Brand Loyalty Rewards For The Ultra-Luxury Shopper

When it comes to luxury store retailing, properly rewarding a customer who spends $200,000 a year could be as easy as a walk in the park, or Park Avenue. But recognizing those dedicated shoppers who spend upwards of $1 million a year takes more than diamond points – this kind of shopper requires sincere eloquence.
It’s a high-class, and at times bewitching, problem.

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The detail in retail

Between the dozen or so big chains including Pantaloon and Reliance Retail and all outlets that do a VAT billing, organised retail is estimated to be around $22 billion, a figure that’s around 5-6% of the total retail market of close to $400 billion in the country today. In August 2008, McKinsey had estimated that by 2015, India would become a $450 billion retail market, comparable in size to Italy ($462 billion). The total retail market is estimated to be growing at 7-8% and the share of organised retail is projected to touch 15% by 2015, from 2% in 2006 when the market was estimated at $250 billion.


Customer Lifetime Value -- a waste of time or not

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) can be very useful in certain situations, but I have found that in many organizations the measurement of CLV becomes so complex that it is rarely successful. The answer always has to do with the objectives of the analysis, and what you intend to do with the results.

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A Quicker Complaint Fixer: How to Speed Up The Resolution Process

Why does it take forever and a day to get an answer to a customer service complaint?
Like reader Michael Trout, who filed countless grievances and waited a year before his auto insurance claim was processed. Or William Osuna, whose airline ticket took almost two years to get refunded. (Ironically, or perhaps appropriately, the airline is now out of business.)

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New Programs Don't Treat Heavy Buyers As Special

There has been a surge in the number and type of loyalty programs over the past few years. This is due in part to new technology that has increased the number of offerings on the market: mobile messaging is growing; Entry Point Marketing offers front-of-store targeted offers; My Coke Rewards brought proof-of-purchase into the digital age. Meanwhile, the proliferation of direct mail shows no signs of abating.

Dick's No Sweat Protection Plan - A Classic Loyalty Asterisk

These days, it seems that consumers can’t buy a major appliance, personal computer, or big screen television without being offered an extended warranty.
The irony in the sales pitch is that talking points from store personnel leading up to the purchase decision are centered on the high quality of the item being considered for purchase. Once that decision is made, whoosh, the chatter morphs to emphasize the need for a “consumer protection plan” to shield you from any number of consequences – especially manufacturers defects.


Brands Need To Confront America’s Customer Service War

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to America’s customer service war.

This is a war that’s been going on for years and there are various root causes.

1. Companies have cut service down to the bone.

2. They don’t pay good salaries for front line service positions

3. For many, benefits and pensions have been cut or don’t exist, especially in airlines

4. Consumers have gotten used to self-service technology that provides rapid response

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An Inconvenient Truth About Bad Customer Service

The effects of bad customer service may take years to prove fatal but the eventual outcome is almost always corporate extinction. Despite this, surprisingly few companies turn these negative situations around and actually improve their customer service position. And as counter-intuitive as it seems, many businesses act like they don’t even care.

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Murphy's Takes a Whrrl with Rewards Program

Murphy's USA is testing a new rewards program with Whrrl, a location-based service that enables consumers to earn points leading to a wide variety of prizes -- possibly even a digital coupon for $50 in free gas -- when they check in at the chain's roughly 1,100 stations. According to a press release, Whrrl is "a social loyalty program designed to close the gap between a brand's online social media presence and real-world physical presence. Whrrl Society Rewards is the first program to tie together word-of-mouth influence and real-world visits, rewarding people for motivating others to visit a business."
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Game-Based Marketing Author Shares Insights On Scoring Loyalty Points With Funware

In an era where the Internet reigns supreme and social interactions account for a large portion of consumers’ online activity, the ever-present question is how to integrate these trends into marketing. Videogame innovator and entrepreneur Game Zichermann explores the concept of “Funware,” a new model for incorporating and leveraging games and game mechanics to reach today’s customers, in his book “Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges and Contests.”
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Recycling Program Breeds Customer Loyalty

While stopping for gas one day, two waste management interns working for the city of Lexington, Ky., pondered how much garbage could be recycled from cars if locations, such as gas stations, made it more convenient to recycle.

The interns, Elizabeth Rebmann and Natalie Cooke, pitched their idea for such a recycling program to Bruce Whittaker, the district manager of Lexington South for Speedway SuperAmerica LLC (SSA), which has approximately 1,600 stores in nine states throughout the Midwest. Whittaker saw potential in the plan and a 10-week recycling pilot program was initiated.


Advanced Analytics Needed to Measure Loyalty

By Dan Alaimo

Tough marketing challenges, such as measuring loyalty, require sophisticated research methods.

“Retailers want to do one of two things: They want to either increase trips or they want to increase the basket size,” said Candace Adams, president, global retail strategy, SmartRevenue, Stamford, Conn., and a former Wal-Mart executive. “It may sound easy or intuitive, but getting there is the hard part. It really does require the (scientific) rigor. It requires a scientific approach to get to the answers that become actionable and that you can actually develop into strategies,” she said.

The Disloyalty Card

A few months back, James Hoffmann reported that Gwilym Davies, the 2009 World Barista Champion, had implemented a rather unique idea for his cafe: the disloyalty card.

His card lists eight nearby cafes in London that the cardholder must visit and try a coffee. After sampling all eight and collecting the required stamps, Gwilym provides a free coffee from his shop. His idea sends customers to his competitors.

Customer relationship management -- when should you fire customers?

In a recent post on The New York Times website, in the section called "You're the boss -- the art of running a small business," Jennifer Walzer, the owner of a company that provides corporate data backups, wrote a post suggesting that her smaller clients might have to be "fired" in order to provide more focus on larger clients and prospects. "As much as I would like to continue to take care of our small clients, we might have to start introducing them to other options," she wrote.

Cash Back Popularity on the Rise, But Is There a Better Way?

Cash is king. During the past two years, this age old encouragement from our fathers has been driven home with punctuation. In the loyalty and rewards game, cash is king in a different way. Ask a focus group to rank their preferred reward options and cash rises to the top. Surveys often produce the same result.
But look into the transactional detail of a loyalty program sponsor and you'll find that cash is not always the top choice among rewards. Over the past decade, experiential rewards and air travel have stayed at the top of the list. There seems to be a disconnect between what consumers say they want and what their behavior proves they want.

Target Tests Aim To Measure Effect Of Various Rewards

Target Corp. is not alone in testing the effect of various benefits associated with its private-label credit and debit cards and its co-branded Visa card (see story), one analyst says.

As retail and credit card profits come under pressure following the economic downturn, large retailers are scrutinizing the rewards they offer customers for paying with credit and debit cards to ensure they are maximizing profitability, Scott Strumello, an associate with Auriemma Consulting Group, tells PaymentsSource.
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Tesco today celebrates the 15th anniversary of Clubcard – the most popular loyalty scheme in the UK – with over £120 million of rewards sent to more than 14 million customers.
And to celebrate, Britain’s favourite supermarket also announced that, due to popular demand, it will continue to give customers Double Points across the store and online*.More..

It's Reward Time at Costco - Are You Motivated?

For holders of the True Earnings Card® from American Express and Costco, shoppers can earn 1% on all Costco purchases and up to 3% back on other purchases including travel, dining out, and gasoline purchased at the Costco store. Business cardholders enjoy a similar offer, topping out at 4% for gas purchases.
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Chase Freedom(R) Empowers Customers to Earn More Cash Back, Save More by Avoiding Interest on Everyday Purchases |

Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), today announced major enhancements to the Chase Freedom(R) credit card, the industry-leading cash back card that provides consumers a simple and straightforward way to earn cash back on everyday purchases. Chase Freedom is increasing the cash back rate to 5 percent on popular seasonal spending categories, like home improvement, gas and department stores. In addition, customers will earn a full 1 percent cash back on every purchase -- with no tiers, no caps, no annual fee.

Family Dollar Tests Basket Analysis

In a project last year, Family Dollar worked with Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), a leading provider of test and learn management systems to retailers and consumer products companies, to understand what's happening at the basket level and found implications for in-store promotions, merchandising, and even operations.

How to Get Better Customer Service by Being an A**hole

We've all been subjected to the torture of terrible customer service -- hours on hold just waiting to talk to a breathing human, even if their first field of study obviously wasn't the English language.

What do people usually do about it? Nothing.

That's why we invited Chris Illuminati, Asylum contributor and co-author of "A**holeology: The Science Behind Getting Your Way and Getting Away With It," to explain how applying the a-hole principle can help you effectively deal with bad customer service.


Gartner Reveals Key Customer Relationship Management Predictions for 2010 and Beyond

Facebook will be the No. 1 social network in all but 25 countries, according to Gartner, Inc. In countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Japan it will not be No. 1. The prediction is one in a series Gartner analysts have made on customer relationship management (CRM) in areas including CRM marketing and social CRM.

“For most organisations, the single most logical way to differentiate the business is through great customer experiences, rather than having the lowest cost or most innovative products and services,” said Ed Thompson, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, gaining a clear understanding on which specific customer-centric initiatives will prove decisive and merit investment will require coordination across departments.”

The Power of the Consumer

The massive platform competition means companies must do everything they can to retain customers. The marketplace will sort itself out, says Chris Anderson, author of Free.

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Need for ”Supplier Relationship Management” in Retail

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is regarded as key to the success of any Retailer. Most of the retailers across the globe are investing in Customer Retention and Loyalty Building Programs. In case of a Specialty Retailer who caters a niche variety of product, these can be achieved by well designed CRM Program. But in case of Large Format Retailers like Wal-Mart, Tesco, IKEA or Big Bazaar for that matter, it will not be solely depend on CRM, though it plays an important role. Customers of such Retailers expect Best deal in comparison to others and 24X7 Availability of products. Thus Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) plays pivotal role in success of Large Format Retailers.

Need for ”Supplier Relationship Management” in Retail: - Retail Dude

Lesson's from Starbucks success

Who would have wanted to be in Starbucks‘ shoes a year ago? McDonald’s had launched low priced alternatives that had huge trial, the economy had stalled and consumers were balking at spending $4 per drink, even at a familiar place. Howard Schultz announced that the company had “lost its way,” becoming too standard and corporate and less entrepreneurial, less like a local coffee shop. The chain then closed stores on a broad scale for the first time. Would Starbucks even be around in 3 years, or would it take its place among the dearly departed, driven by the tough economy?


Traditional CRM Is Not Delivering Desired Customer Experience Transformation

Customer experience transformation is rapidly becoming a key business differentiator in the battle to retain customers and grow revenues and wallet share. But many businesses have yet to rise to this challenge, due to constraints imposed by their legacy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. As a result, they continue to focus on routine operational savings rather than dramatically improving their customers' experience and net promoter scores. These are among the main findings of a major global survey of international businesses across the UK, mainland Europe and the U.S. undertaken by Pegasystems (PEGA 35.27, +0.25, +0.71%) , the industry leader in business process-driven customer experience transformation.


Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola: A Web Marketing Comparison

Two of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States are the Atlanta, Georgia based Coca-Cola Company and the Purchase, New York based Pepsi Cola Company, which is now referred to as PepsiCo by the company. Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo invest tens-of-millions of dollars per year in worldwide marketing campaigns. By visiting their websites ( and, one can see that the two rival companies are invested in very diverse products. Even though Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are targeting the same markets, they approach their marketing strategies in very different ways.


Vodafone, Orange, Other Mobile Leaders and Consumer Companies Step Up Influencer Marketing Approach with Pursway's Social Network Analysis

Influencer Marketing company Pursway (formerly Datanetis) is helping a growing number of consumer companies realize an order of magnitude improvement in the effectiveness of their customer relationship strategies, boosting customer acquisition, retention, and cross-selling outcomes.


The Right Volume: Loyalty Management «

Why do customers change suppliers? Are you losing key accounts? It costs more money to acquire new accounts than to maintain current accounts. Ken Wong uses an insurance company as an example of how increased volume does not always equal increased profits.

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Social CRM customer data management can be the hard part

As organizations embark on social CRM projects to capitalize on the rapid growth of social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, there is one major stumbling block that must be considered -- and ultimately addressed. It’s a stumbling block that plagued many of the initial deployments of traditional CRM: the data.

The rise of new communication channels is bringing with it a rise in customer contact points, and therefore customer data. Should you collect Twitter handles, Facebook page addresses or monikers from online customer communities? Does that fit into your CRM system, and can you associate it to the right customer record?


Why Warren Buffett believes Cadbury's sale is a lousy deal for Kraft shareholders

Warren Buffett told the business TV channel CNBC on Thursday that the 850p a share Kraft agreed to pay for Cadbury is a ‘bad deal’ and, given a chance, he would vote against it.

From the perspective of a Cadbury shareholder, this dismissal from the American investment genius – and Kraft’s biggest single shareholder – may seem astonishing.