According to recent UK studies, 96% of their population are currently a member of a reward scheme and 64% belong to three or more loyalty schemes. (The Wise Marketer) This being said, it would be quite difficult these days NOT to possess a loyalty card of some kind in your wallet, with every major retailer having some sort of scheme.
So which ones are in my wallet? Costa Coffee and Starbucks. Why two coffee shops you might ask? All of my adult life I have been a coffeeholic, and an avid Starbucks drinker more specifically. (I’m American, so I’m told it’s okay). I used their card religiously, and was in the Starbucks outside my old work at least once a day. I was a loyal customer already, so the fact that every now and then I would be graced with a free coffee was just a nice perk to my already standard routine. It didn’t make me any more or less loyal to the brand, it just gave a little more pleasure to an already pleasurable experience.
Why then do I also have a Costa coffee card in my wallet]? The simple reason is that I started a new job, in a new location, with a Costa across the street and the nearest Starbucks located over a kilometre away. I could either face the facts and switch my brand of coffee, or I could change my commute and add on another half hour for the sole fact of passing a Starbucks. Those of you who might commute in large cities such as London can imagine what the obvious choice is. So, I switched to Costa and haven’t looked back.
On the rare occasional weekend or diversion from my 9-5 when I pass a Starbucks, I will most certainly still choose it over the others and use my card accordingly. But when it comes down to it, it’s all about location, location, location…for me. And of course, the reason will differ for everyone. So what could the CRM executive from Starbucks or Costa glean from this article? Either that a Starbucks needs to built right by my work, or that loyalty cards sometimes, maybe most of the times, have nothing to do with loyalty.
Want to hear more?Â Take at look at 5 brands I'm loyal to and why here
For further information as to how a major brand engages their customers, take a look at this presentation from Tesco's Sir Terry Leahy