The Relationship Between Member Benefits, Discount Programs, and Successful Associations

Posted by Brandon Carter on Nov 12, 2014 3:32:00 AM


member benefits case studiesI joined a professional association once. Over the course of several years and thousands of dollars, this is what I had received for joining: a useful Powerpoint on writing press releases.

That’s all. Obviously, that relationship didn’t last too long. The press releases I’ve constructed since are better, I suppose. Worth my investment into the organization? Eh, nope.

Ask someone why they join a professional association and they’ll offer up networking, educational opportunities, certifications, or representation. All important and vital functions of any association.

Then, ask someone why they won’t renew a membership, or why they’re not interested in joining at all, and they’ll tell you it’s because they didn’t see the personal value in it. There’s just not enough in it for them to justify the expenditure.

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Topics: Educator Access, Customer Engagement, Customer Incentives, Discount Programs, What is Loyalty?, Member Benefits, Viewpoints, member retention, member engagement, customer loyalty, educaiton association member benefits

Customer Loyalty: Time to Sweat the Small Stuff

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 29, 2014 11:40:00 PM

There's a wonderful series of self-help books by Richard Carlson around the idea of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and it's all small stuff)." The basic premise is to take stock of what really matters in life and focus in on things that truly matter with a positive attitude. The books have sold millions of copies, and for good reason - they have great ideas anyone can use for their personal lives.

When it comes to business and customer relationships, everything is small stuff, and it should most definitely be sweated.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, What is Loyalty?, Viewpoints, employee engagement, customer loyalty, corporate culture

Why "Nice" Business is Now Very Good Business

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 24, 2014 1:07:55 AM

Look at the state of business today.

Employees walked out on their jobs in support of an ousted CEO that they really, really liked. There are massive protests on Wall Street (again). The NFL is holding press conferences to apologize for press conferences that weren't apologetic enough.

Clearly, the rules of business have changed. Consumers hold more power than ever before, thanks to the influx of online information and the influence of social media. The way businesses behave is now a central part of buying criteria, and consumers will hit the eject button quickly when shady practices are exposed.

But, there is a bright side to this new world: Once customers find a "nice" business, they'll reward that business with their dollars and loyalty.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Employee Discount Programs, Customer Incentives, Mobile Coupons, What is Loyalty?, Member Benefits, Viewpoints, employee engagement, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

What Customer Loyalty and 50 First Dates Have in Common

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 9, 2014 12:29:00 AM

10 years ago Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore starred in 50 First Dates, about a man in love with an amnesiac woman who needs to be refreshed daily on what has happened in her life. Sandler's character would have amazing romantic experiences with Barrymore's character, but it was all for naught: she'd wake up the next morning with zero recollection of him or their experiences together.

Barrymore's short-term memory loss is never fixed, but the couple eventually find a way around it by creating a brief "life recap" video she could watch every morning that ended with a call for her to come to breakfast, where Sandler and their daughter were waiting for her.

Besides being the last decent Adam Sandler movie, 50 First Dates is turning out to be eerily prophetic when it comes to the state of consumer loyalty. Today, everyone has a certain level of amnesia, and we require frequent reminders and great experiences to remember what brands we love.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Ongoing Incentive Programs, What is Loyalty?, Member Benefits, Viewpoints, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

The Dangers of Overthinking Loyalty Programs

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 21, 2014 12:58:00 AM

I don't just work for a company that operates in the loyalty program space, I'm a huge fan of them myself. I'm attracted to the idea of getting something - points, a "punch," anything - for spending my dollars with a company. Like most people (78% in fact), I'm more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase if I know it'll be recognized somehow.

I'm not in the majority, however, when it comes to redeeming points (just 35% of members redeem points, according to Forrester). I like something for my points, even if it's just a branded beer koozie.

So it was that I found myself on the phone with a national retailer that operates a fairly prominent points program. Looking through their online portal, I noticed I had accumulated enough points to acquire a $50 gift card. Except, the site wouldn't let me redeem my points for that reward. According to the rep on the phone, it seems some of the points I had accumulated during a recent promotion weren't eligible toward the gift card.

Huh? I didn't know rules like that existed, but she told me it was all right there in the fine print of that particular promotion, naturally.

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She went on to explain that I could redeem most of my points for a $35 gift card and my "promotional" points for a $5 card, putting me just $10 away from the $50 card I had fallen in love with. Conversely, if I spent a couple hundred bucks in-store that week I could earn points that would actually count toward the $50.

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Topics: Rewards Programs, Customer Engagement, PowerDeals, Points and Miles Programs, Customer Incentives, Ongoing Incentive Programs, What is Loyalty?, Viewpoints, loyalty programs, customer loyalty

The Versatility of Loyalty Programs & the Changing 80-20 Rule

Posted by Brandon Carter on Aug 19, 2014 12:10:00 AM

Last year a friend spent an hour telling me about how happy he was with his big screen television. It had a great picture, great apps interface, lots of HDMI ports - things TV geeks love.

This past weekend he bought another TV, though from a different brand than last year's. When I asked him why he switched brands, he provided a simple shrug of his shoulders, pointed at his new TV, and said, "I just thought this one was cool."

Anyone who's ever owned a business or spent any time in a customer service role knows that there are some customers who simply can’t be won over. You can give people a great product at a fair price and responsive service to back it up, and they still might pick a different brand next time simply because it seems like the "cool" thing to do.

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Topics: Rewards Programs, Customer Engagement, Customer Incentives, Ongoing Incentive Programs, What is Loyalty?, Member Benefits, Viewpoints, customer retention, customer loyalty, Loyalty Progams

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