A further tactic used by leading brands today is strategically collaborating with third party partners, to further boost value propositions. In fact, some of the best loyalty programmes rely heavily on partnership models with third parties.
Recent Collinson-commissioned research, designed to reveal over 350 Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore-based organisations’ views on the future of loyalty, found that 64% of respondents see a seamless customer experience as the most promising way of increasing returns from loyalty programmes. By partnering with like-minded brands, the desire to reward loyal customers with more emotive, loyalty-enhancing offerings, such as special-access and personalised experiences (versus rational rewards such as points or air miles), is more readily obtainable.
Delivering value and loyalty by removing internal silos
Leading brands position loyalty as an important agenda item in boardrooms and an organisation-wide priority rather than a separate, siloed function. Every interaction a consumer has with an organisation – from initial brand awareness to product or service research, transactions, consumption and follow-up service – will contribute to their overall customer experience and the degree of loyalty they will feel over the longer term.
Increasingly, organisations are viewing happy, retained, loyal customers as their most valuable assets – devoting a significant portion of their time, investment and thinking to maintaining and maximising the satisfaction of these customers. Much investment is also being channelled into achieving a single customer view across the organisation, enabling the delivery of integrated, personalised, timely experiences at every relevant customer touchpoint.
The rise of blended loyalty ecosystems
Single-brand experiences are also becoming the exception rather than the rule. Leading organisations are already regularly collaborating with other like-minded brands, often across industries, to create blended loyalty ecosystems where compelling experiences are crafted to match the needs and specific lifestyle profiles of individual customers.
The notion of brand integrity, and even the alignment of different brand images, will become less important than the ability to deliver the personalised experience each customer desires.
The character of each ecosystem is fluid, taking the form of decentralised communities where each customer can curate the combination of brands they wish to interact with. The notion of brand integrity, and even the alignment of different brand images, will become less important than the ability to deliver the personalised experience each customer desires; as long as that experience maintains the loyalty of the individual to all the brands within the ecosystem.