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Membership in U.S. loyalty programs has increased to more than 2.6 billion participants, indicating consumers’ willingness to share their information with brands in exchange for benefits and a great opportunity for brands to create deep, meaningful relationships with customers. However, while the average American is a member of 13.4 loyalty programs, she is active in just 6.7% of them. Why are active memberships declining? Most brands are still stuck in Loyalty 1.0, and it’s time to come into the future.
Many of the QSR loyalty programs available to consumers today are undifferentiated and fail to deliver tangible benefits, which causes members to disengage and deprioritize the programs that are the least relevant and valuable. If everyone receives the same incentive and gets the same reward, that's not special. That's transactional.
In contrast, Next Generation Loyalty, or Loyalty 3.0, drives cross-channel engagement, rather than just transactions. The top loyalty programs have the power to transform businesses by building relationships at every step in the customer journey; increasing retention and reducing churn; establishing a customer database; boosting cross-sell, upsell and RFM; incentivizing product trial and acquisition; boosting share of wallet and differentiating the brand; expanding reach of marketing; and last but not least, yielding tremendous consumer, business, product, and marketing insight.