The loyalty programs are not new--hotel and airline programs are nearing 40 years of age, other programs outside travel can count more than that under their collective belts.
This article comments on the growing awareness of both users and providers of points that there should be a reevaluation of the utility of the programs. For some programs, it opines, the goals have changed.
This got me to thinking about elevators and elevator speeches--really.
If we (two of us) were in an elevator going from an upper floor--say they 11th--to the lobby and you had to pitch a loyalty program to me (your "elevator speech," what would you include and exclude? This is the chance to revise and update loyalty programs anew.
Not much time in descending those 11 floors, so brevity and specificity work best. "What if I told you I could..." is a good opening line.
not sure what you're looking for. Jerry identified his favs, mine would be Marriott, American, and Amex. Why?
1. ease in earning and using points.
2. upgrade availability where applicable.
3. elite level recognition where applicable.
4. standing of the company within their industry.
It is a very interesting subject, even (or particularly) for a non-economic/marketing man!
A minor observation from across the Atlantic: one issue that is constantly raising its head over here (and even more in places like Japan) is the "ageing population" phenomenon and its effect on consumer behaviour. I sense that among the older age groups, there is a growing tendency to view the products of brand loyalty programmes as an investment for one's non-earning days (if the rules allow this!). If there is anything to this, it would lead to the conclusion that the points not immediately spent are not in fact forgotten, but rather stored away for a later year. And then the answer to your "lift" challenge would be something like "Do you know that you can keep these points forever - you never know, they might even appreciate in value? (On second thoughts, forget the last piece!
I think we will see more "Morphing" programs for good customers. The reality of "Travel" today is a very uncertain one. Safety and enjoyment mean a lot more today than they used to. Recently in London I saw what the rioting students did to the building next to Big Ben. If I had to worry about another riot in London, I would just stay home.
There may be a safety factor associated with quality "Morphing" as well! I know I pay a lot more many times staying at Marriott, but it is always safer than the "Discounted" hotels, but it is worth it to me.
What if I told you that I am excited to know that my status with Marriott will be recognized on a lifetime basis so that much less frequent retirement travel will include the recognition of my loyalty to the Marriott brand with the benefits afforded to the elite tiers of Marriott Rewards membersip? Of course you'd think it silly that I actually track my progress in a spreadsheet. Please, after you, have a nice day.
Dolphx, your post put a smile on my face. Although I'm still some years away from retirement, I too view my Lifetime Platinum Elite status, earned three years ago as being part of my "retirement plans".
And, like you, I keep a spreadsheet for my Marriott points and reconcile "my" tally with "their" tally from my Account Activity on the Marriott website. Complete with "conditional formating" so if my number doesn't match theirs, that stay is flagged in red, lookup tables to automatically enter my PE bonus points and Platinum gift based on the brand. I'm quite proud of this spreadsheet. Obsessive? I'm sure most would think so, but perhaps I have found a kindred spirit in you about spreadsheets?