brands to deliver a more effective approach that focuses on the unique makeup of each loyalty program's community.

    Brands2Communities is all about making sure loyalty programs can be more effective by understanding the unique characteristics of their member base and partnering with brands that resonate with those communities.

    During the session, which can be viewed on demand here, four key themes emerged:

    1. Loyalty programs must understand community DNA

    Loyalty program operators must delve deeply into the distinct characteristics of their community segments. This involves recognizing both commonalities and differences among members across various regions and demographics. For example, an Asian airline needs to distinguish between the preferences of its Platinum members in the US, China, Japan, and the Middle East. By doing so, operators can create more relevant and engaging marketing campaigns and brand partnerships.

    2. Successful engagement requires segmentation strategies

    To effectively understand and segment the community, loyalty leaders should start with basic demographic and behavioral data. These include but are not limited to geographical distribution, tier levels and customer value, engagement metrics, demographic insights that analyze age brackets, income levels, gender distribution, and communication channel preferences, and, of course, redemption behavior. As Gabi says, it’s important to monitor reward redemption patterns to understand member engagement.

    3. Creating loyalty program value through brand partnerships

    Once a detailed understanding of these segments is achieved, loyalty marketers can position themselves as valuable partners for external brands. These brands are keen to target specific audience segments that align with their own brand values and objectives. For instance, brands known for quality, innovation, customer focus, integrity, or sustainability can be matched with relevant community segments within the loyalty program.

    4. Curating relevant content to build loyalty

    Loyalty marketers should act as curators, akin to publishers, who tailor content to resonate with their audience. This involves mapping out and understanding the preferences and needs of each segment, categorizing them by strategic importance, and identifying complementary brands and offers. By doing so, they can enhance the member experience and strengthen brand loyalty.

    To summarize, Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach is about deeply understanding the unique DNA of each loyalty program segment and leveraging this insight to foster meaningful brand partnerships and marketing initiatives. This strategy not only enhances member engagement but also positions loyalty programs as critical players in the broader marketing ecosystem.

    To chat with one of the team about how Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach can boost engagement across your loyalty program, click here.

  • Brands2Communities: The New Era of Loyalty Head and shoulders photo of Gabi Kool next to title of article

    At last month’s Loylogic LIVE event, Loylogic’s CEO, Gabi Kool, opened proceedings by presenting a strategy for loyalty success called Brands2Communities.

    In his presentation, Gabi stressed how traditional loyalty programs are becoming too generic, offering one-size-fits-all rewards and relying on easy technological integrations. Instead, Loylogic is working with brands to deliver a more effective approach that focuses on the unique makeup of each loyalty program's community.

    Brands2Communities is all about making sure loyalty programs can be more effective by understanding the unique characteristics of their member base and partnering with brands that resonate with those communities.

    During the session, which can be viewed on demand here, four key themes emerged:

    1. Loyalty programs must understand community DNA

    Loyalty program operators must delve deeply into the distinct characteristics of their community segments. This involves recognizing both commonalities and differences among members across various regions and demographics. For example, an Asian airline needs to distinguish between the preferences of its Platinum members in the US, China, Japan, and the Middle East. By doing so, operators can create more relevant and engaging marketing campaigns and brand partnerships.

    2. Successful engagement requires segmentation strategies

    To effectively understand and segment the community, loyalty leaders should start with basic demographic and behavioral data. These include but are not limited to geographical distribution, tier levels and customer value, engagement metrics, demographic insights that analyze age brackets, income levels, gender distribution, and communication channel preferences, and, of course, redemption behavior. As Gabi says, it’s important to monitor reward redemption patterns to understand member engagement.

    3. Creating loyalty program value through brand partnerships

    Once a detailed understanding of these segments is achieved, loyalty marketers can position themselves as valuable partners for external brands. These brands are keen to target specific audience segments that align with their own brand values and objectives. For instance, brands known for quality, innovation, customer focus, integrity, or sustainability can be matched with relevant community segments within the loyalty program.

    4. Curating relevant content to build loyalty

    Loyalty marketers should act as curators, akin to publishers, who tailor content to resonate with their audience. This involves mapping out and understanding the preferences and needs of each segment, categorizing them by strategic importance, and identifying complementary brands and offers. By doing so, they can enhance the member experience and strengthen brand loyalty.

    To summarize, Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach is about deeply understanding the unique DNA of each loyalty program segment and leveraging this insight to foster meaningful brand partnerships and marketing initiatives. This strategy not only enhances member engagement but also positions loyalty programs as critical players in the broader marketing ecosystem.

    To chat with one of the team about how Loylogic’s Brands2Communities approach can boost engagement across your loyalty program, click here.

  • Transform Your Loyalty Program: Nine Lessons from Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s PREMIO Success

    In a recent episode of the Loylogic Podcast, executives from Nescafé Dolce Gusto joined us to discuss the development and success of the global PREMIO loyalty program.

    The insights shared offer valuable lessons for loyalty program managers looking to create or enhance their own programs. Below are nine key takeaways from the discussion, which can be listened to in full here:

    1. Embrace an Omni-Channel Approach

    One of the fundamental aspects of PREMIO's success is its true omni-channel concept. For consumer goods brands, especially those that generate a significant portion of their business through indirect retail and wholesale channels, direct access to retail shoppers is crucial. This approach not only increases brand value in a competitive market but also provides invaluable consumer insights.

    2. Ensure Scalability

    Scalability is a must for multinational and global brands. NDG's use of a cloud-based solution facilitated a scalable architecture, enabling quick rollouts across various markets. For instance, once a market approved its business case, the go-to-market time for PREMIO was less than three months. This rapid deployment is possible only with a scalable ecosystem involving global partners and cloud solutions.

    3. Maintain Global Consistency with Local Flexibility

    PREMIO is a global concept that offers a consistent user experience across all markets. However, it also incorporates a degree of local flexibility to meet specific market needs. This balance ensures that the program is globally uniform yet locally relevant, which is essential for gaining and maintaining member loyalty. Each market can adapt the reward catalog and marketing strategies to resonate with local consumers.

    4. Focus on User-Friendly Experiences

    A simple and user-friendly experience is critical for consumer engagement. PREMIO's system allows consumers to easily earn points by scanning codes inside beverage boxes or automatically through connected coffee machines. This simplicity encourages participation and makes the program more attractive to users.

    5. Curate an Appealing Rewards Catalog

    The reward catalog is a cornerstone of any loyalty program. PREMIO's catalog is carefully curated to include a mix of relevant rewards, from virtual gift cards to kitchen appliances, tailored to each market. This customization ensures that rewards are appealing and attainable, enhancing consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, offering rewards that align with the brand's DNA and consumer lifestyle, such as coffee-related items, further strengthens the program's relevance.

    6. Utilize Data for Personalization and Engagement

    Data collection and analysis are pivotal in driving the success of PREMIO. The program gathers extensive data on consumer behavior through QR codes and other interactions, enabling NDG to send personalized messages at the right time. This data-driven approach ensures that communications are relevant and engaging, fostering a deeper connection with consumers. Additionally, local markets can fine-tune the value proposition and marketing activations based on these insights, further enhancing the program's effectiveness.

    7. Adapt to Market Conditions

    NDG continuously monitors PREMIO's performance in each market, adjusting strategies as needed to ensure a positive return on investment. This adaptability is crucial for maintaining the program's effectiveness and relevance.

    8. Incorporate Gamification

    To engage lower-value user segments, NDG is exploring gamification elements within PREMIO, such as instant win options and smaller rewards. Gamification can make the program more engaging and fun, encouraging broader participation.

    9. Seek Strategic Partnerships

    Looking ahead, NDG plans to explore partnerships with other brands to enhance PREMIO's value proposition. Collaborations can offer mutual benefits, extending the reach and appeal of the loyalty program.

    The insights from NDG's PREMIO loyalty program underscore the importance of an omni-channel approach, scalability, global consistency with local flexibility, user-friendly experiences, appealing rewards, and data-driven personalization. By incorporating these elements, loyalty program managers can create compelling and effective programs that drive consumer engagement and loyalty.

  • Transform Your Loyalty Program: Nine Lessons from Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s PREMIO Success

    In a recent episode of the Loylogic Podcast, executives from Nescafé Dolce Gusto joined us to discuss the development and success of the global PREMIO loyalty program.

    The insights shared offer valuable lessons for loyalty program managers looking to create or enhance their own programs. Below are nine key takeaways from the discussion, which can be listened to in full here:

    1. Embrace an Omni-Channel Approach

    One of the fundamental aspects of PREMIO's success is its true omni-channel concept. For consumer goods brands, especially those that generate a significant portion of their business through indirect retail and wholesale channels, direct access to retail shoppers is crucial. This approach not only increases brand value in a competitive market but also provides invaluable consumer insights.

    2. Ensure Scalability

    Scalability is a must for multinational and global brands. NDG's use of a cloud-based solution facilitated a scalable architecture, enabling quick rollouts across various markets. For instance, once a market approved its business case, the go-to-market time for PREMIO was less than three months. This rapid deployment is possible only with a scalable ecosystem involving global partners and cloud solutions.

    3. Maintain Global Consistency with Local Flexibility

    PREMIO is a global concept that offers a consistent user experience across all markets. However, it also incorporates a degree of local flexibility to meet specific market needs. This balance ensures that the program is globally uniform yet locally relevant, which is essential for gaining and maintaining member loyalty. Each market can adapt the reward catalog and marketing strategies to resonate with local consumers.

    4. Focus on User-Friendly Experiences

    A simple and user-friendly experience is critical for consumer engagement. PREMIO's system allows consumers to easily earn points by scanning codes inside beverage boxes or automatically through connected coffee machines. This simplicity encourages participation and makes the program more attractive to users.

    5. Curate an Appealing Rewards Catalog

    The reward catalog is a cornerstone of any loyalty program. PREMIO's catalog is carefully curated to include a mix of relevant rewards, from virtual gift cards to kitchen appliances, tailored to each market. This customization ensures that rewards are appealing and attainable, enhancing consumer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, offering rewards that align with the brand's DNA and consumer lifestyle, such as coffee-related items, further strengthens the program's relevance.

    6. Utilize Data for Personalization and Engagement

    Data collection and analysis are pivotal in driving the success of PREMIO. The program gathers extensive data on consumer behavior through QR codes and other interactions, enabling NDG to send personalized messages at the right time. This data-driven approach ensures that communications are relevant and engaging, fostering a deeper connection with consumers. Additionally, local markets can fine-tune the value proposition and marketing activations based on these insights, further enhancing the program's effectiveness.

    7. Adapt to Market Conditions

    NDG continuously monitors PREMIO's performance in each market, adjusting strategies as needed to ensure a positive return on investment. This adaptability is crucial for maintaining the program's effectiveness and relevance.

    8. Incorporate Gamification

    To engage lower-value user segments, NDG is exploring gamification elements within PREMIO, such as instant win options and smaller rewards. Gamification can make the program more engaging and fun, encouraging broader participation.

    9. Seek Strategic Partnerships

    Looking ahead, NDG plans to explore partnerships with other brands to enhance PREMIO's value proposition. Collaborations can offer mutual benefits, extending the reach and appeal of the loyalty program.

    The insights from NDG's PREMIO loyalty program underscore the importance of an omni-channel approach, scalability, global consistency with local flexibility, user-friendly experiences, appealing rewards, and data-driven personalization. By incorporating these elements, loyalty program managers can create compelling and effective programs that drive consumer engagement and loyalty.

  • African Bank’s Audacious Rewards named winner at International Loyalty Awards

    One of Loylogic’s partners, African Bank, is celebrating the success of its innovative rewards program, Audacious Rewards, which was named Best Short Term Loyalty Campaign at the International Loyalty Awards in Dubai last month.

    The awards judges praised the synergy between African Bank – The People’s Bank – and the Soweto Marathon, known as ‘The People’s Race’, noting that both originate in Soweto and share a rich heritage of pioneering inclusivity. African Bank’s sponsorship was an ideal opportunity to connect with its customers, market its Audacious Rewards programme, and add value to its members.

    Audacious Rewards, which is delivered in partnership with Loylogic, was also shortlisted for the Loyalty Redefined category, highlighting African Bank's success in creating a distinctive rewards experience for all of its customers. Audacious Rewards extends beyond traditional points based programmes, reflecting the bank's dedication to advancing the lives of its customers and enabling them to succeed financially.

    Sbusiso Kumalo, Chief Marketing Officer at African Bank commented: "Audacious Rewards takes a bold approach, rewarding those not traditionally served by the financial mainstream. By simply banking with us, customers earn valuable points ('Rewards You Can Count On') that provide real-world benefits.

    "Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our founders envisioned a bank that would democratise financial services, and Audacious Rewards embodies that vision by offering meaningful rewards and encouraging positive financial habits."

    Whole of bank rewards

    African Bank customers have the opportunity to join Audacious Rewards for free and immediately start earning points through their daily banking activities using their African Bank debit or credit card or the African Bank app. Through Audacious Rewards, customers can simply earn points for their everyday banking such as using their card, managing their debit orders or having African Bank financial solutions. Customers can enjoy spending their points on airtime, data, electricity, grocery vouchers or convert them to cash.

    Since launch of the progamme in February 2023, Audacious Rewards membership has seen significant growth exceeding business targets with over 57 000 members joining in March 2024. Moreover, members of the rewards program demonstrate a significantly higher propensity to take-up other offerings from African Bank.

    Notably, rewards members have generated a remarkable 67% increase in revenue over a 12-month period compared to non-rewards members. The Audacious Rewards program goes even further, incentivizing responsible financial behaviour like credit score monitoring with over 50,000 requested credit reports in March 2024 alone.

    As African Bank pushes beyond traditional banking models, Audacious Rewards speaks to the Bank's commitment to progress. It's not just about banking; it's about changing and advancing lives, while creating a more inclusive financial ecosystem for all. Loylogic is delighted to be working alongside African Bank, helping to deliver an award-winning loyalty and rewards programme that is transforming lives.

    Source: African Bank

  • African Bank’s Audacious Rewards named winner at International Loyalty Awards

    One of Loylogic’s partners, African Bank, is celebrating the success of its innovative rewards program, Audacious Rewards, which was named Best Short Term Loyalty Campaign at the International Loyalty Awards in Dubai last month.

    The awards judges praised the synergy between African Bank – The People’s Bank – and the Soweto Marathon, known as ‘The People’s Race’, noting that both originate in Soweto and share a rich heritage of pioneering inclusivity. African Bank’s sponsorship was an ideal opportunity to connect with its customers, market its Audacious Rewards programme, and add value to its members.

    Audacious Rewards, which is delivered in partnership with Loylogic, was also shortlisted for the Loyalty Redefined category, highlighting African Bank's success in creating a distinctive rewards experience for all of its customers. Audacious Rewards extends beyond traditional points based programmes, reflecting the bank's dedication to advancing the lives of its customers and enabling them to succeed financially.

    Sbusiso Kumalo, Chief Marketing Officer at African Bank commented: "Audacious Rewards takes a bold approach, rewarding those not traditionally served by the financial mainstream. By simply banking with us, customers earn valuable points ('Rewards You Can Count On') that provide real-world benefits.

    "Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our founders envisioned a bank that would democratise financial services, and Audacious Rewards embodies that vision by offering meaningful rewards and encouraging positive financial habits."

    Whole of bank rewards

    African Bank customers have the opportunity to join Audacious Rewards for free and immediately start earning points through their daily banking activities using their African Bank debit or credit card or the African Bank app. Through Audacious Rewards, customers can simply earn points for their everyday banking such as using their card, managing their debit orders or having African Bank financial solutions. Customers can enjoy spending their points on airtime, data, electricity, grocery vouchers or convert them to cash.

    Since launch of the progamme in February 2023, Audacious Rewards membership has seen significant growth exceeding business targets with over 57 000 members joining in March 2024. Moreover, members of the rewards program demonstrate a significantly higher propensity to take-up other offerings from African Bank.

    Notably, rewards members have generated a remarkable 67% increase in revenue over a 12-month period compared to non-rewards members. The Audacious Rewards program goes even further, incentivizing responsible financial behaviour like credit score monitoring with over 50,000 requested credit reports in March 2024 alone.

    As African Bank pushes beyond traditional banking models, Audacious Rewards speaks to the Bank's commitment to progress. It's not just about banking; it's about changing and advancing lives, while creating a more inclusive financial ecosystem for all. Loylogic is delighted to be working alongside African Bank, helping to deliver an award-winning loyalty and rewards programme that is transforming lives.

    Source: African Bank

  • Scaling a world-class loyalty program: the story of Nescafé Dolce Gusto's PREMIO

    In the latest episode of the Loylogic Podcast, we discuss the story of PREMIO, Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s world-leading multi-market international loyalty program.

    Along with Yves-Louis Pigueller, Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s Global Data and Digital Ecosystems Lead, Joël Muller, digital marketing advisor for Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Dani Schmidt, Loylogic’s Head of Growth, we hear how this world-class loyalty program, designed to build engagement and boost consumption of  products, has developed from initial idea to the global success it is today.

    Topics discussed include:

    - The challenges PREMIO was designed to overcome
    - How PREMIO enables the brand to directly connect with consumers through personalized communication
    - How the program delivers an appealing value proposition in a consistent yet locally relevant way across multiple geographies
    - The data and measurement behind the program
    - The reward shops driving engagement 
    - Future plans for PREMIO and much, much more.

    A must listen for any internatonal brand looking to scale-up a loyalty program globally, or create a new international engagement stratgey, listen here, or read the transcript below.

     

    (1:20) A good place to start is with the story of Nescafé Dolce Gusto and PREMIO. So Yves-Louis, what's the background that led to the creation of the program?

    Yves-Louis: "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is a pod coffee system, offering consumers the ability to prepare at home, all the beverages that are made in a regular coffee shop. The range includes espresso, americano, but also the latte macchiato, the cappuccino and chocolate and teas. You can even find, since a couple of years, all of Starbuck's iconic recipes in the portfolio.

    "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is available now in 70 markets, mostly in retail channels for the machine, but also for the coffee pods. We also use our own DTC to sell pods and machines. The overall yearly turnover has exceeded more than 1 billion USD in the past year."

    Joël: "We like to call ourselves billionaires!"

    Yves-Louis: "We're already there, Joël!

    "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is operated by each of our markets and the central function provides support for anything which is a common solution, process or capability. This is the case for the Nescafé Dolce Gusto digital ecosystem, which is made up of a direct to consumer, CRM, but also PREMIO, our loyalty scheme, all of which is operated above market."

    (3:17) Joël, I'll bring you in here. What challenges has PREMIO been designed to solve?

    Joël: "Well, like any brand sold in retail, our challenge is to have a direct engagement with our consumers. This direct engagement provides the ability to collect precious insights on our consumers, and also the ability to engage with them through our own channel in a relevant matter.

    "One of the other big challenge we have is the pressure from compatible capsule solutions, and inflation on top, which has increased the need to maintain brand value perception to engage with consumers. So PREMIO, our loyalty scheme, has been designed to answer those challenges."

    (4:07) PREMIO has been in play now for a number of years. So what have been the main stages of development since its launch? How has it adapted to meet those challenges and overcome the barriers to success?

    Yves-Louis: "It has been a long journey, not an easy ride every day. To design, to build and also to roll out PREMIO across the world did not happen overnight. We invested upfront a firm enough time and effort to define the concept, but also to build a sustainable business case. Loyalty is not really a frequent practice in our industry, so it took time to get everyone on board and to be convinced about the concept. Then, in order to validate all of the business assumptions and to harness the concept, we worked with a pilot market over a period of two years.

    "Following these two years, where we had good results, and for the past four years, we've focused on two folds. Number one was to roll out PREMIO to our top DTC markets. And now today we're covering more than 80% of our total revenue. The other fold is about fine tuning the value exchange. What is very important to find is the right balance between an appealing proposition for a consumer, but also for us to remain ROI positive. And this is where we are now."

    (5:26) Dani, what role does Loylogic play in supporting this development?

    Dani: "Well, as mentioned by Yves-Louis, a major focus in recent years has been on opening up new markets on various continents. And what I mean by launch is, of course, beyond the technical implementation. It's about acquiring members and driving engagement from the program registration, and the very first can onwards. This requires a lot of effort and provides a lot of learning opportunities for all involved parties, including us. Hence, our role is to support NDG in line with its strategy and focus, and while there will be additional market launches, the next one is just around the corner in May, the engagement and value for the brand will mostly come from existing markets and its millions of members. Hence our job is to evolve and support the mentioned initiatives from both the conceptual and executional perspective."

    (6:20) Joël, bringing you in again here. What are the core pillars of success for the PREMIO program?

    Joël: "The first pillar is the simplicity of the user experience. It is super user-friendly. So concretely, as a consumer, you just have to flash the code which is printed inside every box of Nescafé Dolce Gusto beverage, and each scan will increment your point balance. So you can redeem your points in a gift catalog. And with our latest coffee machine generation, NEO, earning points is even easier. Once you connect your machine to your Wi Fi points are automatically granted for every cup brewed. So no more QR codes to scan so it's even more user friendly.

    "The second pillar for the success is the reward catalog itself. So not only we can select for each market, the relevant rewards for all type of points, but consumers can also select many types of appealing rewards like virtual gift cards, physical gifts, vouchers for our own web shop, and so on."

    Yves-Louis: "I will add two further pillars. The third pillars is definitely the solution. So we went for a cloud solution that enables two benefits: the first one is easier to roll out than the other solutions that are hosted on premise, but also to get, with a quicker time to market, all the latest innovation from the cloud solution. And to conclude, the latest pillar is in the communication, which is key. One of the main success factors is the ability to be able to advertise on the back in order to reach our acquisition target."

    (8:06) Taking that point to the next stage. You were quoted in a recent press release that Nescafé Dolce Gusto was able to establish a strong personalized intimacy with its customers through PREMIO. So can you elaborate on that further?

    Yves-Louis: "Indeed, PREMIO is a goldmine of data points. Thanks to these small QR codes, we're able to track the consumption behavior at the consumer level. And with reach of this data, we can push to our consumers the right message at the right time. So any activities that could be scaled like the tech segmentation inside and communication concept, are now run above market. And these enable us to empower the market to be really spot on with the engagement with the consumer."

    Joël: "And to be even closer to our consumers, each market can localize and fine tune the value proposition. So the cost per point the reward catalog are different per market. If you go and visit the reward shop in Korea, for example, and then you go to the French one, you will see that the catalog is adapted to the culture of the country. The marketing activation is also mainly local, each market can define how to activate the first party data collected through PREMIO."

    (9:23) Okay, so it's all about engaging members in a personalized manner?

    Joël: "Exactly using the data to engage with our consumers to spread the right message at the right time to the right people, which is the you know the basics of CRM."

    (9:37) So Dani, it seems like a good place to bring you in here to talk more about the rewards catalogs and that personalization from a Loylogic perspective. So how does Loylogic work with PREMIO to source relevant rewards that work both internationally and locally?

    Dani: "Yes, thanks for the question. We are often asked whether we can show THE Loylogic catalog. The answer always is that this just doesn't exist, because our job is to create an engaging rewards experience for the communities of our clients and all of our reward shops are curated for our clients. And in fact, we involve our clients in co-creating and providing a rewards briefing which includes potential categories or must have rewards, a wishlist of certain brands, do's and don'ts, in line with the brand and the program DNA.

    "In the case of NDG, we collaborated closely with the global business unit and the pilot market, which was Spain back then in 2017/18. And we defined the categories which includes NDG rewards like vouchers that bring members back to the NDG web shop for their next coffee purchase. We defined music technology as a must have category. This includes earbuds and loudspeakers, electronical gadgets etc. We defined kitchen as a must have category because coffee is often produced and consumed in the kitchen, so we offer kitchen appliances and coffee mugs and these kind of things, as well as experiences which is a mix of international and local gift cards. Within these categories, we look for the right rewards that fit the community profile and the program economics.

    "Now, you can imagine that the accrued points value in a coffee pod program is much lower compared to a frequent flyer program, and hence the price points of offered rewards need to be within members' reach. It's important that committed members are able to reward themselves within 30 to 90 days after registration, after starting engaging with the brand. And this requires reward offers at a few euro value or dollar value in this specific case. And on the other hand, we we need to ensure that the offers fit the brand DNA and positioning, which might be a stretch in some cases.

    "And maybe another important topic is that, PREMIO is a global concept, but member behavior and needs vary slightly among European countries, and are quite different in markets in Latin America and Asia. And this requires a well-balanced approach to rewards that follows global brand principles, as Joël mentioned, but takes local needs into account. And this is important not only to gain the loyalty of the members in these markets, but also to maintain the commitment of all NDG markets. Within NDG we apply the Pareto rule wherever possible, whereby 80% of the catalogue is, let's say, globally defined, and the markets have a 20% of room to maneuver local needs into the equation. Hence PREMIO is therefore a uniform global concept which is nevertheless localized. I think that's a key success factor."

    (12:55) Do seasonal promotions play a part in the rewards appeal too?

    Dani: "Absolutely, I mean, redemption is a good thing right, as it is the ultimate proof of member engagement. And of course, to encourage such engagement over many years, it is crucial to run marketing campaigns, whether through the introduction of new rewards categories or reward items, seasonal campaigns such as Valentine's Day, or Black Friday, or run prize draws remember can win the  latest iPhones or an annual supply of NDG coffee capsules. So, we closely collaborate with the markets to provide an exciting marketing calendar in line with the local Nescafé Dolce Gusto marketing plan, you know, throughout the year."

    (13:38) Okay, it's clear listening to you that data and analytics are important to the success of PREMIO and you seem to have a really clear picture of what's going on with the program across the numerous markets. So one question I would like to ask is, what criteria do you use when selecting which markets to roll PREMIO out to? Or indeed, stop? Joël, I'll let you answer that one.

    Joël: "So we do indeed define two main sets of criteria to set up PREMIO but also to stop PREMIO. When setting up PREMIO in the market we take a fact-based approach by running a business case considering the consumer base by size, the cost to set up and operate the program and the rewards price range.

    "Once we're live, we monitor on a monthly basis, the success of PREMIO, looking at the consumer base evolution, acquisition and churn rates. We also look at consumer reviews or we run surveys. When KPIs are not met, all mitigation plans are exhausted to sustain a positive return on investment, then we make the decision to stop PREMIO in the market. This happened. Thankfully, not so often. But we are able to monitor it in an accurate way and we can decide to stop it if necessary."

    (14:58) What role does Loylogic play in supporting the data gathering and measurement?

    Dani: "Loylogic's scope is related to the rewards experience. And we do complement the picture with redemption related data primarily? Such data contains typical ecommerce metrics such as how many members come to our reward store? How many use their points by placing orders? What's the average order value? What are the top performing rewards and so on? Markets can access reporting dashboards individually 24/7. And the data is also uploaded on a monthly basis in the NDG BI, which allows every stakeholder to have a complete picture of the metrics related to premium."

    (15:40) Looking to the future, how do you see PREMIO developing further, given you've got all this data available to you? Yves-Louis, let's start with you.

    Yves-Louis: "So we're working on three main streams and I will cover the first two. Number one, we want to complete the footprint, we still have a couple of big markets to launch as well as tackling the non DTC market. So this is really the number one challenge.

    "The number two challenge or looking forward is to be able to target the low value user segment. Back to the famous equation of how to have something appealing, but ROI positive. So we're working on extending the reward catalog with smaller gifts like a retail coupon, or raffle ticket donation. The aim is also to bring more gamification into the program for the specific segment by allowing consumers to select instant win versus point collection."

    Joël: "The last stream is more longer term, which is to search for partnerships with the help of Loylogic to work with other brands. This is also an option for us together where we are stronger. So this is something also that we're looking at more long term."

    (17:00) So Dani, what are the key takeaways you can share from the success of PREMIO that other loyalty program managers should consider when looking at a global rewards program?

    Dani: "I have four things in mind, which I would like to share.

    "First of all, PREMIO is a true omni-channel concept. And this is very essential for consumer goods brands who generate 80% or more of its business via indirect retail and wholesale channels, which is probably the case in most instances. So direct access to retail shoppers is where the incremental value lies, and what really empowers the brand in a competitive environment.

    "Secondly, scalability is a must for multinational and global brands. The scalable architecture as also mentioned, by Yves-Louis, via cloud solutions, and involving global partners, are the key elements here. Just to give you one interesting piece of information...in the case of PREMIO, the go to market is less than three months after a market has signed or approved its business case the green light is given to the involved parties. Less than three months, which is only possible due to, you know, a scalable ecosystem.

    "Third, PREMIO is a truly global concept, which can be introduced to every NDG market. And there is still some white spots out there. But not only introducing this to these markets, but also with a very consistent user experience across the globe. The programs, of course, have local a local flavor, but it's Nescafé Dolce Gusto PREMIO across the globe.

    "And finally, although being a global concept, it is crucial to ensure a certain degree of local flexibility, for example, with regards to offered rewards. A global rollout must always be supported by the markets, because they also finance these initiatives."

  • Scaling a world-class loyalty program: the story of Nescafé Dolce Gusto's PREMIO

    In the latest episode of the Loylogic Podcast, we discuss the story of PREMIO, Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s world-leading multi-market international loyalty program.

    Along with Yves-Louis Pigueller, Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s Global Data and Digital Ecosystems Lead, Joël Muller, digital marketing advisor for Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Dani Schmidt, Loylogic’s Head of Growth, we hear how this world-class loyalty program, designed to build engagement and boost consumption of  products, has developed from initial idea to the global success it is today.

    Topics discussed include:

    - The challenges PREMIO was designed to overcome
    - How PREMIO enables the brand to directly connect with consumers through personalized communication
    - How the program delivers an appealing value proposition in a consistent yet locally relevant way across multiple geographies
    - The data and measurement behind the program
    - The reward shops driving engagement 
    - Future plans for PREMIO and much, much more.

    A must listen for any internatonal brand looking to scale-up a loyalty program globally, or create a new international engagement stratgey, listen here, or read the transcript below.

     

    (1:20) A good place to start is with the story of Nescafé Dolce Gusto and PREMIO. So Yves-Louis, what's the background that led to the creation of the program?

    Yves-Louis: "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is a pod coffee system, offering consumers the ability to prepare at home, all the beverages that are made in a regular coffee shop. The range includes espresso, americano, but also the latte macchiato, the cappuccino and chocolate and teas. You can even find, since a couple of years, all of Starbuck's iconic recipes in the portfolio.

    "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is available now in 70 markets, mostly in retail channels for the machine, but also for the coffee pods. We also use our own DTC to sell pods and machines. The overall yearly turnover has exceeded more than 1 billion USD in the past year."

    Joël: "We like to call ourselves billionaires!"

    Yves-Louis: "We're already there, Joël!

    "Nescafé Dolce Gusto is operated by each of our markets and the central function provides support for anything which is a common solution, process or capability. This is the case for the Nescafé Dolce Gusto digital ecosystem, which is made up of a direct to consumer, CRM, but also PREMIO, our loyalty scheme, all of which is operated above market."

    (3:17) Joël, I'll bring you in here. What challenges has PREMIO been designed to solve?

    Joël: "Well, like any brand sold in retail, our challenge is to have a direct engagement with our consumers. This direct engagement provides the ability to collect precious insights on our consumers, and also the ability to engage with them through our own channel in a relevant matter.

    "One of the other big challenge we have is the pressure from compatible capsule solutions, and inflation on top, which has increased the need to maintain brand value perception to engage with consumers. So PREMIO, our loyalty scheme, has been designed to answer those challenges."

    (4:07) PREMIO has been in play now for a number of years. So what have been the main stages of development since its launch? How has it adapted to meet those challenges and overcome the barriers to success?

    Yves-Louis: "It has been a long journey, not an easy ride every day. To design, to build and also to roll out PREMIO across the world did not happen overnight. We invested upfront a firm enough time and effort to define the concept, but also to build a sustainable business case. Loyalty is not really a frequent practice in our industry, so it took time to get everyone on board and to be convinced about the concept. Then, in order to validate all of the business assumptions and to harness the concept, we worked with a pilot market over a period of two years.

    "Following these two years, where we had good results, and for the past four years, we've focused on two folds. Number one was to roll out PREMIO to our top DTC markets. And now today we're covering more than 80% of our total revenue. The other fold is about fine tuning the value exchange. What is very important to find is the right balance between an appealing proposition for a consumer, but also for us to remain ROI positive. And this is where we are now."

    (5:26) Dani, what role does Loylogic play in supporting this development?

    Dani: "Well, as mentioned by Yves-Louis, a major focus in recent years has been on opening up new markets on various continents. And what I mean by launch is, of course, beyond the technical implementation. It's about acquiring members and driving engagement from the program registration, and the very first can onwards. This requires a lot of effort and provides a lot of learning opportunities for all involved parties, including us. Hence, our role is to support NDG in line with its strategy and focus, and while there will be additional market launches, the next one is just around the corner in May, the engagement and value for the brand will mostly come from existing markets and its millions of members. Hence our job is to evolve and support the mentioned initiatives from both the conceptual and executional perspective."

    (6:20) Joël, bringing you in again here. What are the core pillars of success for the PREMIO program?

    Joël: "The first pillar is the simplicity of the user experience. It is super user-friendly. So concretely, as a consumer, you just have to flash the code which is printed inside every box of Nescafé Dolce Gusto beverage, and each scan will increment your point balance. So you can redeem your points in a gift catalog. And with our latest coffee machine generation, NEO, earning points is even easier. Once you connect your machine to your Wi Fi points are automatically granted for every cup brewed. So no more QR codes to scan so it's even more user friendly.

    "The second pillar for the success is the reward catalog itself. So not only we can select for each market, the relevant rewards for all type of points, but consumers can also select many types of appealing rewards like virtual gift cards, physical gifts, vouchers for our own web shop, and so on."

    Yves-Louis: "I will add two further pillars. The third pillars is definitely the solution. So we went for a cloud solution that enables two benefits: the first one is easier to roll out than the other solutions that are hosted on premise, but also to get, with a quicker time to market, all the latest innovation from the cloud solution. And to conclude, the latest pillar is in the communication, which is key. One of the main success factors is the ability to be able to advertise on the back in order to reach our acquisition target."

    (8:06) Taking that point to the next stage. You were quoted in a recent press release that Nescafé Dolce Gusto was able to establish a strong personalized intimacy with its customers through PREMIO. So can you elaborate on that further?

    Yves-Louis: "Indeed, PREMIO is a goldmine of data points. Thanks to these small QR codes, we're able to track the consumption behavior at the consumer level. And with reach of this data, we can push to our consumers the right message at the right time. So any activities that could be scaled like the tech segmentation inside and communication concept, are now run above market. And these enable us to empower the market to be really spot on with the engagement with the consumer."

    Joël: "And to be even closer to our consumers, each market can localize and fine tune the value proposition. So the cost per point the reward catalog are different per market. If you go and visit the reward shop in Korea, for example, and then you go to the French one, you will see that the catalog is adapted to the culture of the country. The marketing activation is also mainly local, each market can define how to activate the first party data collected through PREMIO."

    (9:23) Okay, so it's all about engaging members in a personalized manner?

    Joël: "Exactly using the data to engage with our consumers to spread the right message at the right time to the right people, which is the you know the basics of CRM."

    (9:37) So Dani, it seems like a good place to bring you in here to talk more about the rewards catalogs and that personalization from a Loylogic perspective. So how does Loylogic work with PREMIO to source relevant rewards that work both internationally and locally?

    Dani: "Yes, thanks for the question. We are often asked whether we can show THE Loylogic catalog. The answer always is that this just doesn't exist, because our job is to create an engaging rewards experience for the communities of our clients and all of our reward shops are curated for our clients. And in fact, we involve our clients in co-creating and providing a rewards briefing which includes potential categories or must have rewards, a wishlist of certain brands, do's and don'ts, in line with the brand and the program DNA.

    "In the case of NDG, we collaborated closely with the global business unit and the pilot market, which was Spain back then in 2017/18. And we defined the categories which includes NDG rewards like vouchers that bring members back to the NDG web shop for their next coffee purchase. We defined music technology as a must have category. This includes earbuds and loudspeakers, electronical gadgets etc. We defined kitchen as a must have category because coffee is often produced and consumed in the kitchen, so we offer kitchen appliances and coffee mugs and these kind of things, as well as experiences which is a mix of international and local gift cards. Within these categories, we look for the right rewards that fit the community profile and the program economics.

    "Now, you can imagine that the accrued points value in a coffee pod program is much lower compared to a frequent flyer program, and hence the price points of offered rewards need to be within members' reach. It's important that committed members are able to reward themselves within 30 to 90 days after registration, after starting engaging with the brand. And this requires reward offers at a few euro value or dollar value in this specific case. And on the other hand, we we need to ensure that the offers fit the brand DNA and positioning, which might be a stretch in some cases.

    "And maybe another important topic is that, PREMIO is a global concept, but member behavior and needs vary slightly among European countries, and are quite different in markets in Latin America and Asia. And this requires a well-balanced approach to rewards that follows global brand principles, as Joël mentioned, but takes local needs into account. And this is important not only to gain the loyalty of the members in these markets, but also to maintain the commitment of all NDG markets. Within NDG we apply the Pareto rule wherever possible, whereby 80% of the catalogue is, let's say, globally defined, and the markets have a 20% of room to maneuver local needs into the equation. Hence PREMIO is therefore a uniform global concept which is nevertheless localized. I think that's a key success factor."

    (12:55) Do seasonal promotions play a part in the rewards appeal too?

    Dani: "Absolutely, I mean, redemption is a good thing right, as it is the ultimate proof of member engagement. And of course, to encourage such engagement over many years, it is crucial to run marketing campaigns, whether through the introduction of new rewards categories or reward items, seasonal campaigns such as Valentine's Day, or Black Friday, or run prize draws remember can win the  latest iPhones or an annual supply of NDG coffee capsules. So, we closely collaborate with the markets to provide an exciting marketing calendar in line with the local Nescafé Dolce Gusto marketing plan, you know, throughout the year."

    (13:38) Okay, it's clear listening to you that data and analytics are important to the success of PREMIO and you seem to have a really clear picture of what's going on with the program across the numerous markets. So one question I would like to ask is, what criteria do you use when selecting which markets to roll PREMIO out to? Or indeed, stop? Joël, I'll let you answer that one.

    Joël: "So we do indeed define two main sets of criteria to set up PREMIO but also to stop PREMIO. When setting up PREMIO in the market we take a fact-based approach by running a business case considering the consumer base by size, the cost to set up and operate the program and the rewards price range.

    "Once we're live, we monitor on a monthly basis, the success of PREMIO, looking at the consumer base evolution, acquisition and churn rates. We also look at consumer reviews or we run surveys. When KPIs are not met, all mitigation plans are exhausted to sustain a positive return on investment, then we make the decision to stop PREMIO in the market. This happened. Thankfully, not so often. But we are able to monitor it in an accurate way and we can decide to stop it if necessary."

    (14:58) What role does Loylogic play in supporting the data gathering and measurement?

    Dani: "Loylogic's scope is related to the rewards experience. And we do complement the picture with redemption related data primarily? Such data contains typical ecommerce metrics such as how many members come to our reward store? How many use their points by placing orders? What's the average order value? What are the top performing rewards and so on? Markets can access reporting dashboards individually 24/7. And the data is also uploaded on a monthly basis in the NDG BI, which allows every stakeholder to have a complete picture of the metrics related to premium."

    (15:40) Looking to the future, how do you see PREMIO developing further, given you've got all this data available to you? Yves-Louis, let's start with you.

    Yves-Louis: "So we're working on three main streams and I will cover the first two. Number one, we want to complete the footprint, we still have a couple of big markets to launch as well as tackling the non DTC market. So this is really the number one challenge.

    "The number two challenge or looking forward is to be able to target the low value user segment. Back to the famous equation of how to have something appealing, but ROI positive. So we're working on extending the reward catalog with smaller gifts like a retail coupon, or raffle ticket donation. The aim is also to bring more gamification into the program for the specific segment by allowing consumers to select instant win versus point collection."

    Joël: "The last stream is more longer term, which is to search for partnerships with the help of Loylogic to work with other brands. This is also an option for us together where we are stronger. So this is something also that we're looking at more long term."

    (17:00) So Dani, what are the key takeaways you can share from the success of PREMIO that other loyalty program managers should consider when looking at a global rewards program?

    Dani: "I have four things in mind, which I would like to share.

    "First of all, PREMIO is a true omni-channel concept. And this is very essential for consumer goods brands who generate 80% or more of its business via indirect retail and wholesale channels, which is probably the case in most instances. So direct access to retail shoppers is where the incremental value lies, and what really empowers the brand in a competitive environment.

    "Secondly, scalability is a must for multinational and global brands. The scalable architecture as also mentioned, by Yves-Louis, via cloud solutions, and involving global partners, are the key elements here. Just to give you one interesting piece of information...in the case of PREMIO, the go to market is less than three months after a market has signed or approved its business case the green light is given to the involved parties. Less than three months, which is only possible due to, you know, a scalable ecosystem.

    "Third, PREMIO is a truly global concept, which can be introduced to every NDG market. And there is still some white spots out there. But not only introducing this to these markets, but also with a very consistent user experience across the globe. The programs, of course, have local a local flavor, but it's Nescafé Dolce Gusto PREMIO across the globe.

    "And finally, although being a global concept, it is crucial to ensure a certain degree of local flexibility, for example, with regards to offered rewards. A global rollout must always be supported by the markets, because they also finance these initiatives."

  • Join us for Loylogic LIVE: The New Era of Loyalty

    We look forward to welcoming you to Loylogic LIVE. Read on to find out more about our brand new digital event.

    What is Loylogic LIVE?

    Loylogic LIVE is a virtual event that showcases how Loylogic is enabling organizations to deliver successful loyalty and rewards programs. Through a series of short sessions, we’ll discuss how the latest loyalty innovations and Loylogic’s Brands2Communities strategy are enabling global brands to engage with customers and build the new era of loyalty. You can register for the event here: Loylogic LIVE Registration.

    When is Loylogic LIVE?

    Loylogic LIVE takes place online on 8 May, 2024. The first session commences at 10.30am (UTC+2).

    What sessions will be taking place at Loylogic LIVE?

    We have a mix of sessions covering the current trends in loyalty, as well as drilling down into the specific challenges facing specific sectors. The full programme is as follows (please note all timings are Central European Summer Time):

    10:30 – 10:55: Brands2Communities: The New Era of Loyalty
    In this opening keynote, we take a look at the macro trends influencing customer loyalty and delve into how Loylogic's Brands2Communities approach is delivering a new era for rewards-based engagement.

    Speaker: Gabi Kool, CEO, Loylogic

    11:00 – 11:20: Transitioning to Community-Driven Engagement
    Join us as we explore the shift from traditional loyalty models to dynamic, community-centric engagement strategies is transforming how brands connect with customers.

    Speaker: Robert Clements, Loylogic

    11:30 – 11:50: Creating incremental value by marketing your community
    In this session we delve into the world of FMCG loyalty programs and how to drive incremental value, using Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s supremely successful multi-market Premio Loyalty scheme as an example.
    Speaker: Joël Muller, Nescafé Dolce Gusto PREMIO & Dani Schmidt, Loylogic

    12:00 – 12:20: The Best Bank Loyalty: Right Rewards, Right Time, Right Communities
    Great loyalty engagement is underpinned by offering relevant, motivational rewards, connecting the right brands to the right communities at the right time. In this session, Dr. Nceba Hene, Head of Loyalty and Rewards at African Bank, and Loylogic’s Badr Zerradi, discuss why rewards redemption is so important to bank loyalty programme success, sharing examples from the highly successful Audacious Rewards initiative.

    Speakers: Dr. Nceba Hene, African Bank & Badr Zerradi, Loylogic

    12:30 – 12:50: Ultimate: Motivating employees and partners through inspirational brands
    This session will introduce Loylogic's solution to employee and partner motivation and explore how we use the inspirational characteristics of brands to motivate members.
    Speaker: Samir Skif, Loylogic

    13:00 – 13:20: The Power of Marketplace: Leveraging Brands2Communities to Incentivize Engagement
    Join us as we delve into the strategy of using incentives to enhance consumer engagement and foster enduring loyalty and take a look at how Loylogic’s world-leading incentives marketplace brings consumers the power of choice, while optimizing incentive costs for programs.

    Speaker: Ahmad Oneissi & Emma Shakespeare, Loylogic

    How do I register?

    Registering for Loylogic LIVE is easy. Simply click on this link to be taken to the registration form. Once registered you’ll receive a unique login that can be used on the day.

    What if I can’t make it on the day?

    If you can’t make it on 8 May, register using this link and we will share recordings of the sessions that can be viewed at your convenience.

    Can I just join specific sessions?

    Definitely! Register using the link above and on the day of Loylogic LIVE you will be able to join just the sessions relevant to you.

  • Join us for Loylogic LIVE and discover the New Era of Loyalty

    We look forward to welcoming you to Loylogic LIVE. Read on to find out more about our brand new online event.

    What is Loylogic LIVE?

    Loylogic LIVE is a virtual event that showcases how Loylogic is enabling organizations to deliver successful loyalty and rewards programs. Through a series of short sessions, we’ll discuss how the latest loyalty innovations and Loylogic’s Brands2Communities strategy are enabling global brands to engage with customers and build the new era of loyalty. You can register for the event here: Loylogic LIVE Registration.

    When is Loylogic LIVE?

    Loylogic LIVE takes place online on 8 May, 2024. The first session commences at 10.30am (UTC+2).

    What sessions will be taking place at Loylogic LIVE?

    We have a mix of sessions covering the current trends in loyalty, as well as drilling down into the specific challenges facing specific sectors. The full programme is as follows (please note all timings are Central European Summer Time):

    10:30 – 10:55: Brands2Communities: The New Era of Loyalty
    In this opening keynote, we take a look at the macro trends influencing customer loyalty and delve into how Loylogic's Brands2Communities approach is delivering a new era for rewards-based engagement.

    Speaker: Gabi Kool, CEO, Loylogic

    11:00 – 11:20: Transitioning to Community-Driven Engagement
    Join us as we explore the shift from traditional loyalty models to dynamic, community-centric engagement strategies is transforming how brands connect with customers.

    Speaker: Robert Clements, Loylogic

    11:30 – 11:50: Creating incremental value by marketing your community
    In this session we delve into the world of FMCG loyalty programs and how to drive incremental value, using Nescafé Dolce Gusto’s supremely successful multi-market Premio Loyalty scheme as an example.
    Speaker: Joël Muller, Nescafé Dolce Gusto PREMIO & Dani Schmidt, Loylogic

    12:00 – 12:20: The Best Bank Loyalty: Right Rewards, Right Time, Right Communities
    Great loyalty engagement is underpinned by offering relevant, motivational rewards, connecting the right brands to the right communities at the right time. In this session, Dr. Nceba Hene, Head of Loyalty and Rewards at African Bank, and Loylogic’s Badr Zerradi, discuss why rewards redemption is so important to bank loyalty programme success, sharing examples from the highly successful Audacious Rewards initiative.

    Speakers: Dr. Nceba Hene, African Bank & Badr Zerradi, Loylogic

    12:30 – 12:50: Ultimate: Motivating employees and partners through inspirational brands
    This session will introduce Loylogic's solution to employee and partner motivation and explore how we use the inspirational characteristics of brands to motivate members.
    Speaker: Samir Skif, Loylogic

    13:00 – 13:20: The Power of Marketplace: Leveraging Brands2Communities to Incentivize Engagement
    Join us as we delve into the strategy of using incentives to enhance consumer engagement and foster enduring loyalty and take a look at how Loylogic’s world-leading incentives marketplace brings consumers the power of choice, while optimizing incentive costs for programs.

    Speaker: Ahmad Oneissi & Emma Shakespeare, Loylogic

    13:20 – 13:30: Key takeaways
    Join Loylogic's CEO, Gabi Kool, as he wraps up Loylogic LIVE with his key takeaways from the day's sessions.

    Speaker: Gabi Kool, Loylogic

    How do I register?

    Registering for Loylogic LIVE is easy. Simply click on this link to be taken to the registration form. Once registered you’ll receive a unique login that can be used on the day.

    What if I can’t make it on the day?

    If you can’t make it on 8 May, register using this link and we will share recordings of the sessions that can be viewed at your convenience.

    Can I just join specific sessions?

    Definitely! Register using the link above and on the day of Loylogic LIVE you will be able to join just the sessions relevant to you.

  • The Loylogic Podcast: Hotel loyalty - the trends, challenges and strategies for success

    In this episode of the Loylogic Podcast, we welcome Vicky Elliot, an independent consultant specializing in travel and hospitality loyalty, to talk about the trends, challenges and strategies for success that all hotel loyalty program leaders need to know.

    Together, we discuss:

    The evolution of loyalty programs in the hotel industry:

    - How loyalty programs have evolved
    - The catalysts behind developments
    - How hotels are measuring success from their loyalty programs

    The challenges and barriers to success:

    - Challenges hotels face today in recognizing and rewarding members of their loyalty programs?
    - The discussion around sustainability across hotel and the wider travel sector
    - Solutions that exist to overcome the challenges and roadblocks

    The future of loyalty in the hospitality industry:

    - The new trends that Vicky sees being tried and tested in the hospitality loyalty space
    - How loyalty programs can leverage data analytics and customer insights to offer more personalized experiences and rewards
    - How program leaders should go about selecting which one to partner with?
    - Advice to a hotel company either wanting to launch a loyalty program or review their existing loyalty proposition

    A must listen for anybody involved with travel and hospitality loyalty, listen here, or read the transcript below.

    (1:30) You've been a leader in loyalty marketing and CRM in the hospitality sector for many years now. So how has the hotel loyalty program evolved during this time?

    "Yes, probably more years than I care to remember! The hotel loyalty space, if I'm not mistaken, is about 30 years old now. I think Marriott or Holiday Inn were the forerunners of hospitality loyalty and it was very much the collect points for free nights type of program. And then obviously, a lot of the bigger chains jumped on board in the following years and hotel programs became very much a conduit into the airline programs, which were already more established and already much bigger. Through partnerships they fed into the airline travel programs. That then led on to partnerships with financial institutions, especially the likes of American Express.

    "Today, the hotel programs are very much essential programs in their own right. Marriott now has nearly 200 million members, over 30 brands, nearly 9,000 hotels worldwide. Hilton is not far behind with 173 million members. And then now you've got alliances such as the Global Hotel Alliance, which is bringing together some of those smaller to medium sized hotel chains. I think they have now 40 brands and over 800 Hotels within their alliance and all joined through a loyalty program. So, co-brand credit cards, partner networks, sponsorship of major events, celebrity endorsement...these aren't just linked to the big retail brands anymore, you see a lot of loyalty programs out there sponsoring, whether it's global football tournaments, tennis, cricket, motor racing, etc.

    "Loyalty programs within the hotel industry and moving more away from the points for free nights model, to really becoming a self service experience for the member throughout their hotel stay, whether that's giving them access to things like online checking, keyless door entry, preferred room choice, and even room settings before they arrive, as well as more the transactional benefits. Still collecting points but being able to redeem them for a plethora of other rewards, whether it's in hotel or through partnerships that they have."

    (3:56) What has been the catalyst for this change? Why are these big hotel chains looking at the wider experience rather than just points for nights?

    "I think a lot has been brought about through industry consolidation. Really the only competitive advantage now is the experience that you can give to your members and to your guests. It's very easy for competitor hotel chains to copy awarding points or a particular in hotels say benefit. But what resonates with the customer, what resonates with the guests and therefore your key differentiator is how you make them feel when they're staying with you. So really through the customer demand and customer expectation and moving away from that transactional to the emotional loyalty. Guests expect to be known. They expected to be recognized. They think they've told you their preferences once, so they don't want to have to repeat themselves. Loyalty is about bringing in this much more one-on-one emotional loyalty that has been the catalyst."

    (5:14) That's a nice little segue into the next question, which is how are hotels measuring success from a loyalty program? How do they know that they're delivering the best experience?

    "I think obviously they still have the usual loyalty measures of healthy program redemption rates, breakage, number of active members. In the hotel industry, we've obviously focused a lot on the impact on business. So, retention rates, customer lifetime value, and then looking at the average spend of a member versus a non-member during their stay throughout the year. And looking at that recency, frequency, monetary value. We're now also pulling in customer satisfaction scores, customer effort scores, net promoter scores, and how your relationship with that customer influences other people to come and stay at your property as well."

    (6:06) There's a lot to think about for these hotel chains now, in terms of their loyalty program. So therefore, there must be lots of challenges and barriers to success. From your perspective, what challenges are hotels facing today in recognizing and rewarding members of their programs?

    "I think there are two big challenges. I think one is making sure that colleagues and employees in the hotel chains on the ground are familiar with, educated with, and involved with the hotel loyalty program, so that they don't see it as just something they've got to do, but understand the reasoning, why they have the program, and what those benefits are and what the members' expectations are, and being able to deliver that consistently at a hotel level. There's quite a lot of staff turnover, whether it's front desk, in restaurants, etc. So, it's really that employee engagement, I think that's going to become increasingly important. And looking at employee loyalty is almost as important as looking at the customer loyalty as well.

    "And then secondly, data. There's a lot of siloed, disconnected systems within the hotel industry, whether it's from the reservation platforms to their point-of-sale terminals and restaurants, Spa and fitness, to the property management systems, table reservation systems, their CRM, their revenue management... There are so many different locations where data is stored, not necessarily in a consistent manner. They've all evolved over time, but the data hasn't really been brought together. So, I think a major challenge is being able to pull that data together in a manner that's GDPR compliant, that captures member consent and preferences, but then is also being processed in a way that empowers and enables hotels to be able to reward and recognize their guests on an ongoing basis.

    "So, I think those two areas are the main challenges for hotel chains today, whether they're small, individual properties, or the I imagine those challenges are even bigger for some of the mega chains out there."

    (8:24) So how do we overcome those challenges? What solutions are out there to help loyalty programs?

    "I think there's a lot more now in the employee loyalty space, whether that's connecting with learning management systems. And often this is something overlooked from a loyalty program perspective, there's a lot to focus on delivering service in the hotels, but maybe not so much on educating around the loyalty program, etc. I know the big chains definitely have that, but some of those smaller chains, not necessarily so. Then, hotels need to have a reward mechanism that incentivizes colleagues to engage with the hotel loyalty programs as well.

    "From a data perspective, there is a lot of middleware out there. There are quite a few companies that specialize now in taking your data and delivering it to your front of house employees. So, they're able to take action on it as well. So, it's out there. It's just being able to choose which one's the right fit for you and fits the gaps within your customer journey that are currently maybe pain points are somewhat disconnected."

    (9:34) On that, what questions should a loyalty program leader manager be asking to ensure they get the right software?

    "I think they start with their customer journey. At the end of the day, technology is an enabler, it shouldn't be the solution. So, looking at your customer journey from the time that they even start to think about booking a holiday, when they haven't necessarily chosen your chain, all the way through to once they've left and the reminiscing and that whole customer cycle. It's looking at how you interact, where you interact, what platforms you've got, what data you have. And then again, going back to that customer effort measurement, what effort is it for a customer to engage with you across all of those different touch points within the customer journey? And then from that, you're able to identify where your gaps are, where your pain points are for your customers. And from there, you can look at what technology solutions will help you bring that together, whether that's complementing what you already have within your tech stack, or whether it's replacing what you have out there."

    (10:38) Before we move on to discuss the future of loyalty, going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I would quickly like to talk about sustainability, which is a topic that I know is close to your heart, and is a topic that that's impacting the wider travel sector at the moment. Is sustainability becoming an important element of hotel loyalty programs? And if so, how are hotels incorporating these aspects to engage customers?

    "Yes, it is becoming an increasingly important element into drivers of consideration for a traveler when they're booking their hotel stays, their airline, whether it's with a travel agent, or directly, it's becoming much more of a consideration as to which hotel brand they're going to choose. How is that being incorporated into loyalty programs? To be honest, the answer is not very well.

    "The hotel industry overall, is taking amazing steps in addressing sustainability measures, protecting natural environment, promoting societal wellbeing, whether that's through eco-friendly products, waste minimization solutions, energy saving technologies, environmentally-friendly guest services, bike rental, those little notes that you get on your beds to remind you not to use the towels, or change the towels every day, locally sourced food products, even being able to track the food through the process within the hotel to minimize waste there. And then also supporting local communities through food banks or charitable initiatives. And then on the social responsibility side through the hiring and ensuring equality within the hotel teams.

    "The World Travel and Tourism Council has come up with 12 basic criteria for the hotel industry based on three core pillars of efficiency, planet, and people. Hotels are starting to share those on social channels. They're starting, they're obtaining certification from distribution channels, but it hasn't really filtered down as much into loyalty programs yet. You see some brands incorporating the ability to donate points to charitable organizations, or to participate in experiences, it could be things from tree planting, or whatever. But there's nothing that really matches what they're doing at a higher level at a more substantial level. And this could ultimately be rewarding guests for eco-friendly choices during their stay.

    "I think you know, green loyalty programs do attract the environmentally conscious traveler who seek to have the hotel experiences align with their values that they have. But the ability to do this hasn't really evolved as much. But these initiatives and once a hotel company understands how they can track trace and reward what a guest will do on property, then they could definitely foster that emotional connection with guests and encourage them to return and recommend the hotel to others as well."

    (13:47) That sounds like an important part of a future loyalty strategy for hotels there, which moves us very nicely on to the future of loyalty in the hospitality industry. With that in mind, what are some of the new trends you see being tried and tested in the space?

    "There's a lot around AI at the moment. Whether that's from chat bots helping you book your hotel stay online, you maybe get stuck with something and the Chatbot pops in and says how can I help you, then connects you to a real live person if the if the bot can't answer, to answering simple questions, being able to connect through chats to order your room service or a cocktail on the beach, there's a lot of AI driving efficiencies and improving the guest experience on property or when they're booking. I think these will only continue to improve.

    "From a loyalty program perspective, there's huge potential in card linking products when you're talking about having your loyalty program not only during your hotel stay but meaning something to you or being incorporated into your life when you're back at home, whether that's being able to redeem points for merchandise that you use every day for gifting, being able to collect points whilst you're shopping or in your day to day activities. So being able to connect that value proposition to outside of the of your hotel stay."

    (15:17) Does that mean hotels need to work with loyalty platforms that have a really wide rewards marketplace and can drive to connect brands to communities? Is that where the future is do you think?

    "Definitely, that's a component of it? Absolutely. So Being able to reward members outside of their own ecosystem, and employees as well, I think such platforms or play will be very important to employee loyalty and driving that employee space who don't necessarily want to or have the means to go and dine or stay at the hotel properties, but want to be able to choose some sort of reward that's relevant to them. So yes, definitely.

    "I also think that just understanding how and why a customer wants to engage with you, or engage with other travel partners, and who those travel partners are through the enhanced data analytics and customer insights that will help drive those personalized experiences, that emotional connection. You want members to think, okay, these people really get me they really know me, they're going to make my travel experience seamless, so I can get make the most out of my time, whilst I'm in my destination."

    (16:26) We've touched on this already, but there's a huge choice of platform providers and technology out there vying for business. Is there anything else you would like to add on that topic in terms of selecting which one to partner with?

    "As I said before, I think it's very much linked to the customer journey and where your gaps are. But then also, the hospitality industry is quite unique in the way its tech stacks are structured, and how everybody interacts very differently with the technology. So having a partner that potentially has that experience already with the hospitality industry, or at least within the travel industry and understands what you're trying to achieve, and is aligned with you and understand your vision, then I think that's important, too."

    (17:14) Bringing all of the different strands we've talked about together, what would your advice be to a hotel company who either wants to launch a loyalty program or who wants to review their existing proposition?

    "I think there's a lot of hotel companies, not only hotel companies, but a lot of businesses that go out there today saying, "I need to get my I need to understand my customers better I need to get customer data, I need to have a loyalty program to do that". Okay, there's a couple of objectives in there, but it's maybe not the best way to start. I think understanding what type of behavior you're looking to drive. What loyalty actually means to you as a business, you know, is it repeat stays, is it increased wallet value? Is it multiple stays across multiple destinations? Is it advocacy? It could be a combination of all of these things, but very clearly setting out your objectives that are very much aligned with your vision of your company and what your company stands for and what its purpose is, remains vital. Start from the top work your way down.

    "And as I said before, the technology part is really an enabler to all of that, rather than the solution. So, work on your strategy, work on your objectives. And from there, look at what your customers want from you what they're expecting from you speak to your customers, understand what they value, what drives consideration when they're going to book with you, how they like to be treated on property, and start there, rather than starting with a solution of I need a loyalty program and I need to tech solution to do that.

    "I think spending more time on that whole discovery and design phase is really important, rather than jumping straight to delivery."

  • The Loylogic Podcast: Hotel loyalty - the trends, challenges and strategies for success

    In this episode of the Loylogic Podcast, we welcome Vicky Elliot, an independent consultant specializing in travel and hospitality loyalty, to talk about the trends, challenges and strategies for success that all hotel loyalty program leaders need to know.

    Together, we discuss:

    The evolution of loyalty programs in the hotel industry:

    - How loyalty programs have evolved
    - The catalysts behind developments
    - How hotels are measuring success from their loyalty programs

    The challenges and barriers to success:

    - Challenges hotels face today in recognizing and rewarding members of their loyalty programs?
    - The discussion around sustainability across hotel and the wider travel sector
    - Solutions that exist to overcome the challenges and roadblocks

    The future of loyalty in the hospitality industry:

    - The new trends that Vicky sees being tried and tested in the hospitality loyalty space
    - How loyalty programs can leverage data analytics and customer insights to offer more personalized experiences and rewards
    - How program leaders should go about selecting which one to partner with?
    - Advice to a hotel company either wanting to launch a loyalty program or review their existing loyalty proposition

    A must listen for anybody involved with travel and hospitality loyalty, listen here, or read the transcript below.

    (1:30) You've been a leader in loyalty marketing and CRM in the hospitality sector for many years now. So how has the hotel loyalty program evolved during this time?

    "Yes, probably more years than I care to remember! The hotel loyalty space, if I'm not mistaken, is about 30 years old now. I think Marriott or Holiday Inn were the forerunners of hospitality loyalty and it was very much the collect points for free nights type of program. And then obviously, a lot of the bigger chains jumped on board in the following years and hotel programs became very much a conduit into the airline programs, which were already more established and already much bigger. Through partnerships they fed into the airline travel programs. That then led on to partnerships with financial institutions, especially the likes of American Express.

    "Today, the hotel programs are very much essential programs in their own right. Marriott now has nearly 200 million members, over 30 brands, nearly 9,000 hotels worldwide. Hilton is not far behind with 173 million members. And then now you've got alliances such as the Global Hotel Alliance, which is bringing together some of those smaller to medium sized hotel chains. I think they have now 40 brands and over 800 Hotels within their alliance and all joined through a loyalty program. So, co-brand credit cards, partner networks, sponsorship of major events, celebrity endorsement...these aren't just linked to the big retail brands anymore, you see a lot of loyalty programs out there sponsoring, whether it's global football tournaments, tennis, cricket, motor racing, etc.

    "Loyalty programs within the hotel industry and moving more away from the points for free nights model, to really becoming a self service experience for the member throughout their hotel stay, whether that's giving them access to things like online checking, keyless door entry, preferred room choice, and even room settings before they arrive, as well as more the transactional benefits. Still collecting points but being able to redeem them for a plethora of other rewards, whether it's in hotel or through partnerships that they have."

    (3:56) What has been the catalyst for this change? Why are these big hotel chains looking at the wider experience rather than just points for nights?

    "I think a lot has been brought about through industry consolidation. Really the only competitive advantage now is the experience that you can give to your members and to your guests. It's very easy for competitor hotel chains to copy awarding points or a particular in hotels say benefit. But what resonates with the customer, what resonates with the guests and therefore your key differentiator is how you make them feel when they're staying with you. So really through the customer demand and customer expectation and moving away from that transactional to the emotional loyalty. Guests expect to be known. They expected to be recognized. They think they've told you their preferences once, so they don't want to have to repeat themselves. Loyalty is about bringing in this much more one-on-one emotional loyalty that has been the catalyst."

    (5:14) That's a nice little segue into the next question, which is how are hotels measuring success from a loyalty program? How do they know that they're delivering the best experience?

    "I think obviously they still have the usual loyalty measures of healthy program redemption rates, breakage, number of active members. In the hotel industry, we've obviously focused a lot on the impact on business. So, retention rates, customer lifetime value, and then looking at the average spend of a member versus a non-member during their stay throughout the year. And looking at that recency, frequency, monetary value. We're now also pulling in customer satisfaction scores, customer effort scores, net promoter scores, and how your relationship with that customer influences other people to come and stay at your property as well."

    (6:06) There's a lot to think about for these hotel chains now, in terms of their loyalty program. So therefore, there must be lots of challenges and barriers to success. From your perspective, what challenges are hotels facing today in recognizing and rewarding members of their programs?

    "I think there are two big challenges. I think one is making sure that colleagues and employees in the hotel chains on the ground are familiar with, educated with, and involved with the hotel loyalty program, so that they don't see it as just something they've got to do, but understand the reasoning, why they have the program, and what those benefits are and what the members' expectations are, and being able to deliver that consistently at a hotel level. There's quite a lot of staff turnover, whether it's front desk, in restaurants, etc. So, it's really that employee engagement, I think that's going to become increasingly important. And looking at employee loyalty is almost as important as looking at the customer loyalty as well.

    "And then secondly, data. There's a lot of siloed, disconnected systems within the hotel industry, whether it's from the reservation platforms to their point-of-sale terminals and restaurants, Spa and fitness, to the property management systems, table reservation systems, their CRM, their revenue management... There are so many different locations where data is stored, not necessarily in a consistent manner. They've all evolved over time, but the data hasn't really been brought together. So, I think a major challenge is being able to pull that data together in a manner that's GDPR compliant, that captures member consent and preferences, but then is also being processed in a way that empowers and enables hotels to be able to reward and recognize their guests on an ongoing basis.

    "So, I think those two areas are the main challenges for hotel chains today, whether they're small, individual properties, or the I imagine those challenges are even bigger for some of the mega chains out there."

    (8:24) So how do we overcome those challenges? What solutions are out there to help loyalty programs?

    "I think there's a lot more now in the employee loyalty space, whether that's connecting with learning management systems. And often this is something overlooked from a loyalty program perspective, there's a lot to focus on delivering service in the hotels, but maybe not so much on educating around the loyalty program, etc. I know the big chains definitely have that, but some of those smaller chains, not necessarily so. Then, hotels need to have a reward mechanism that incentivizes colleagues to engage with the hotel loyalty programs as well.

    "From a data perspective, there is a lot of middleware out there. There are quite a few companies that specialize now in taking your data and delivering it to your front of house employees. So, they're able to take action on it as well. So, it's out there. It's just being able to choose which one's the right fit for you and fits the gaps within your customer journey that are currently maybe pain points are somewhat disconnected."

    (9:34) On that, what questions should a loyalty program leader manager be asking to ensure they get the right software?

    "I think they start with their customer journey. At the end of the day, technology is an enabler, it shouldn't be the solution. So, looking at your customer journey from the time that they even start to think about booking a holiday, when they haven't necessarily chosen your chain, all the way through to once they've left and the reminiscing and that whole customer cycle. It's looking at how you interact, where you interact, what platforms you've got, what data you have. And then again, going back to that customer effort measurement, what effort is it for a customer to engage with you across all of those different touch points within the customer journey? And then from that, you're able to identify where your gaps are, where your pain points are for your customers. And from there, you can look at what technology solutions will help you bring that together, whether that's complementing what you already have within your tech stack, or whether it's replacing what you have out there."

    (10:38) Before we move on to discuss the future of loyalty, going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I would quickly like to talk about sustainability, which is a topic that I know is close to your heart, and is a topic that that's impacting the wider travel sector at the moment. Is sustainability becoming an important element of hotel loyalty programs? And if so, how are hotels incorporating these aspects to engage customers?

    "Yes, it is becoming an increasingly important element into drivers of consideration for a traveler when they're booking their hotel stays, their airline, whether it's with a travel agent, or directly, it's becoming much more of a consideration as to which hotel brand they're going to choose. How is that being incorporated into loyalty programs? To be honest, the answer is not very well.

    "The hotel industry overall, is taking amazing steps in addressing sustainability measures, protecting natural environment, promoting societal wellbeing, whether that's through eco-friendly products, waste minimization solutions, energy saving technologies, environmentally-friendly guest services, bike rental, those little notes that you get on your beds to remind you not to use the towels, or change the towels every day, locally sourced food products, even being able to track the food through the process within the hotel to minimize waste there. And then also supporting local communities through food banks or charitable initiatives. And then on the social responsibility side through the hiring and ensuring equality within the hotel teams.

    "The World Travel and Tourism Council has come up with 12 basic criteria for the hotel industry based on three core pillars of efficiency, planet, and people. Hotels are starting to share those on social channels. They're starting, they're obtaining certification from distribution channels, but it hasn't really filtered down as much into loyalty programs yet. You see some brands incorporating the ability to donate points to charitable organizations, or to participate in experiences, it could be things from tree planting, or whatever. But there's nothing that really matches what they're doing at a higher level at a more substantial level. And this could ultimately be rewarding guests for eco-friendly choices during their stay.

    "I think you know, green loyalty programs do attract the environmentally conscious traveler who seek to have the hotel experiences align with their values that they have. But the ability to do this hasn't really evolved as much. But these initiatives and once a hotel company understands how they can track trace and reward what a guest will do on property, then they could definitely foster that emotional connection with guests and encourage them to return and recommend the hotel to others as well."

    (13:47) That sounds like an important part of a future loyalty strategy for hotels there, which moves us very nicely on to the future of loyalty in the hospitality industry. With that in mind, what are some of the new trends you see being tried and tested in the space?

    "There's a lot around AI at the moment. Whether that's from chat bots helping you book your hotel stay online, you maybe get stuck with something and the Chatbot pops in and says how can I help you, then connects you to a real live person if the if the bot can't answer, to answering simple questions, being able to connect through chats to order your room service or a cocktail on the beach, there's a lot of AI driving efficiencies and improving the guest experience on property or when they're booking. I think these will only continue to improve.

    "From a loyalty program perspective, there's huge potential in card linking products when you're talking about having your loyalty program not only during your hotel stay but meaning something to you or being incorporated into your life when you're back at home, whether that's being able to redeem points for merchandise that you use every day for gifting, being able to collect points whilst you're shopping or in your day to day activities. So being able to connect that value proposition to outside of the of your hotel stay."

    (15:17) Does that mean hotels need to work with loyalty platforms that have a really wide rewards marketplace and can drive to connect brands to communities? Is that where the future is do you think?

    "Definitely, that's a component of it? Absolutely. So Being able to reward members outside of their own ecosystem, and employees as well, I think such platforms or play will be very important to employee loyalty and driving that employee space who don't necessarily want to or have the means to go and dine or stay at the hotel properties, but want to be able to choose some sort of reward that's relevant to them. So yes, definitely.

    "I also think that just understanding how and why a customer wants to engage with you, or engage with other travel partners, and who those travel partners are through the enhanced data analytics and customer insights that will help drive those personalized experiences, that emotional connection. You want members to think, okay, these people really get me they really know me, they're going to make my travel experience seamless, so I can get make the most out of my time, whilst I'm in my destination."

    (16:26) We've touched on this already, but there's a huge choice of platform providers and technology out there vying for business. Is there anything else you would like to add on that topic in terms of selecting which one to partner with?

    "As I said before, I think it's very much linked to the customer journey and where your gaps are. But then also, the hospitality industry is quite unique in the way its tech stacks are structured, and how everybody interacts very differently with the technology. So having a partner that potentially has that experience already with the hospitality industry, or at least within the travel industry and understands what you're trying to achieve, and is aligned with you and understand your vision, then I think that's important, too."

    (17:14) Bringing all of the different strands we've talked about together, what would your advice be to a hotel company who either wants to launch a loyalty program or who wants to review their existing proposition?

    "I think there's a lot of hotel companies, not only hotel companies, but a lot of businesses that go out there today saying, "I need to get my I need to understand my customers better I need to get customer data, I need to have a loyalty program to do that". Okay, there's a couple of objectives in there, but it's maybe not the best way to start. I think understanding what type of behavior you're looking to drive. What loyalty actually means to you as a business, you know, is it repeat stays, is it increased wallet value? Is it multiple stays across multiple destinations? Is it advocacy? It could be a combination of all of these things, but very clearly setting out your objectives that are very much aligned with your vision of your company and what your company stands for and what its purpose is, remains vital. Start from the top work your way down.

    "And as I said before, the technology part is really an enabler to all of that, rather than the solution. So, work on your strategy, work on your objectives. And from there, look at what your customers want from you what they're expecting from you speak to your customers, understand what they value, what drives consideration when they're going to book with you, how they like to be treated on property, and start there, rather than starting with a solution of I need a loyalty program and I need to tech solution to do that.

    "I think spending more time on that whole discovery and design phase is really important, rather than jumping straight to delivery."

  • Loylogic appoints Amit Bendre as Chief Operating Officer

    Loylogic, a global leader in loyalty and rewards engagement, has appointed Amit Bendre as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

    With a remarkable 13-year tenure at Loylogic, Amit has showcased exceptional leadership in pivotal domains such as product management, project management, technology, and operations. His extensive experience uniquely positions him to drive operational efficiency and maintain high client service standards as COO.

    Amit's strategic vision aims to streamline operations and optimize efficiency across Loylogic's spectrum. By leveraging talent, refining processes, and embracing automation, he is poised to spearhead Loylogic's ambitious Brands2Communities growth strategy. This strategy seeks to foster direct relationships between 1,000 brands and over 100 million loyalty program members, driving significant revenues for partner brands.

    Expressing his enthusiasm for the role, Amit said: "Serving as COO at Loylogic represents the culmination of my professional journey. I am dedicated to leveraging my insights and industry knowledge to cultivate an operationally superior organization known for its innovation, efficiency, and client satisfaction.

    "In my capacity as COO, my primary focus is to harmonize teams and optimize the delivery of Loylogic's groundbreaking solutions. Central to our transformation is the adoption of process-driven methodologies, empowering teams with shared expertise and decentralized knowledge."

    Gabi Kool, CEO of Loylogic, commended Amit's appointment, highlighting his pivotal role in shaping Loylogic's flagship solutions and his esteemed reputation among clients and colleagues.

    "Loylogic remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering unparalleled solutions in the loyalty and rewards domain. Amit's expertise in technology, product development, and operations will fortify our position as industry leaders, driving innovation and excellence."

  • Loylogic appoints Amit Bendre as Chief Operating Officer

    Loylogic, a global leader in loyalty and rewards engagement, has appointed Amit Bendre as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

    With a remarkable 13-year tenure at Loylogic, Amit has showcased exceptional leadership in pivotal domains such as product management, project management, technology, and operations. His extensive experience uniquely positions him to drive operational efficiency and maintain high client service standards as COO.

    Amit's strategic vision aims to streamline operations and optimize efficiency across Loylogic's spectrum. By leveraging talent, refining processes, and embracing automation, he is poised to spearhead Loylogic's ambitious Brands2Communities growth strategy. This strategy seeks to foster direct relationships between 1,000 brands and over 100 million loyalty program members, driving significant revenues for partner brands.

    Expressing his enthusiasm for the role, Amit said: "Serving as COO at Loylogic represents the culmination of my professional journey. I am dedicated to leveraging my insights and industry knowledge to cultivate an operationally superior organization known for its innovation, efficiency, and client satisfaction.

    "In my capacity as COO, my primary focus is to harmonize teams and optimize the delivery of Loylogic's groundbreaking solutions. Central to our transformation is the adoption of process-driven methodologies, empowering teams with shared expertise and decentralized knowledge."

    Gabi Kool, CEO of Loylogic, commended Amit's appointment, highlighting his pivotal role in shaping Loylogic's flagship solutions and his esteemed reputation among clients and colleagues.

    "Loylogic remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering unparalleled solutions in the loyalty and rewards domain. Amit's expertise in technology, product development, and operations will fortify our position as industry leaders, driving innovation and excellence."

  • The Loylogic Podcast: Navigating New Horizons – the Evolution of Travel Loyalty Programs Man seated in airport looking out of the window at a plane taking off

    The latest episode of the Loylogic Group Podcast brings together two experts to delve into the evolving landscape of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

  • The Loylogic Podcast: Navigating New Horizons – the Evolution of Travel Loyalty Programs Man seated in airport looking out of the window at a plane taking off

    The latest episode of the Loylogic Group Podcast brings together two experts to delve into the evolving landscape of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

  • Irish Life extends partnership with Loylogic to further promote and reward health and wellbeing

    Irish Life and Loylogic have agreed a multi-year extension to their partnership that will see the two organizations further develop the successful MyLife health and wellbeing program.

  • Irish Life extends partnership with Loylogic to further promote and reward health and wellbeing

    Irish Life and Loylogic have agreed a multi-year extension to their partnership that will see the two organizations further develop the successful MyLife health and wellbeing program.

  • Loylogic appoints Samir Skif to lead exciting new rewards and recognition program

    Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement specialist, has appointed Samir Skif as the Head of Ultimate, its all new motivational rewards and recognition currency.

  • Loylogic appoints Samir Skif to lead exciting new rewards and recognition program

    Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement specialist, has appointed Samir Skif as the Head of Ultimate, its all new motivational rewards and recognition currency.

  • Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Loylogic extend PREMIO consumer engagement program partnership Screen shot of Nescafe Dolce Gusto Premio website showing coffee machine and welcome message

    Nescafé Dolce Gusto multi-beverage system and Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement technology specialist, have extended their collaboration on the successful PREMIO loyalty program for a further five years.

  • Nescafé Dolce Gusto and Loylogic extend PREMIO consumer engagement program partnership Screen shot of Nescafe Dolce Gusto Premio website showing coffee machine and welcome message

    Nescafé Dolce Gusto multi-beverage system and Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement technology specialist, have extended their collaboration on the successful PREMIO loyalty program for a further five years.

  • Loylogic appoints Emma Shakespeare as Global Head of Sales

    Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement technology specialist, has appointed Emma Shakespeare as Head of Global Sales.

    In her role, Emma will be responsible for driving Loylogic’s ambitious ‘Brands to Communities’ growth strategy, which aims to build direct relationships between 1,000 brands and at least 100 million loyalty and rewards program members, driving significant revenues to these brands. Emma will focus on driving strategic and structural change, building internal processes within Loylogic that allow the business to scale up its customer facing teams and significantly increase the number of collaboration opportunities with loyalty partners.

    Over the last 16 years, Emma has held various senior sales roles across a range of technology focused organizations, including SAP and SAS, not only delivering sales growth but turning customers into advocates of the brands. This extensive enterprise sales leadership experience will enable Emma to nurture existing customers and identify new business channels in order for more companies to benefit from Loylogic’s expertise.

    “It’s incredibly exciting to be joining Loylogic as the business embarks on a new phase in its growth,” said Emma. “Our clear strategy that focuses on connecting Brands2Communities provides us with a compelling value proposition into our key verticals of FMCG, travel and hospitality, and finance. The organizations I’ve worked for have enjoyed exponential growth and I’ll be bringing know how from my time at those to scale and build out a sales culture with processes that fully support the customer journey.”

    Gabi Kool, CEO of Loylogic, added: “We’re thrilled to bring Emma on board at such a pivotal time in Loylogic’s journey. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role and will play a key part in delivering on our ambitious growth strategy, as we continue to enhance our offer to the market.

    “We continue to invest in adding new brands and categories to our portfolio, while also building direct brand relationships with the biggest, most desirable brands in the world. This is enabling us to deliver the reward shops of the future and introduce a branded shop-in-shop concept that will help both brands and loyalty programs build revenue and stand out from their competition. To have Emma on board at this time, to help as many organizations as possible benefit from our solutions, is truly exciting.”

    To talk to Emma about how your organization can benefit from Loylogic's solutions, contact us by clicking here.

  • Loylogic appoints Emma Shakespeare as Global Head of Sales

    Loylogic, the global loyalty and rewards engagement technology specialist, has appointed Emma Shakespeare as Head of Global Sales.

    In her role, Emma will be responsible for driving Loylogic’s ambitious ‘Brands to Communities’ growth strategy, which aims to build direct relationships between 1,000 brands and at least 100 million loyalty and rewards program members, driving significant revenues to these brands. Emma will focus on driving strategic and structural change, building internal processes within Loylogic that allow the business to scale up its customer facing teams and significantly increase the number of collaboration opportunities with loyalty partners.

    Over the last 16 years, Emma has held various senior sales roles across a range of technology focused organizations, including SAP and SAS, not only delivering sales growth but turning customers into advocates of the brands. This extensive enterprise sales leadership experience will enable Emma to nurture existing customers and identify new business channels in order for more companies to benefit from Loylogic’s expertise.

    “It’s incredibly exciting to be joining Loylogic as the business embarks on a new phase in its growth,” said Emma. “Our clear strategy that focuses on connecting Brands2Communities provides us with a compelling value proposition into our key verticals of FMCG, travel and hospitality, and finance. The organizations I’ve worked for have enjoyed exponential growth and I’ll be bringing know how from my time at those to scale and build out a sales culture with processes that fully support the customer journey.”

    Gabi Kool, CEO of Loylogic, added: “We’re thrilled to bring Emma on board at such a pivotal time in Loylogic’s journey. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role and will play a key part in delivering on our ambitious growth strategy, as we continue to enhance our offer to the market.

    “We continue to invest in adding new brands and categories to our portfolio, while also building direct brand relationships with the biggest, most desirable brands in the world. This is enabling us to deliver the reward shops of the future and introduce a branded shop-in-shop concept that will help both brands and loyalty programs build revenue and stand out from their competition. To have Emma on board at this time, to help as many organizations as possible benefit from our solutions, is truly exciting.”

    To talk to Emma about how your organization can benefit from Loylogic's solutions, contact us by clicking here.

  • The Loylogic Podcast: How African Bank is rewarding the unrewarded Small pot filled with money and young shoots of a plant growing out

    We find out how African Bank’s Audacious Rewards program is incentivizing positive financial behavior for all customers.

  • The Loylogic Podcast: How African Bank is rewarding the unrewarded Small pot filled with money and young shoots of a plant growing out

    We find out how African Bank’s Audacious Rewards program is incentivizing positive financial behavior for all customers.

  • Six ways to navigate the future of fuel loyalty programs

    For a recent episode of the Loylogic Podcast, Olivier Martinet, CEO of Posidonia Consulting and former Vice President of Marketing at BP, joined us to discuss the future of large-scale fuel and mobility rewards programs.

    The conversation focused on the evolution of loyalty strategies in the fuel industry, driven by digitalization, the shift towards electric vehicles, and the transformation of fuel companies into energy providers and mobility hubs, and much more.

    To listen to the podcast in full, simply click below. Six key route markers that will help loyalty programs navigate the changing fuel loyalty landscape can be found below.

    1. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: Olivier challenged the notion of a universal best-in-class fuel rewards program, emphasizing that success is highly dependent on the alignment between the program, company strategy, and readiness for implementation. He did, however, introduce four pillars that loyalty program owners should consider that will drive success, namely: ease of participation, relevance, personalization, and profitability. By focusing on these four elements, companies can find the right balance between customer advantage and strategic adaptability.

    2. Loyalty strategies need to be tailored to company size and scope: The level of focus on the four pillars needs to vary depending on the company's size and global reach. For example, larger organizations tend to have a greater need to balance customer advantage and brand consistency, reflecting a more comprehensive approach to loyalty programs that considers both local and global factors.

    3. The shift to electric vehicles will have a profound impact on loyalty: Olivier highlighted the impact of the increasing adoption of electric vehicles on how customers interact with brands – and therefore loyalty. Consumer interaction will change and loyalty programs must adapt to this new behavior.

    4. Fuel companies transforming into energy providers: Major fuel companies are repositioning themselves as energy providers, with collaborations and investments in alternative energy sources already underway. This shift suggests a future of potential joint ventures and partnerships, reflecting a broader transformation within the energy sector. This needs to be factored into thinking around loyalty and how both earn and burn of points or miles happens.

    5. Extended dwell times and mobility hubs: The rise of ‘mobility hubs’ is impacting loyalty offers. Longer customer dwell times due to electric vehicle charging present new challenges and opportunities for loyalty programs. Companies need to rethink their strategies to engage customers during extended on-site interactions and integrate these experiences with home charging behavior.

    6. Personalization beyond marketing: All loyalty programs, regardless of sector, should go beyond marketing and engage in strategic decision-making. Olivier emphasized the wider range of use cases that arise from privileged customer data, including category management, pricing policies and assortment range. As a result, loyalty schemes should be considered as long-term strategic tools that have a seat at the boardroom table.

    In conclusion, the future of fuel rewards programs is dynamic and requires companies to adapt to digitalization, changing consumer behaviors, and the broader energy landscape. Success lies in a personalized and adaptable approach that considers both customer needs and long-term strategic goals. As fuel companies transition into energy providers, collaboration and innovative loyalty strategies will play a crucial role in shaping the industry's future.

  • Six ways to navigate the future of fuel loyalty programs

    For a recent episode of the Loylogic Podcast, Olivier Martinet, CEO of Posidonia Consulting and former Vice President of Marketing at BP, joined us to discuss the future of large-scale fuel and mobility rewards programs.

    The conversation focused on the evolution of loyalty strategies in the fuel industry, driven by digitalization, the shift towards electric vehicles, and the transformation of fuel companies into energy providers and mobility hubs, and much more.

    To listen to the podcast in full, simply click below. Six key route markers that will help loyalty programs navigate the changing fuel loyalty landscape can be found below.

    1. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: Olivier challenged the notion of a universal best-in-class fuel rewards program, emphasizing that success is highly dependent on the alignment between the program, company strategy, and readiness for implementation. He did, however, introduce four pillars that loyalty program owners should consider that will drive success, namely: ease of participation, relevance, personalization, and profitability. By focusing on these four elements, companies can find the right balance between customer advantage and strategic adaptability.

    2. Loyalty strategies need to be tailored to company size and scope: The level of focus on the four pillars needs to vary depending on the company's size and global reach. For example, larger organizations tend to have a greater need to balance customer advantage and brand consistency, reflecting a more comprehensive approach to loyalty programs that considers both local and global factors.

    3. The shift to electric vehicles will have a profound impact on loyalty: Olivier highlighted the impact of the increasing adoption of electric vehicles on how customers interact with brands – and therefore loyalty. Consumer interaction will change and loyalty programs must adapt to this new behavior.

    4. Fuel companies transforming into energy providers: Major fuel companies are repositioning themselves as energy providers, with collaborations and investments in alternative energy sources already underway. This shift suggests a future of potential joint ventures and partnerships, reflecting a broader transformation within the energy sector. This needs to be factored into thinking around loyalty and how both earn and burn of points or miles happens.

    5. Extended dwell times and mobility hubs: The rise of ‘mobility hubs’ is impacting loyalty offers. Longer customer dwell times due to electric vehicle charging present new challenges and opportunities for loyalty programs. Companies need to rethink their strategies to engage customers during extended on-site interactions and integrate these experiences with home charging behavior.

    6. Personalization beyond marketing: All loyalty programs, regardless of sector, should go beyond marketing and engage in strategic decision-making. Olivier emphasized the wider range of use cases that arise from privileged customer data, including category management, pricing policies and assortment range. As a result, loyalty schemes should be considered as long-term strategic tools that have a seat at the boardroom table.

    In conclusion, the future of fuel rewards programs is dynamic and requires companies to adapt to digitalization, changing consumer behaviors, and the broader energy landscape. Success lies in a personalized and adaptable approach that considers both customer needs and long-term strategic goals. As fuel companies transition into energy providers, collaboration and innovative loyalty strategies will play a crucial role in shaping the industry's future.

  • Gaining Altitude: Unpacking airBaltic's Web3 Loyalty Strategy Photo of airBaltic CEO MArtinGauss sitting next to a model airplane in airBaltic livery

    Join us for the latest episode of the Loylogic Podcast as we explore airBaltic's pioneering entry into Web3 with NFTs in their airBaltic Club loyalty program.

  • Gaining Altitude: Unpacking airBaltic's Web3 Loyalty Strategy Photo of airBaltic CEO MArtinGauss sitting next to a model airplane in airBaltic livery

    Join us for the latest episode of the Loylogic Podcast as we explore airBaltic's pioneering entry into Web3 with NFTs in their airBaltic Club loyalty program.

  • The Loylogic Podcast: airBaltic's Web3 loyalty and engagement strategy

    In the latest episode of the Loylogic Podcast, we’re joined by Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, a true pioneer in the airline industry's adoption of Web3 technologies, and Rob Clements, Lead Consultant at Loylogic and Web3 loyalty strategy expert.

  • The Loylogic Podcast - Fueling the future: The changing world of fuel rewards programs Electraic charging cable inserted into electric vehicle

    What’s fueling the future of large scale fuel rewards programs?

    For this episode of the Loylogic Podcast, Olivier Martinet, CEO of Posidonia Consulting and former Vice President of marketing at BP, joins us to discuss fuel loyalty programs and what’s driving any rethinking of customer retention, revenue generation and incentivized engagement strategies.

    In this discussion, Olivier emphasizes the importance of tailoring fuel rewards propositions to fit each company's strategy and customer engagement capabilities. Key talking points include:

    - Instead of searching for a universal best-in-class program, he suggests evaluating programs based on four lenses: ease to participate, relevance, personalization, and profitability.

    - The level of focus on these lenses varies based on the company size and scope, with global organizations showing a greater inclination towards balancing customer advantage and brand consistency.

    - How the increasing digitalization and shift towards electric vehicles in the fuel industry are driving organizations to rethink their loyalty strategies, recognizing that a loyalty scheme is not just a marketing tool but also a privileged data provider for long-term strategic adaptation.

    - Why, as the industry moves towards becoming energy providers, the evolving landscape of mobility hubs and electric vehicles will impact loyalty offers, requiring companies to adjust to longer customer dwell times and the integration of home charging behavior.

    - Why major fuel companies are indeed repositioning themselves as energy providers, and collaborations with other energy companies and investments in alternative energy sources are already taking place, signifying a shift towards a future of potential joint ventures and partnerships.

    - Why loyalty program owners should keep earn simple but creative with the burn side, with the differentiator coming in terms of personalization, and how customer data is handled.

    To hear Olivier’s thoughts on these topics and much more, listen using the link below, or read on for the full transcript.

    (1:27) Olivier, in your opinion, what are currently the best in class fuel rewards propositions around the world? And what is setting them apart?

    Olivier Martinet: "That's a good question. And maybe I won't answer that directly, because at the end of the day, there's one thing I really don't believe in is that there's a best in class program. Basically, all programs, or success of a program, is very much dependant on the fit between the program as it is with the company, the company strategy, but also the readiness of a company to be using it. To some extent, the best in class aspect is having the right program for the company, for the company's targets and what that company is able to do with engaging customers. Okay, so it's probably not directly answering your question, but I guess it's a key feature of the thinking and how I've been approaching loyalty schemes for about 30 years."

    (2:28) So your approach there is very much steering away from a one-size-fits-all strategy and instead looking at a case-by-case basis?

    Olivier: "Yes, absolutely. The KPIs I'm looking into, to decide what is where we should go. The first one is around ease to participate. And when I'm saying this, it's ease to participate on both sides, from the consumer angle, but also from a retailer or partner point of view.

    "The second one, the second lens is on the relevance. How relevant is a program as a consumer on the receiving end, but also how relevant is this program to my strategy to be engaging customers going forward?

    "The third lens is personalization. And when I'm saying personalization, what is the right level of personalization? And are we talking to groups? Are we talking to a segment of one? And this is very highly dependant on the capabilities you have as a company, in terms of what you are going to be doing with the data? How are you going to be engaging the customers? How far have you gone on the digitalization journey? And how smart are you with analyzing the data of your customer base.

    "The last dimension I'm looking into is the profitability. When saying this I'm more thinking of financial sustainability of the scheme, because one thing is, you are not as a company entering into loyalty for the next two weeks, this is for the long run, so you bloody need to make sure that you can sustain this financially in the long run, and not going to be forced to deceive your customers, you know, 5/6/7 years down the road by decreasing the advantage you've been giving them.

    "These are four lenses, I'm always looking into to try to find the right balance between customer advantage and what the company or my clients can do with that scheme and how far we can push the personalization journey."

    (4:27) How common is it that you come across an organization, a brand company, whatever you want to call it, that shares that vision that that is able to look at its loyalty and rewards through those same lenses?

    Olivier: "To some extent, it depends on the company you're talking to. If you're talking about a company who is in one market, covering one, it's very infrequent that you would be looking into these four lenses because basically very often, you find those really focusing on how relevant the offer can be for customers and how much digitalization you can put in your system. But, if you start getting into some other companies who are managing schemes across the globe, 20 different countries, or more four or five different continents, that's where often you can find some of this approach. This was where you need to balance how much you're giving to customers, to your targets, in terms of personalization, but also managing some kind of consistency in the approach for your brand."

    (5:43) My logical next question there is, you've got these four lenses, and what challenges are rewards loyalty program owners facing? What's driving any rethinks of the strategy? And how are people going to regard and look at their loyalty programs?

    Olivier: "Very often, what is forcing the rethinking is the digitalization of it, coming in with a mobile application and then kind of suddenly saying, here is the 'ta-da' moment for customers. You start realizing that to be getting there, you need to be upgrading your IT, you need to be making sure you're going to be dealing with your consumer data. What are you going to be doing it? And what is the analytical solution you're going to be applying to it? And then, what are the use cases you're going to be applying to it?

    "Very often, what I see is that companies would go through part of his process, and we'll start getting into, "Okay, my use case for this, obviously, is I need to talk to my customers, I'm going to be communicating to my customers, because that's a marketing tool, I need to do this". Very often, what I see missing is that comms or marketing, even on a segment of one, is only one part of a value, which a loyalty scheme can generate. The number of use cases which can come from the data arising from your privileged customer base is much wider. And it can go into various strategic things like category management, if you're a retailer, what are your pricing policies, where are you going to be investing, what is the range of your assortment you're going to be offering to customers in what sites etc etc., which are much, I would say, wider use cases, than only looking at the marketing side.

    "Obviously the marketing side, to some extent, is the bread and butter, because that is what makes sure your customer base keeps coming back, keeps generating the income, but also keeps generating the data you're after. A loyalty scheme is not only a marketing tool, it's also a privileged data provider for companies to be adapting their strategy in the long term."

    (8:31) So it's fair to say that it is more than marketing?

    Olivier: Yeah, absolutely. As anyone who has known me for some time will know, I always say that your loyalty scheme shouldn't be left only to loyalty managers. It should be sitting on a boardroom table. It's where we honestly should be sitting, not so much the engagement or marketing part, but for all of the rest, which is getting into the long term benefits of launching and participating into a loyalty scheme."

    (9:06) One question I've got to ask you, given we're talking about fuel, is where does the shift to electric vehicles come into play?

    Olivier: "I guess it's an indirect impact. The shift to EVs is a strategic shift for fuel retail, for networks, and we see, not all, but most of the companies working on shifting on moving away from being a fuel or let's say a fuel provider, to becoming an energy provider. So that's a fundamental strategic shift, which is happening to most of the fuel retailers. To some extent, that's the driver. That means, though, that there is going to be some adaptation required to the loyalty, so it's more of a consequence of the strategic shift, which needs to happen and obviously will need to be impacting via schemes at some point in future."

    (10:06) Okay, so in London, as in many other cities around the world, we're seeing the creation of mobility hubs that are about more than fuel. It's about enjoying time out of good cup of coffee and maybe do some shopping. So how is that impacting fuel loyalty?

    Olivier: "It will impact the overall offer to the consumer, so it will need to impact loyalty. Basically, there's a fundamental shift here, which is to say, in the past, you had customers coming to fill up with a get me in, get me out as quickly as possible, and by the way, as cheaply as possible, attitude. And if on my way, in and out, you can sell some other stuff, you know, being impulse items, coffee, fine.

    "There are two ways which I would say the EV will impact loyalty. The first one is, it will force customers to stay longer on the forecourt, because there's a charging time, which means it's less of loyalty. You then get into how, I can make sure as a customer when I'm getting to a site, I will be able to charge, I will be able to get some coffee or make sure that the 10/15/20 minutes I'm going to be there are also going to be very valuable. That's one thing.

    "The second thing is, how does this relate to me charging my EV when I'm home, because at the end of the day, for an EV to be financially attractive to customers, one of the big underlying thing is that a big share of the charging should happen at your own house. And to some extent, that's where the impact of loyalty schemes is going. How do you deal with customers staying longer on the forecourt? Then, what is the kind of behavior you want to reward? And the second thing is, how do you relate that on-site interaction with what is happening when customers are filling up at home?”

    (12:09) Do you therefore see fuel companies becoming energy companies?

    Olivier: "So that's what they are claiming. Look into what BP or Shell are claiming, Total is doing the same thing. They are very much claiming to be a future energy company, energy provider for mobility.

    (12:29) Is there a case there that we'll see more collaboration between fuel companies and other energy providers?

    Olivier: "You can see already things happening. You can see already partnerships happening between electric companies, oil companies, energy companies. You can see also that BP and Shell and Total are investing highly in alternative energy, be it solar, wind, etc, etc. And to some extent that's something which is already happening. Whether then you are going to see some of the big companies joining up in future in the long term, probably yes. Is it happening? Is it going to happen in the short term? Honestly, I have no clue. I would suspect not. Because you still have the weight of the oil production and distribution, which is still driving significant value for shareholders. So it's not in the short term. But in the long term. You know, probably yes. That's me guessing, you know, it's probably more for an evening, you know, a beer conversation!"

    (13:41) If only we knew Olivier will be richer than we are now! Does this changing landscape of loyalty, and you've touched on it a little bit earlier, does it require more personalization of rewards now, as well as greater choice of rewards?

    Olivier: "There's a long term trend anyway, which is for hyper personalization or on getting to segment of one. And obviously, you know, digitalization is forcing this into a conversation. So, yes, you're aware, but at the same time, there is also a very clear thing to say, don't make it too complicated for customers. So, probably, if you're on your earn side, you know, keep it as simple as possible, make it very understandable for customers. You don't need to start creating tiers to achieve something, which only complicates the conversation.

    "Probably focus more on the burn part, on giving a wide choice of options for customers. And that's where, to some extent, the attractiveness of a scheme is happening. How big is the choice? To some extent, give the customer the choice of how they want to burn and don't force them to do it in a limited way.

    "Talking about the key features of a scheme, that's probably where I would focus. On top of burning, how much more are you offering to customers? If you're part of a loyalty scheme, your customer journey on site is going to be much more simplified, you have privileged access to a cashier, quick in and out. Starbucks is one of these examples. Money can't buy experiences, etc, etc. Earn and burn being the traditional thing, but how much more can you personalize to the customer's aspirational lifestyle, in terms of getting rewarded or getting some kind of benefits or recognition of participating into a scheme?”

    (15:57) Does that then also bring into play the possibility for programs to look at profit margins use innovative ways to burn points through raffles, the play model, etc?

    Olivier: "To some extent, the worst thing for a loyalty scheme is to have customers sitting on a big amount of points, or value or currency, whatever it is, basically, and not being very clear about what we're going to be doing with it. That's, to some extent, the worst of what you can do. And therefore, you know, there is always a balance to be done in terms of, yes, obviously, I need as a brand to have part of my customers come back to me to get rewarded, which needs options for the customers in terms of freedom of burning, or using the currency. And that's where you will have some customers say, you know, absolutely, to have a partnership with a supermarket. Others will say yeah, you know, I love gamification, while some of us say, I want to pick from my computer the reward I've been always dreaming and want this to be delivered to my home. You have all of these options, which needs to be offered to the consumers."

    (17:37) So coming back to the whole development of thinking around electric vehicles, are there any regions or brands that you think could go first in this transition, or any leading the way?

    Olivier: "It's the usual suspects, obviously, you're going to have Europe, UK, parts of the US, because to some extent, legislation is forcing the OEMs to electrify cars. Basically, if you're talking about, by 2035, to only sell electric cars, for example, which is, you know, part of what we've seen in UK or in Europe, this means that adaptation will need to happen quickly. I would say, look into wherever legislation is pushing the most. And then you will very quickly find where this EV shift will impact the market."

    (18:34) So wrapping things up, what are the key takeaways for from this conversation for anybody involved in fuel loyalty, looking to adapt to current trends? And what recommendations can you give to those looking to set up new loyalty rewards engagement programs in this changing landscape?

    Olivier: "Three things. The first one is make it simple for your customer base to participate, you're only one out of X number of schemes in the market. So make it simple for them, because we shouldn't be spending the next 25 hours reading into what can I get out of it, understanding it.

    "The second thing is make it attractive to customers. And when I'm saying attractive, it's probably not so much on your own. It's more of a Burnside make it relevant to him. But these are hygiene factors.”

    "The differentiator will come in terms of personalization, and how you're dealing with consumer data, what you're going to be doing with consumer data, that's probably wherever focus should be. This means quite a dramatic shift in terms of teams capability in terms of data analytics. How do you make decisions? That's where the value is going to be going forward."


     Like this? Then don't miss other episodes in the Loylogic Podcast...

     

  • The Loylogic Podcast - Fueling the future: The changing world of fuel rewards programs Electraic charging cable inserted into electric vehicle

    What’s fueling the future of large scale fuel rewards programs?

    For this episode of the Loylogic Podcast, Olivier Martinet, CEO of Posidonia Consulting and ex Vice President of marketing at BP, joins us to discuss fuel loyalty programs and what’s driving any rethinking of customer retention, revenue generation and incentivized engagement strategies.

    In this discussion, Olivier emphasizes the importance of tailoring fuel rewards propositions to fit each company's strategy and customer engagement capabilities. Key talking points include:

    - Instead of searching for a universal best-in-class program, he suggests evaluating programs based on four lenses: ease to participate, relevance, personalization, and profitability.

    - The level of focus on these lenses varies based on the company size and scope, with global organizations showing a greater inclination towards balancing customer advantage and brand consistency.

    - How the increasing digitalization and shift towards electric vehicles in the fuel industry are driving organizations to rethink their loyalty strategies, recognizing that a loyalty scheme is not just a marketing tool but also a privileged data provider for long-term strategic adaptation.

    - Why, as the industry moves towards becoming energy providers, the evolving landscape of mobility hubs and electric vehicles will impact loyalty offers, requiring companies to adjust to longer customer dwell times and the integration of home charging behavior.

    - Why major fuel companies are indeed repositioning themselves as energy providers, and collaborations with other energy companies and investments in alternative energy sources are already taking place, signifying a shift towards a future of potential joint ventures and partnerships.

    - Why loyalty program owners should keep earn simple but creative with the burn side, with the differentiator coming in terms of personalization, and how customer data is handled.

    To hear Olivier’s thoughts on these topics and much more, listen using the link below, or read on for the full transcript.

    (1:27) Olivier, in your opinion, what are currently the best in class fuel rewards propositions around the world? And what is setting them apart?

    Olivier Martinet: "That's a good question. And maybe I won't answer that directly, because at the end of the day, there's one thing I really don't believe in is that there's a best in class program. Basically, all programs, or success of a program, is very much dependant on the fit between the program as it is with the company, the company strategy, but also the readiness of a company to be using it. To some extent, the best in class aspect is having the right program for the company, for the company's targets and what that company is able to do with engaging customers. Okay, so it's probably not directly answering your question, but I guess it's a key feature of the thinking and how I've been approaching loyalty schemes for about 30 years."

    (2:28) So your approach there is very much steering away from a one-size-fits-all strategy and instead looking at a case-by-case basis?

    Olivier: "Yes, absolutely. The KPIs I'm looking into, to decide what is where we should go. The first one is around ease to participate. And when I'm saying this, it's ease to participate on both sides, from the consumer angle, but also from a retailer or partner point of view.

    "The second one, the second lens is on the relevance. How relevant is a program as a consumer on the receiving end, but also how relevant is this program to my strategy to be engaging customers going forward?

    "The third lens is personalization. And when I'm saying personalization, what is the right level of personalization? And are we talking to groups? Are we talking to a segment of one? And this is very highly dependant on the capabilities you have as a company, in terms of what you are going to be doing with the data? How are you going to be engaging the customers? How far have you gone on the digitalization journey? And how smart are you with analyzing the data of your customer base.

    "The last dimension I'm looking into is the profitability. When saying this I'm more thinking of financial sustainability of the scheme, because one thing is, you are not as a company entering into loyalty for the next two weeks, this is for the long run, so you bloody need to make sure that you can sustain this financially in the long run, and not going to be forced to deceive your customers, you know, 5/6/7 years down the road by decreasing the advantage you've been giving them.

    "These are four lenses, I'm always looking into to try to find the right balance between customer advantage and what the company or my clients can do with that scheme and how far we can push the personalization journey."

    (4:27) How common is it that you come across an organization, a brand company, whatever you want to call it, that shares that vision that that is able to look at its loyalty and rewards through those same lenses?

    Olivier: "To some extent, it depends on the company you're talking to. If you're talking about a company who is in one market, covering one, it's very infrequent that you would be looking into these four lenses because basically very often, you find those really focusing on how relevant the offer can be for customers and how much digitalization you can put in your system. But, if you start getting into some other companies who are managing schemes across the globe, 20 different countries, or more four or five different continents, that's where often you can find some of this approach. This was where you need to balance how much you're giving to customers, to your targets, in terms of personalization, but also managing some kind of consistency in the approach for your brand."

    (5:43) My logical next question there is, you've got these four lenses, and what challenges are rewards loyalty program owners facing? What's driving any rethinks of the strategy? And how are people going to regard and look at their loyalty programs?

    Olivier: "Very often, what is forcing the rethinking is the digitalization of it, coming in with a mobile application and then kind of suddenly saying, here is the 'ta-da' moment for customers. You start realizing that to be getting there, you need to be upgrading your IT, you need to be making sure you're going to be dealing with your consumer data. What are you going to be doing it? And what is the analytical solution you're going to be applying to it? And then, what are the use cases you're going to be applying to it?

    "Very often, what I see is that companies would go through part of his process, and we'll start getting into, "Okay, my use case for this, obviously, is I need to talk to my customers, I'm going to be communicating to my customers, because that's a marketing tool, I need to do this". Very often, what I see missing is that comms or marketing, even on a segment of one, is only one part of a value, which a loyalty scheme can generate. The number of use cases which can come from the data arising from your privileged customer base is much wider. And it can go into various strategic things like category management, if you're a retailer, what are your pricing policies, where are you going to be investing, what is the range of your assortment you're going to be offering to customers in what sites etc etc., which are much, I would say, wider use cases, than only looking at the marketing side.

    "Obviously the marketing side, to some extent, is the bread and butter, because that is what makes sure your customer base keeps coming back, keeps generating the income, but also keeps generating the data you're after. A loyalty scheme is not only a marketing tool, it's also a privileged data provider for companies to be adapting their strategy in the long term."

    (8:31) So it's fair to say that it is more than marketing?

    Olivier: Yeah, absolutely. As anyone who has known me for some time will know, I always say that your loyalty scheme shouldn't be left only to loyalty managers. It should be sitting on a boardroom table. It's where we honestly should be sitting, not so much the engagement or marketing part, but for all of the rest, which is getting into the long term benefits of launching and participating into a loyalty scheme."

    (9:06) One question I've got to ask you, given we're talking about fuel, is where does the shift to electric vehicles come into play?

    Olivier: "I guess it's an indirect impact. The shift to EVs is a strategic shift for fuel retail, for networks, and we see, not all, but most of the companies working on shifting on moving away from being a fuel or let's say a fuel provider, to becoming an energy provider. So that's a fundamental strategic shift, which is happening to most of the fuel retailers. To some extent, that's the driver. That means, though, that there is going to be some adaptation required to the loyalty, so it's more of a consequence of the strategic shift, which needs to happen and obviously will need to be impacting via schemes at some point in future."

    (10:06) Okay, so in London, as in many other cities around the world, we're seeing the creation of mobility hubs that are about more than fuel. It's about enjoying time out of good cup of coffee and maybe do some shopping. So how is that impacting fuel loyalty?

    Olivier: "It will impact the overall offer to the consumer, so it will need to impact loyalty. Basically, there's a fundamental shift here, which is to say, in the past, you had customers coming to fill up with a get me in, get me out as quickly as possible, and by the way, as cheaply as possible, attitude. And if on my way, in and out, you can sell some other stuff, you know, being impulse items, coffee, fine.

    "There are two ways which I would say the EV will impact loyalty. The first one is, it will force customers to stay longer on the forecourt, because there's a charging time, which means it's less of loyalty. You then get into how, I can make sure as a customer when I'm getting to a site, I will be able to charge, I will be able to get some coffee or make sure that the 10/15/20 minutes I'm going to be there are also going to be very valuable. That's one thing.

    "The second thing is, how does this relate to me charging my EV when I'm home, because at the end of the day, for an EV to be financially attractive to customers, one of the big underlying thing is that a big share of the charging should happen at your own house. And to some extent, that's where the impact of loyalty schemes is going. How do you deal with customers staying longer on the forecourt? Then, what is the kind of behavior you want to reward? And the second thing is, how do you relate that on-site interaction with what is happening when customers are filling up at home?”

    (12:09) Do you therefore see fuel companies becoming energy companies?

    Olivier: "So that's what they are claiming. Look into what BP or Shell are claiming, Total is doing the same thing. They are very much claiming to be a future energy company, energy provider for mobility.

    (12:29) Is there a case there that we'll see more collaboration between fuel companies and other energy providers?

    Olivier: "You can see already things happening. You can see already partnerships happening between electric companies, oil companies, energy companies. You can see also that BP and Shell and Total are investing highly in alternative energy, be it solar, wind, etc, etc. And to some extent that's something which is already happening. Whether then you are going to see some of the big companies joining up in future in the long term, probably yes. Is it happening? Is it going to happen in the short term? Honestly, I have no clue. I would suspect not. Because you still have the weight of the oil production and distribution, which is still driving significant value for shareholders. So it's not in the short term. But in the long term. You know, probably yes. That's me guessing, you know, it's probably more for an evening, you know, a beer conversation!"

    (13:41) If only we knew Olivier will be richer than we are now! Does this changing landscape of loyalty, and you've touched on it a little bit earlier, does it require more personalization of rewards now, as well as greater choice of rewards?

    Olivier: "There's a long term trend anyway, which is for hyper personalization or on getting to segment of one. And obviously, you know, digitalization is forcing this into a conversation. So, yes, you're aware, but at the same time, there is also a very clear thing to say, don't make it too complicated for customers. So, probably, if you're on your earn side, you know, keep it as simple as possible, make it very understandable for customers. You don't need to start creating tiers to achieve something, which only complicates the conversation.

    "Probably focus more on the burn part, on giving a wide choice of options for customers. And that's where, to some extent, the attractiveness of a scheme is happening. How big is the choice? To some extent, give the customer the choice of how they want to burn and don't force them to do it in a limited way.

    "Talking about the key features of a scheme, that's probably where I would focus. On top of burning, how much more are you offering to customers? If you're part of a loyalty scheme, your customer journey on site is going to be much more simplified, you have privileged access to a cashier, quick in and out. Starbucks is one of these examples. Money can't buy experiences, etc, etc. Earn and burn being the traditional thing, but how much more can you personalize to the customer's aspirational lifestyle, in terms of getting rewarded or getting some kind of benefits or recognition of participating into a scheme?”

    (15:57) Does that then also bring into play the possibility for programs to look at profit margins use innovative ways to burn points through raffles, the play model, etc?

    Olivier: "To some extent, the worst thing for a loyalty scheme is to have customers sitting on a big amount of points, or value or currency, whatever it is, basically, and not being very clear about what we're going to be doing with it. That's, to some extent, the worst of what you can do. And therefore, you know, there is always a balance to be done in terms of, yes, obviously, I need as a brand to have part of my customers come back to me to get rewarded, which needs options for the customers in terms of freedom of burning, or using the currency. And that's where you will have some customers say, you know, absolutely, to have a partnership with a supermarket. Others will say yeah, you know, I love gamification, while some of us say, I want to pick from my computer the reward I've been always dreaming and want this to be delivered to my home. You have all of these options, which needs to be offered to the consumers."

    (17:37) So coming back to the whole development of thinking around electric vehicles, are there any regions or brands that you think could go first in this transition, or any leading the way?

    Olivier: "It's the usual suspects, obviously, you're going to have Europe, UK, parts of the US, because to some extent, legislation is forcing the OEMs to electrify cars. Basically, if you're talking about, by 2035, to only sell electric cars, for example, which is, you know, part of what we've seen in UK or in Europe, this means that adaptation will need to happen quickly. I would say, look into wherever legislation is pushing the most. And then you will very quickly find where this EV shift will impact the market."

    (18:34) So wrapping things up, what are the key takeaways for from this conversation for anybody involved in fuel loyalty, looking to adapt to current trends? And what recommendations can you give to those looking to set up new loyalty rewards engagement programs in this changing landscape?

    Olivier: "Three things. The first one is make it simple for your customer base to participate, you're only one out of X number of schemes in the market. So make it simple for them, because we shouldn't be spending the next 25 hours reading into what can I get out of it, understanding it.

    "The second thing is make it attractive to customers. And when I'm saying attractive, it's probably not so much on your own. It's more of a Burnside make it relevant to him. But these are hygiene factors.”

    "The differentiator will come in terms of personalization, and how you're dealing with consumer data, what you're going to be doing with consumer data, that's probably wherever focus should be. This means quite a dramatic shift in terms of teams capability in terms of data analytics. How do you make decisions? That's where the value is going to be going forward."


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    Local trends and opportunities


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    The future outlook for bank loyalty


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    Questions answered in this not-to-be-missed podcast include:

    Chapter 1: Past stories: two decades of airline loyalty development (1:44 to 7:44)

    - How was airline loyalty perceived two decades ago and how has this developed over the years?

    Chapter 2: Present perception: lucrative assets, but still more potential? (7:45 to 20:06)

    - Thinking about where airline loyalty is at today, it’s clear that loyalty programs are some of the most lucrative assets on airlines’ balance sheets and their sheer scalability, controllability and profitability make them stand-out in an operating environment that is perpetually challenging. Does this mean that programs are no longer flying under the radar like they once were?

    - Program valuation is clearly extremely important when it comes to collateralizing airline loyalty programs and enabling attractive financing structures – how can programs ensure they have an accurate valuation?

    - How can programs be used as part of capital allocation strategies, along the lines of a recent example such as the Apollo – Air France / KLM transaction related to Flying Blue?

    - Where does profit and loss come into play? How can programs deliver higher operating margins?

    - Are there any lessons that we can learn from high-achievers within airline loyalty?

    Chapter 3: Future thinking: what next for frequent flyer programs and airline loyalty? (20:07 to 29:56)

    - Looking to the future, what’s next for airline loyalty? Are we on the cusp of a new era in airline loyalty as organisations look to unlock the full potential? Are we going to see more adoptions of popular airline loyalty currencies by other airlines, like the recent examples of Finnair and Qatar adopting AVIOS?

    - What opportunities are there for airlines to develop structures that will deliver ongoing growth?

    - How do you see rewards developing over time?

    - What headwinds will programs face and how can program managers overcome them?

    The podcast transcript

    (1:44): Evert and Gabi, you've worked with each other for longer than you probably care to remember, and have no doubt seen many changes in the airline loyalty world over the years. How was airline loyalty perceived two decades ago and how has this developed over the years?

    Evert: "You're right. It is quite some time ago that I first met Gabi. In fact, he was my first boss who hired me in my first role at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Amsterdam, in 2000. I think on the one side, lots of things have changed. On the other side, some things are still the same. I do think that the program structures and the supporting organizational designs have changed a lot. And I think the programs are essentially more effectively run with stronger designs. And that's all for the better.

    "When I joined KLM, back then, the department we worked for was called loyalty marketing. And I think, although in itself, it's a pretty good name, loyalty programs or loyalty strategy goes way beyond just the marketing component of it. It's something that we've witnessed over the last, let's say 10 years, with elements of economics and finance, and more behavioral economics and the whole psychological aspect of it coming into play.

    "Back in 2001 or 2002, we were working on a potential merger between KLM and Northwest, who had launched the first transatlantic joint venture. As part of that project, it was considered to essential to combine the programs of KLM and Northwest. In the end, it didn't happen for a lot of reasons. But if we fast forward almost 25 years and see what's happening in the industry, now, with consolidation and sort of consolidation of loyalty currencies, it's interesting to see that the industry is still facing similar challenges, but at the same time, it's coming up with solutions for them."

    Gabi: "Of course I have very fond memories of those 20 years ago when we were still young and innocent and full of ambition to make an impact on the world, which has been fun! I also recall from that time, you had to, as a loyalty marketer, really try to pull out all the stops to get it on the Board's agenda. Nowadays, of course, the asset value is so clear to the airline boards that the dynamic has completely changed.

    "I remember that that we had one of the pioneers in the industry, Randy Petersen, who a lot of people will know well from Inside Flyer and the awards that he runs every year. I remember that we brought him over to talk to the KLM board and share, from an external point of view, the 10 recommendations that the airline should consider while thinking about loyalty strategies and its frequent flyer program. One of them was actually separating the state from the church argument that he used at the time, which basically meant considering running the loyalty program as a standalone business, spun out of the airline and treated as its own independent entity in the in the airline group. That was, in those days, a very early and challenging recommendation to make. Fast forward 20 years and you will see that, of course, a lot of different models have evolved in that space."

    Evert: "If I can just pick up on Gabi's use of the term loyalty marketeer. I agree that it's a good term, but at the same time I sometimes warn my clients and colleagues, don't position yourself as a loyalty marketeer because it goes way beyond just the marketing aspect of it. In reality, it's a very interesting crossroads of all sorts of disciplines, including data analytics, operations, research, breakage, and liability management, financial optimization. I feel that we're kind of shortchanging ourselves if we call ourselves loyalty marketers, because it goes way beyond just the marketing aspect of it."

    Gabi: "That's a very fair point. I think those kind of terms like member equity, the collective sum of the expected future profits of these kinds of customers. If you think about it in that way, then you also start thinking very differently in the boardroom about how do you grow that kind of significant assets of that consumer base across all your kind of touch points and businesses that you run as an airline can improve?

    (7:45): What you're saying there leads us nicely into the discussion around the present perceptions and the fact that if we think about where airline loyalty is at today, it's clear that loyalty programs are some of the most lucrative assets on airline balance sheets, and their sheer scalability, controllability and profitability make them stand out in an operating environment that is perpetually challenging. Does this mean that programs are no longer flying under the radar like they once were? And how have perceptions changed?

    Evert: "It's a fair statement, although I would put some nuances on it. Again, if we were to go back in time, 20 or 25 years, and I'm speaking not just about KLM but aviation or airlines in general, if you were to go to members of the board, or even the CFO or CEO of a large and medium sized airline and ask them, 'What is the value of the loyalty program? How much profit is it making?', I think they would struggle to give you a meaningful number. And the same goes for many of the shareholders and investors and analysts looking at airlines. Today, I think the picture has completely changed.

    “To some extent, that is thanks to what happened during COVID-19. With all the collateralization and increased level of reporting done by airlines. So yes, that has completely changed. However, I would say that being aware of it, and doing the right thing are two separate things. If we were to ask that same question to the board or the CEO and the CFO today, I think a lot of them would have an increased knowledge and appreciation of the potential profitability of the program. But that's not to say that they have a full understanding of the drivers of profitability and the levers that they have at their disposal. Awareness, yes, but actually turning that into meaningful actions and, you know, implementing the correct strategy and organizational structure, I still think we have some ways to go."

    Gabi: "Yeah, I would fully echo that. I think while airline CEOs or the boardroom know the value, of course of those FFP departments, I still see very often that they are somewhat hampered in the being a true kind of marketing company as well, to really kind of create the full value of what these FFP departments can unlock for an airline.

    "Governance is key, because there are still many airlines where it's extremely hard for the people running FFP departments to be true partners to their non-air partners in the schemes. A lot of partners would sometimes struggle with limited exposure to the database, or the marketing that they can send out via the programs. There's always this kind of trade-off between how much do we communicate to a member? How do we communicate about airline related matters and offers? And how do you basically enable a structure whereby the FFP department can be a marketing bureau for the partners and the benefit of the members? That comes with elements like setting up the right opt-in and opt-out type structures for members. Rather than having one opt out for any communication that goes out for both the airline and the frequent flyer program, and for the members, you need to put a different kind of infrastructure in place, that so if somebody decides that they do not want to get more offers or content from that particular program, that they are not lost to the larger airline group. And so there are certain elements that that often hamper the true potential of the commercial elements of what such an airline loyalty business really can be."

    Evert: "Just to add to that, I think you would be surprised about the number of airlines that we encounter, where revenue management still considers reward travel as non-revenue. So they put it in the same bucket together with travel agents or other incentive categories, and essentially don't attach any monetary value to miles being redeemed, which, in our view, doesn't make any sense. But that's just one sort of very tactical example. I think there's lots of headroom to grow and fully appreciate the value and then institutionalize that appreciation in the actual algorithms and financial reporting, and not completely disregard it."

    (12:35) Related to that is program valuation, which is clearly extremely important when it comes to collateralizing airline loyalty programs, and enabling attractive financing structures. How can programs ensure they have an accurate valuation?

    Evert: "I agree with what you said, and valuations are important. And clearly they play an important role in any potential collateralization. However, I think they are one piece of the puzzle. I think the bigger puzzle is around understanding what is the value expressed as a P&L and then have control over it? How do we influence that P&L? Then I can take the P&L and apply it in my capital allocation optimization strategy. Getting the valuation right is important, but probably even more important is understanding, okay, what's the opportunity? What levers can I pull or push to influence the performance of that segment? What are the underlying trade-offs?

    "Collateralizing is basically using the program as collateral to raise financing. That's one thing that you can do, but there's other avenues as well. But if you don't have the full overview of the landscape, you'll never be in a position to judge the competing alternatives. So we say first, establish a proper view of how is the business or the segment or the unit performing today, and how could it perform in the future? And what are the underlying trade-offs that you are faced with?"

    (14:04) How can programs be used as part of capital allocation strategies, along the lines of a recent example of the Apollo Air France KLM transaction related to Flying Blue?

    Evert: "I think, basically, if you have a well run program, it's an asset within your toolbox that you can use to raise financing. The Air-France KLM example is indeed a very recent one, where basically they got an external investor to buy bonds on their separated loyalty business, and that allows them to treat it as equity under French IFRS rules. Well, clearly, I am no expert on French IFRS rules but from what they have disclosed, that seems like a good solution for their problem.

    "I think if we go back in time, Avianca first used this tactic whereby they used the loyalty program to raise financing instead of the airline. And by doing so they were able to exploit much favorable terms of credit. In other words, the coupon or the interest they have to pay on the on the loan was much less than if they had used the airline. The model is out there. It's tried and tested.

    "I guess the bigger picture here is that airlines continuously need to raise finance. And because of the different characteristics that a loyalty business represents, if there is an efficient degree of separation, you can exploit some of those characteristics to your benefit, and basically run a more effective capital strategy."

    (15:55) Gabi, if I could bring you in here, where does profit and loss come into play? And how can programs deliver higher operating margins?

    Gabi: "If you've got to break down a P&L in a simple way, you would sell miles at a certain price to non-air partners at a certain rate per point. On the other hand, you've got a cost per point when the actual redemptions are taking place. So if you can, in a very simplistic way, think about how you can increase that spread by also, for example, lowering the cost per point on the redemption side, then by definition, you will increase your operating margins.

    "There's an interesting trend that we foresee around quick micro redemption options. For example, if you think about using your miles or your points for sweepstakes or raffles at a much lower cost per point, but still do it in a way that members enjoy and find fun, then you can drive a certain portion of the miles redemption into that redemption bucket, that could have an impact on the overall weighted cost per point, i.e. a lower weighted cost per point, which of course would improve your operating margins, and also technically allow you to reclassify your outstanding points liability against that lower weighted cost per point across all redemption categories.

    "There are all kinds of levers to play with. But what is often forgotten somehow is the impact that redemption cost can have in this whole mix, because that's still where 70% of all the costs are sitting in these kinds of programs. When we look at the P&L side, that would be an area of focus for me."

    (17:41) Are there any lessons we can learn from the high achievers within airline loyalty?

    Evert: "Ultimately, what drives success? If we have to boil it down, it's utility in the currency, meaning it's easy to earn, there are no complex terms or conditions. It's intuitive. It makes sense, members get it and will go out of their way to get their hands on the points or miles or whatever.

    "I think a program can achieve that when the program can move with speed and precision. And what I mean by speed and precision is that you run a loyalty business that puts out an attractive currency, effective partnerships, it can move rapidly, it's not bogged down by IT issues. Precision is important because it implies having control over the performance of the business if I pull this lever, this is what will happen to my yields. If I pull that lever, this is what will happen to my cost per point to my breakage. If we look at programs, or loyalty companies that we think are very successful, I think these are the common characteristics."

    Gabi: "I think to build on Evert there, we are talking about currencies here, airline miles are currencies. Every currency lives or dies with trust in that particular currency. The predictability and not a lot of unexpected devaluations all the time of that currency and the fact that members and partners can rely on the airline program as a reliable partner who will do anything to try to protect, within the economic kind of environment, the value of the currency, that is also a very important element in my view."

    (20:07) If we look to the future, what's next for airline loyalty? Are we on the cusp of a new era in loyalty as organizations look to unlock the full potential, are we going to see more adoptions and kind of popular airline loyalty currencies been picked up by by other airlines such as the recent examples of Finnair and Qatar adopting Avios?

    Evert: "As you rightly point out, Finnair and Qatar Airways are adopting or have adopted Avios as their currency whilst retaining their own program. I think this is a great example of showcasing or demonstrating, again, the utility in the currency. I would speculate that these airlines considered the various alternatives and ultimately made a decision to join a very strong currency that offers a lot of utility. So I think that makes total sense.

    "Coming back to my earlier point, building on the increased awareness across all the different stakeholders and constituents in the system, I think airlines will continue to come up with better strategies and stronger content for their programs. I think IAG is an interesting one. They talk a lot about IAG loyalty, they've set it up as a separate segment. And they're really trying to educate the market and the analysts about how this is a very exciting business that we have here. It wouldn't surprise me if, at their upcoming capital markets day, they will talk a little bit more again about their loyalty business. And I think others are sitting up and considering, 'Hey, you know, what should we be doing? Should we be looking at a P&L? What is our P&L? How do we optimize it? And then if you have the P&L, how do we then communicate that to the market?' I think there's lots of interesting things that will happen in years to come."

    (21:57): Gabi, what opportunities are there for airlines to develop structures that will deliver ongoing growth?

    Gabi: "I expect the largest growth is in the space of the frequent flyer programs being present in the daily online shopping lives of their members. If you look at the P&L of frequent flyer programs, co-branded credit cards have counted for ages as the most important accrual partner in the program. I do think there's a similarly large opportunity existing in the space of affiliate marketing connected to the online spend of the members, but not in a way that it has been done for the past two decades.

    "Affiliate marketing, as a customer journey, has always been extremely clunky, I would say, for users to go to an airline loyalty website, click on a link, go from there to kind of a shopping portal or a website and then basically wait six weeks before their points or miles were credited. And of course, nobody shops that way. I'm predicting that if you look at a program Flying Blue, and we are involved as Pointspay as the Loylogic Group to help them with their new venture of Flying Blue plus, which is entering into the affiliate payments space, by having their own payment button implemented on leading websites in France and the Netherlands in this particular case. I think there's an enormous amount of accrual Income to be generated there for the airline. At the same time a lot of value can be created for those online merchants by connecting them to this affluent consumer base."

    (23:34) Gabi, sticking with you, it would be wrong to not discuss rewards in more detail here. So how would you see rewards developing over time?

    Gabi: "I think it has been a quiet, kind of stable base for a lot of programs, but there's an opportunity to reimagine how these rewards shops should look and the content that they should offer.

    "Coming out of COVID-19, a lot of load factors are higher, airlines have rationalized their capacity, and as a result, reward seats are harder to get than prior to COVID. And you see some kind of pushback in the media, either in Australia or in in the US last week with Delta, you see kind of a lot of stress in the system on the flight-related reward. So, I think non-air rewards have to play a more significant role.

    "Now, the question is, how do you structure that in a way that the cost per point, if this means cash going outside the ecosystem of the airline groups into third party type rewards offerings, in such a way that if that cash out happens that you benefit from that as airline loyalty program with a lower weighted cost per point? I think the rewards require a lot more imagination, having different brand partnerships in place to have unique content in the reward shop, which might not be easily found elsewhere, like early access to new releases or unique offers, but also presented in a much more memorable user experience than what it has been for the last few decades.

    "If you look at loyalty programs in the fast moving consumer goods industry, they are very often run by very brand focused marketeers, I would say, and you will see that rewards shops are truly an extension of the actual brand positioning of that particular brand. I think it might be interesting for frequent flyer programs to also really think through what should such a brand extension mean, in light of my brand, what I stand for. We've also chasing a new dynamic around sustainability, so what kind of brand extension would you like that reward shop to be? So I do foresee that it's time to reimagine that part.

    "Another element that could be interesting to think about is cash as a redemption offer, which of course, has always been popular in any kind of loyalty offering. Traditionally, airlines have been quite reserved in offering that, but we do think that there's probably a space for having virtual rewards cards as an alternative to gift cards that can be then embedded in Apple Pay or Google Pay or Samsung Pay wallet. But again, at the lower kind of cost repoint compared to the regular rewards, the flight rewards. And this probably would not be something that I would let loose on the entire FFP database. I more see this as an extra benefit for elite members who will redeem their miles anyway. And then you might want to position that more virtual cash element only for that segment. So these are just some of the hypotheses were having what we might see in that space."

    (26:49) To wrap up the discussion, what key takeaways can you give anybody looking to maximize the potential of their airline loyalty program?

    Evert: "I think I'll repeat myself when I say that, in order to truly benefit from the potential value that a loyalty program can bring, it's critical that you understand how it's performing and what are the levers that you have at your disposal to influence that performance? I think that's critical.

    "I do want to mention two headwinds that I think are important to talk about. The first one is kind of building on what Gabi said, increased pressure in the system on award availability. I think that's true. And I think, you know, the most successful programs will develop this skill to optimize or revenue manage access and pricing to rewards. In other words, you need to have a strategy that determines who gets access to what flight rewards at what price, and basically make sure that that's done in a in a smart way. So your best members get the best value. And yes, there is a role to be played for non-air because it can bring down cost per point, as well as act as a release mechanism for built up pressure.

    "The other thing that I think it's important to mention as well, is that I think we're going to see increased regulation and legislation around loyalty programs, specifically in Europe. I think frequent flyer programs, that name itself, is enough to attract a lot of attention in the very near future. And I suspect that more and more regulators and legislators will turn their attention to it. I think it's inevitable, and it's up to the industry to come up with an appropriate response that makes sense for all involved stakeholders."

    Gabi: "I think another potential headwind to be mindful of, is the continued pressure on interchange remains a risk for the frequent flyer business model. So again, diversification, or by focusing on tapping into, for example, online commerce might be an appropriate strategy.

    "To wrap up this call, I would urge everybody to reimagine what the future could look like, taking all of these macro factors into play, but also making sure that the FFP department is truly positioned and enabled to function as a real marketing company for its partners within the airline ecosystem. I think that's a key takeaway for from my side, talking to a lot of FFP managers lately.”

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