Found or existing everywhere
There have been amazing changes over the past 24-36 months. Not the least of which is the evolution of commerce and payment systems. When we couple these fintech innovations with the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrency, we have the necessary conditions, and a strong need, for next-level Loyalty Programs. Adding AI into the mix will create a complex, multi-dimension puzzle that could give any Loyalty Professional dreams (and nightmares).
The Loyalty behemoth Starbucks recently announced some next-generation loyalty features that involve Web-3 and NFT. The nature of the program was not shared in detail by Starbucks. The system has yet to roll-out, as of this writing. The key takeaway from this announcement is that movement towards an enhanced experience for loyalty members is taking place.
In reviewing and exploring some of the leading Loyalty Programs in 2023, a few key observation can be made:
Consumers demand value in order for a program to gain mind-share. Value can come in many forms and different customers place differing value on rewards. Some rewards members prefer cash-back whereas other may prefer gamification and quests.
A huge part of the consumers perceived value of the program, is the ability to redeem rewards. Of course a member doesn't care how fast they are earning rewards until/unless they understand the redemption possibilities.
Even when rewards can be redeemed only within the Program owners company (monolithic loyalty program), the more options for a valued redemption, the better customer satisfaction with the program.
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies are leading to an explosion in new digital asset types. The Blockchain has provided, among other things, the ability to cheaply exchange between types of digital assets.
Whether your loyalty program is monolithic or network-based, the ability of your members to exchange your rewards for their preferred asset will be easier to achieve than ever before.
Ubiquitous Loyalty Rewards
When a consumer can convert his loyalty rewards into a wide array of other assets and asset types, then we have achieved/provided Ubiquitous Loyalty Rewards. Rewards that can be converted into any other asset. A few examples to help illustrate ubiquitous reward redemption:
Loyalty Point Type A can be converted to Loyalty Point Type B
Loyalty Point can be converted to Fiat currency
Loyalty Point can be converted to Cryptocurrency
Loyalty Point can be converted to NFT
Loyalty Points Company A converted to Loyalty Points Company B
Loyalty Points Company A converted to Equity (Stock) in Company A
Loyalty Points Company A converted to goods-and-services at Company A
Loyalty Points Company A converted to goods-and-services at Company B
We see the similar ubiquity could exist on the accrual (earn) of the program:
Customer spends cryptocurrency and earns Loyalty Point Type A
Customer spends Fiat currency and earns Loyalty Point Type B
Customer trades NFT for Loyalty Point Type A
Loyalty Points Company B converted to goods-and-services at Company A
Each company has different goals and strategies that they employ to become more profitable. A key consideration in defining your strategy for customer satisfaction is the ubiquity of your Loyalty Program. The case can be made that the ubiquity of your Loyalty Program has a direct impact on the customer satisfaction and mindshare. In a world of proliferating Loyalty and Rewards schemes, this mindshare will be harder to garner. So if your Loyalty Program is not participating in the Blockchain or Web-3 revolution, it is not too late to join the parties.