In this summary episode, we discuss our key learnings from our conversation in early 2021 with the CEO of IAG Loyalty Limited, the company that operates “Avios” – the loyalty currency of the five airlines of the IAG airline alliance.
Adam Daniels shared some of the extraordinary changes in consumer behaviour that evolved as a result the global pandemic, with dramatic increases in non-travel engagement such as online shopping, and the success of new propositions driving emotional loyalty at this particularly challenging time for all airlines and their loyalty programmes.
1) Adam Daniels Chief Executive Officer
2) IAG Loyalty
Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.
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Hello, and welcome to July 2022. And welcome to this week’s short episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Today I’m looking back on our April 2021 episode with Adam Daniels, CEO of IAG Loyalty. An episode that focused on the power of the loyalty industry and some exciting insights on IAG’s innovative propositions for their 35 million members across Europe and North America.
Now in early April 2021, it was of course still the early days of the pandemic. So of course we started by acknowledging the importance of flexibility, as well as the sheer power of loyalty marketing initiatives to drive business in really uncertain times. IAG Loyalty is the shared loyalty program and platform for all IAG Airlines as well as other global partners. So of course the business was dramatically affected by the decimation of global travel throughout 2020 and 2021. Its core proposition was effectively destroyed by COVID. But Adam explained how their program became an incredibly effective asset at those unprecedented times. In fact, IAG Loyalty, not only survived the pandemic, but their business thrived in new ways.
As well as focusing on ways for customers to earn and burn Avios with non-travel options. The business also created a new and compelling proposition to drive emotional loyalty in a way that I think was really relevant to the mood and the mindset of their members at the time. Their transactional growth came from focusing on their E-store. Which ended up having some of its best years ever in 2020 and 2021 with members becoming increasingly aware of and excited by the sheer breadth of online partners and these ways to earn and burn Avios the non-air airline growth at such a challenging time was simply remarkable.
Even more compelling was their charity focus, IAG Loyalty developed an option for members to donate some or all of their, Avios points to healthcare workers. And in the UK market, it was the incredible NHS staff who became our healthcare heroes throughout the pandemic. Avios members were able to show their appreciation for these incredible healthcare professionals in a practical and powerful way. And in the end, enough Avios points were donated to allow over 5,000 NHS workers to redeem a holiday and get some much-needed rest. This charity-led proposition, as you can imagine, was a wonderfully positive story at a time when there was very little good news in the media about travel.
What I loved about this episode and the IAG Loyalty story was how clearly it shows the power of what a loyalty program can do. Both for a company’s bottom line, as well as building emotional ties with members. And I think particularly this came at a time when many of us were looking to brands like IAG Loyalty to show us what great leadership looks like.
This was another great episode to review and learn from. So if you’d like to hear more of these insights, make sure to find our interview with Adam Daniels from IAG Loyalty on letstalkloyalty.com/96.
Now I’m also super excited to share with you that tomorrow I have an interview with a world-famous brand, a fascinating discussion with Tupperware in Mexico. Then on Thursday, I’m joined by my friend and loyalty industry thought leader, Phil Rubin, who shares his wisdom around the current state of loyalty and how and why our industry needs to become unstuck.
So I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow and Thursday of course, for plenty more inspiration. As we continue to talk loyalty with these great global brands.
This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer. The world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org
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