Coke Rewards Loyalty ProgramSince Coca-Cola revamped its My Coke Rewards loyalty program that launched in late January, there have been some negative comments posted by members.

Here are some of the comments posted by members of the My Coke Rewards loyalty program and below those will be a response from Coca-Cola North America spokeswoman Lauren Thompson.

“As a long-time mycokerewards member and a marketing professional, I would urge you to look at some of members’ comments on Coke’s Facebook page,” a member said. “A large proportion of members hate the new loyalty program. First of all, members can only upload 75 points a week, down from 120. Then secondly, in order to qualify for the premium rewards, members have to tweet about the games, etc. They are seeing it as shilling for Coke in order to gain access to the premium rewards. Personally, I have no interest in tweeting, and if I did, I would not want to tell the world about some activity I completed on mycokerewards.  I do hope that you look into members’ responses to the loyalty program and present the other point of view.”

Here is another comment:

“My personal take is that they are trying to weed out the current membership that uses a PC to enter codes and manage their rewards,” a member said. “They probably wish to rebuild a new base with teens and 20-somethings that exclusively use smart phones for Internet access and don’t mind doing free advertising for Coke via tweets and shares on social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.”

Here is one more comment:

“Recently, the brain trust over at MyCokeRewards revamped the website,” a member said. “In addition to the code entering, there is now a series of social challenges that you have to do in order to earn status. Greater status unlocks better rewards that you can use your points for. The social challenges entail linking your social networking accounts and posting content from MyCokeRewards to it, which essentially turns you into a shill for Coca-Cola. It's no longer enough to simply offer a loyalty program, My Coke Rewards now wants its customers to help them trend on social media.

“It’s a poor business practice. First off, focusing so much on social media penetration is pointless, as Coca Cola isn't going to get much more brand awareness or attract many new customers via this method. Second, all of the shilling that My Coke Rewards is having their members do consists of re-posting content, thus relegating the tweets and statuses to little more than Internet background noise. Sure, MyCokeRewards may trend, but the content that pushed the trend will be meaningless.

“I can’t help but think that My Coke Rewards should have thrown a bone to its loyal customer base and elevated everyone who was a member before the status system to the highest status. That hasn't happened, though, and it won't ever happen because it makes no sense from a corporate standpoint. There are millions of people who have a decent amount of points already sunk into the system and, in order to get a chance to redeem those points for some non-lame rewards, those customers are going to shoot for Gold status.

Thompson issued the following comments to Loyalty360.

“My Coke Rewards is expanding to be more inclusive and appeal to a broader audience,” Thompson told Loyalty360. “Core elements of legacy My Coke Rewards, like code entry, are still available for those who prefer traditional methods of participation. Mobile accessibility and social Coke Rewards Loyalty Program media elements have been incorporated to appeal to teen and millennial audiences. Our goal is to continue to advance My Coke Rewards to meet the evolving needs of new and existing members, as well as our brands.”  

When Loyalty360 interviewed Thompson last month regarding the revamped My Coke Rewards loyalty program, she explained it, in part, as follows:

“Our original model was purely transactional, focused on product code entry,” Thompson told Loyalty360. “We wanted to find a way to reward members for engaging with us in the social space and sharing content; adding the “status” mechanic allows us to do that in a sustainable, scalable way. This dual currency model maintains loyalty among our legacy members through code entry and also rewards socially-active super fans for their advocacy.”

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