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Coalition Success in Any Language

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Coalition Success in Any Language
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The proven model worldwide to form a multi-partner Coalition loyalty program is essentially the same, regardless of the local language.

Operators normally chase down the one or two leaders in each high frequency category (retail, grocery, fuel, banking) to form the foundations of their value proposition. With regional coalitions easier to launch than ones of national stature, consider a new path to partner identification and recruitment, one that is practical to execute and could lead to big results.

What if marketers started the identification process with the consumer, not the partner? Imagine if they paused to understand the way consumers feel about individual brands and which ones fit together best to achieve a partner network that connected with large consumer groups on an emotional level?

A conversation with a friend provided me an example of how bundled preferences become a purchase-decision reality. My friend will remain unnamed, but the complexity of his purchase decision making process is worth some server space.

After bragging a bit on his country’s Olympic Hockey Gold medal, he shared an unsolicited opinion about his favorite Canadian rewards program. His description was transparent and blended logic, emotion, and value.

After ticking off  his range of choices for loyalty programs in his market – AirMiles,  Canadian Tire Dollars, Esso Extras, HBC Rewards, Petro Canada’s Petro Points and Shopper’s Drug Mart, he surprised me by saying “I collect everything through my Aeroplan card“.

Why? Not for just one reason, but several:

  • He likes the speed and convenience of paying at the pump with a RFID device and chose Speedpass for its ubiquity over Shell’s Easy Pay device.
  • He’s a big Tim Horton fan, which has lots of stores within the Esso C-store footprint.
  • He’s an RBC loyalist, having banked there since a young age, and Esso tends to have RBC branded ATM machines at their sites.
  • His family has always considered Esso to be their “family brand” of retail fuel.
  • And, the more he sticks with Aeroplan, he finds he can accelerate his collecting through his Elite status that triggers partner offers.

Through my quick conversation, I found that it was the combination of brands assembled by Aeroplan that made the difference. I realize that my conversation constitutes a “focus group of one” but it is illustrative of how we can re-engineer partner selection processes to launch and operate multi-partner loyalty programs that are more effective.

This little tale provide evidence into why coalitions work but also points to the reality that even individual loyalty program sponsors should consider the power of developing partnerships in the future.

Either way, it is clear that consumer loyalty is not triggered solely by the collecting activity itself but by brand affinities and the customer experience taken as a whole.


Coalition Loyalty

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