Should my brand be in a loyalty coalition?

Do reward points really earn loyalty?

…should I be thinking about blockchain?

These, and other important questions, we subject of a debate convened recently by Annich McIntosh of Loyalty Magazine.

Currency Alliance was invited to participate along with Dan Truscott, Head of Business Development, Loyalty at VISA, and Iain Pringle of consultancy New World Loyalty.

This first clip is a summary of the discussion that day – scroll down for more in-depth discussion.

With contributions from four very different perspectives – one brand, one consultant, one journalist and one technology vendor – the product was an intense and lively discussion which tackled many of the big questions currently faced by loyalty brands.

Click here for to watch debate on the following topics:

…and in the coming weeks we’ll also be adding discussion on:

  • How to Earn Loyalty Through Payments
  • How Can Customer Experience Drive Loyalty?
  • Is the Future in Subscription Loyalty Programs?
  • Loyalty Brands Perform Better in Coalitions

Stay tuned for updates.

Loyalty Coalitions are Morphing into Marketplaces

“In a marketplace, you get some stalls with very long queues, and some with very few customers. If loyalty works the same way, how do handle the fact that you’ve got winners and losers?”

Annich McIntosh, Editor, Loyalty Magazine

Fear of network effects – of becoming the “loser” – has held loyalty brands back.

Historically, brands have sought to lock customers in, rather than opening up their programs so that customers can earn and spend their points in more places.

Actually, this fear is unfounded.

Marketplaces create value and convenience for customers – and they’re also the most efficient places for brands to do business.

As long as your own brand ensures its offering has competitive appeal, there should be no fear of collaborating in a loyalty marketplace alongside complementary brands.

Currency Alliance’s view is that the evolution of loyalty programs into marketplaces is unstoppable. Click here to read more.

Are we Ready for Blockchain Loyalty Programs?

The issue is: where are we in the hype cycle? We’re probably 2-3 years away from the point where the blockchain includes the define standards necessary to start building mission-critical applications.

Chuck Ehredt, MD, Currency Alliance

Blockchain has been much-talked about in loyalty, but where – and when – will brands find a genuine use-case for this emerging technology?

Iain Pringle explains here that only parts of the loyalty technology stack would be suitable for replacement with blockchain solutions.

Chuck stresses that while brands are right to toe the water, the point where they can realistically build mission-critical blockchain applications is at least 2-3 years away.

For further reading, see our article on the five key roadblocks to be cleared before blockchain loyalty programs become useful to brands.

What’s the Role of Points in Modern Loyalty Marketing?

A customer’s loyalty comes from their accumulative experience with a brand, and their perception of value. The points are really just an excuse to start a dialogue, and a way to keep score.

Chuck Ehredt, CEO, Currency Alliance

Points lie at the heart of most major loyalty programs – but with customer’ expectations now higher than ever, it’s no longer possible to earn loyalty with points alone.

Simpler exchange of currencies is key.

The more quickly, easily and affordably brands can exchange currencies, the more easily they can add new partners to their programs, and the better the experiences they can offer to customers.

More Content from the Loyalty Debate

Stay tuned to Currency Alliance on LinkedIn for the release of further content from the Loyalty Debate, with discussion on customer experience, payments, subscription loyalty programs and more.

In the meantime, get in touch with Currency Alliance and discover how we can help amplify your loyalty program.

 

About the Contributors

Annich Mackintosh, Editor & CEO of Loyalty Magazine

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Click here to visit Loyalty Magazine.

 

Iain Pringle, Principle Consultant, New World Loyalty

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Click here to visit New World Loyalty.

 

Dan Truscott, Head of Business Development, Loyalty, VISA

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Click here to find out more about VISA Loyalty.

 

Chuck Ehredt

Chuck Ehredt, Managing Director, Currency Alliance

Charles Ehredt is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, originally from the United States but living in Europe for the past 20 years. He is particularly passionate about aligning innovative technology and new business models to solve problems and deliver greater value to customers. He founded Currency Alliance in 2015 to make it easier and more affordable for brands to collaborate around common loyalty currencies, by helping them to share richer customer insight, create better customer experiences and drive up loyalty program engagement.

Click here to visit Currency Alliance.