Programs
 
Telstra Ups Its Loyalty Program
Telstra has launched Telstra Plus, a revamped version of its loyalty program. This new program “will give [consumers] the opportunity to earn discounts on the latest devices and accessories, as well as access to discounted and pre-sale movie tickets, entertainment rewards, VIP tech support, and more simply for being a Telstra customer.” This is an impressive range of rewards for a mobile network, and given that it seems to be taking cues from T-Mobile, it is likely to succeed in boosting customer loyalty.
 
Reebok Launches New Program
The footwear brand has launched a new loyalty program, Unlocked, which aims to give the brand “a deeper relationship with its customers through a tiered loyalty program that offers free shipping and returns, VIP customer service, events, training sessions, and other personalized offers.” Unlocked will also motivate customers to act as influencers, which will help build a community of brand advocates.
 
Acquisitions
 
Kellogg Prepares to Sell Keebler, Famous Amos
Kellogg is working on a deal to sell Keebler, Famous Amos, and its fruit snack brands to Nutella-owner Ferrero for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. “The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions for Ferrero. The company, founded in Italy as a family business in 1946, first entered the US market in 1969 with its Tic Tac mints. Over the past two years, it has built up that foothold, buying Ferrara Candy Company for $1 billion and Nestle’s US candy business for $2.8 billion. Its array of brands now includes Butterfinger, SweeTARTS, and Crunch.”
 
Data
 
The Rise of the Customer Data Platform
The Forbes Insights Team reports that the customer data will see a new approach, in which all data is placed into a single platform, the Customer Data Platform, or CDP. “This new generation of systems is designed to bring all this disparate data about customers into a single intelligent environment and provide a synchronized, well-integrated view of the customer.” If CDPs are indeed the future, loyalty marketers will need to get acquainted with them as soon as possible.
 
Policy
 
New York State Budget Deal Brings Congestion Pricing, Plastic Bag Ban and Mansion Tax
Legislators and Governor Cuomo have prepared a state budget with big implications for brands. The New York Times reports that “a plan to ban plastic bags in the state was . . .  included in the budget” as well as “a new tax on ‘internet marketplace providers.’” On the plastic bag matter, brands would be wise to discontinue using non-reusable plastics before they are forced to, as consumers are more likely to pledge loyalty to a brand that they perceive as eco-conscious.
 

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