Mary Pilecki, VP and Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

Some of the forces that have transformed business recently are reshaping customer loyalty programs. Brands should act quickly to build or revamp their programs to align with customers’ expectations. In this week’s podcast episode, VP and Principal Analyst Mary Pilecki discusses how loyalty programs are evolving and what the future of customer loyalty will look like.

For starters, the digital acceleration that has taken place during the pandemic spurred the digitization of loyalty programs. Pilecki cites Dutch Bros coffee as one of the many brands that moved from physical punch cards to smartphone apps very successfully. In the first month of launching the rewards app, Dutch Bros signed up 1 million users. “Making that change to digital will almost inevitably make the brand, make the loyalty program, more successful,” she says.

Another recent trend in loyalty programs is consumers’ desire to receive experiential rewards in addition to financial rewards. “Experiential” could mean early access to new products, more personalized loyalty programs and offers, or a confirmation that advocates’ feedback has been received and acted upon.

Later in the episode, Pilecki discusses the impact of data deprecation on loyalty programs and the deep connections that should exist between loyalty programs and customer experience (CX). She says highlighting your brand’s corporate values in your CX can be an effective way to generate an emotional response from customers, which, in turn, drives customer loyalty.

The episode closes with examples of how gamification and cryptocurrency figure into customer loyalty programs and the impact they may have down the road.

If you want to hear more on this topic, be sure to check out Pilecki’s session entitled, “Welcome To The Consumer Loyalty Evolution,” at our upcoming CX North America event, June 7–9, in Nashville or online.