Loyalty Reads: Mercedes Becomes Part of the AI, Consumers Warm Up to Providing More Zero-Party Data, Velvet Taco Rewards Its Top VIPS, and more

Mercedes Joins the AI Revolution  

The luxury vehicle brand teams with Microsoft to add ChatGPT to voice commands 

If you need more proof that we are living in the age of artificial intelligence, here it is. Mercedes announced this week they will begin beta testing an integration of the ChatGPT generative AI function with its MBUX Voice Assistant in more than 900,000 vehicles. According to a recent press release the carmaker is integrating ChatGPT through Azure OpenAI Service, with plans to leverage the enterprise-grade capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform. Mercedes already has robust voice assistant capabilities through Hey Mercedes, which boasts a large portfolio of commands, which give drivers and passengers the power to receive updates about things like the weather or sporting events, get answers to questions about their surroundings, directions, and control smart-home functions. By onboarding ChatGPT, their hope is to leverage large language models to improve natural language understanding and expand the topics to which it can respond. The Mercedes/Microsoft partnership follows closely on the heels of another collaboration between the automaker and Google, which gives drivers access to Google’s Place Details function, which provides information such as hours, ratings, and reviews for more than 200 million businesses. 


Consumers are Ready to Get Personal  

A recent survey indicates that consumers will be sharing all kinds of zero party data with brands this year 

Airship, the mobile app experience company, announced the release of their new global report, “The Mobile Consumer 2023” which has some very compelling data about the future of modern consumerism. Based on a survey of more than 11,000 consumers across ten countries, global consumers are more willing to share all types of information with brands in exchange for personalized interactions and special incentives. The research company looked at 15 different types of information which they tracked year-over-year and found that email addresses are the most freely shared by 86% of respondents, which wasn’t surprising. This year, however, “interests relevant to a brand” (78%) displaced “name” as the second most shared information, indicating a new consumer willingness to share “what they value socially (environmental, moral, political or religious).” The findings demonstrate that consumers want experiences personalized to them, beyond basic information, but they also indicate a hesitancy for advanced methods to go too far, and still want brands to walk a fine line between being helpful with their zero-party data and not being overly invasive. 


Velvet Taco Rewards Most Loyal Customers 
The premium taco brand rewards its Top 5 most loyal VIPs with tasting event 

Velvet Taco recently hosted the brand’s top five loyalty spenders at an exclusive VIP Taste Testing event in Texas. This loyalty event was the first large-scale implementation of the brand’s exclusive non-discount rewards for members of The Velvet Room®, their VIP loyalty program. Velvet Taco has also announced plans to enhance their loyalty program by adding an easy-to-accrue, flexible point system model powered by leading loyalty provider, Thanx. This year, Velvet Taco’s top five loyalty members, or “WTF VIPs,” received a trip to Texas for them and one friend to attend a Weekly Taco Feature (#WTF) taste testing. WTF VIP members were determined by the preceding year (January – December 2022) based on overall total spend through The Velvet Room® loyalty program at Velvet Taco restaurants. 


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