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Before establishing Talon.One in 2015, Christoph Gerber founded a popular food delivery app. During his time there, he spent a majority of his time focusing on what kinds of promotions would drive return purchases, things like bundles or special discounts. He set out to discover the best way to reactivate customers in spaces with a surplus of competitors and realized that this problem was not unique to his industry. As a result, Gerber founded Talon.One to help other companies drive customer loyalty and repeat purchases through promotions.
Talon.One is a headless loyalty and promotion engine, which means the company has a deep understanding of how consumers interact with their checkout carts and how to create promotions that will inspire specific purchases and return sales. This all starts by building an intimate knowledge of the checkout and cart at scale, and then determining what that means for the individual.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Chris Mills, Chief Revenue Officer of Talon.One, about how brands should think about customer loyalty, how to drive engagement with the brand and loyalty program, and which trends and technologies brands should consider for their loyalty strategy.
Customer Loyalty: More than a Rewards Program
Customer loyalty is often equated with the traditional loyalty program. While many brands used — and sometimes still use — the terms interchangeably, customer loyalty is much more than a platform to provide members with discounts on products.
“We’ve realized that when you overlay promotions, incentives, and rewards with personalization and understanding of loyalty ledgers and consumers, it’s the perfect mix of what loyalty should mean,” says Mills.
For Talon.One, customer loyalty is about creating a unified experience by understanding all points of the customer journey and driving emotional connections. While point earn and burn does play a role in this journey, building a holistic loyalty strategy involves combining promotions with customer data.
When brands choose not to focus on holistic customer loyalty — allowing it to sit off to the side with the platform — they miss out on a highly effective means to connect with and better understand customers. To Mills, this is the difference between “Loyalty with a capital L versus loyalty as a function of your platform.”
This kind of loyalty must be ingrained in the customer journey for brands to build meaningful and authentic connections with their members. Brands need to think about all the parts of the journey. This helps drive emotional loyalty and creates engagement.
“So, that customer value piece is critical when we ask, ‘What does loyalty mean?’” says Mills. “It’s incentivize anywhere, incentivize everywhere. What does Mark want to see, at the right time? What does Chris want to see? How is that different? What do we care about, and how do we operationalize that effectively?”
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