What do energy drinks, hot dogs, cell phones, and birthday cakes have in common? They are all gifts that were generously given to Andy Samberg in the classic Saturday Night Live Digital Short, “I Threw It On the Ground.” If you haven’t seen it or haven’t guessed, he indeed threw them all on the ground.

Just because it’s a good gift doesn’t mean it will be well received. The same is true not just of gifts, but loyalty program rewards as well.

A recent report cites a survey of American consumers that found 54% of loyalty program members are dissatisfied with rewards from their most beloved brands. In addition, 48% said they “experienced frustration” when attempting to redeem rewards. If it were possible for consumers to throw rewards points on the ground, the data may have something to say about that, too.

In curious contrast to this, however, 93% of U.S. consumers say that rewards from their favorite brands are either “very” or “somewhat important” when they are determining brands to buy into. This would seem to imply that many brands are dropping the ball in delivering personalized, relevant rewards once consumers become enrolled.

The study’s data also suggests that the best reward might not always be the obvious one. For example, Americans surveyed said they were more interested in concert/live event tickets than airline tickets from a hotel’s reward program.

Brands looking to reward customers should watch for welcoming hands, lest their rewards slip through uninterested fingers, cascading in slow-motion spirals toward the ground.

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