A mature market with outstanding loyalty KPIs celebrates its 4th year of recognising loyalty excellence at the South African Loyalty Awards.
Two of the South African Loyalty Awards founding judges share their views on the winning loyalty brands and what stands out as to why they are recognised as best in class.
Bronwen Rohland is Head of Retail & CPG at Tata Consulting Services South Africa and Nic Bednall is Chief Commercial Officer at Moya App in South Africa, and both have worked with Amanda Cromhout throughout the awards, in her role as judging chair.
In our discussion, both Bronwen and Nic highlight emerging trends and future requirements to stay ahead in the loyalty world and in particular debate the depth of use of available data for personalisation and strategic initiatives. There is particular focus on the driving KPIs which are showcased across the loyalty awards.
2.) Bronwen Rohland
3.) Nic Bednall
Welcome to Lets Talk Loyalty, An Industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the founder of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Today’s show is hosted by my colleague Amanda Cromhout, the founder of Truth and International Loyalty Consultancy firm based in Cape Town South Africa. If you work in loyalty marketing, make sure to join, Let’s Talk Loyalty every Tuesday, every Wednesday and every Thursday to learn the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.
Let’s Talk Loyalty is inviting you to come and join us to talk all about loyalty. We want to know what are the biggest challenges you face to capture the loyalty of your customers as we approach 2023. In partnership with Collinson, Let’s Talk Loyalty is planning a live session on LinkedIn to talk about creating customer loyalty in the year ahead.
I’m inviting all of you listening to share with me the burning questions and key topics you’d like to hear us cover in a live discussion. Simply drop me an email. It’s email@example.com. Then we’ll pick the most popular ideas and questions and talk them through on our Let’s Talk Loyalty live event this November, powered by Collinson.
My email address again is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do send over your questions and ideas and then join us as we talk loyalty live together for the first time.
Amanda: Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, today is especially exciting as I’m interviewing two seasoned professionals who are the founding judges of the South African Loyalty Awards, I am delighted to welcome Bronwen Roland, Head of Retail CPG at Tata Consulting Services South Africa, and Nic Bednall, who is Chief Commercial Officer at Moya app.
I am the judging chair of the South African Loyalty Awards, which is now in its fourth year. And is celebrating loyalty excellence in what is known as a mature loyalty market. And we celebrate this excellence across all loyalty verticals and supporting elements of the ecosystem. Bronwen and Nic, take us through the winners and what stands out from these recognized loyalty programs, including powerful KPIs across all of the best loyalty entries.
Bronwen highlights some of the future challenges to keep ahead in loyalty, and Nic debates the power of data in how retailers are fiercely using available data. Whilst maybe the financial services firms have all the data but may not be using it to its maximum potential, I hope you gain as much insight from Bronwen and Nic as I did from our discussion about this outstanding loyalty market.
Amanda: So hello, Nic and Bronwen. Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Nic: Hello, Amanda.
Bronwen: Hi, Amanda.
Amanda: It’s so exciting to have you both as, two of our founding judges in the South African Loyalty Awards, and I’ve had the privilege of working with you both and both in a formal life for all of us Bronwen you and I worked together on the launch of the biggest at the time Grocery Loyalty program, Smart Shopper for Pick and Pay.
And Nic, when you were at B B D O, We did some fun things with some of your clients in the Cape Town Agency, so I really do know you both from a wonderful career and having you as founding judges on the South African Loyalty Awards adds so much value to to the South African Loyalty Awards, so that’s why, we thought it would be a perfect discussion today to announce the results of the South African Loyalty Awards, but with your view on it, rather than just myself as the judging chair. So I’d love to kick off with the first question that the listeners of Let’s Talk Loyalty know is coming Bronwen, what is your favorite loyalty program?
Bronwen: Oh, Amanda, that’s a , a difficult one. Um, however, I must say, um, it has to be the Emirate Skywards program. Um, not, not only is Emirates as a brand, an incredible, um, uh, brand, but the program, um, afford their customers, just so much opportunity to, to earn, um, you know, free miles, to redeem free miles. And as a, a business person who travels internationally quite frequently, um, with my role, um, you know, your airline, your ability to access, um, lounges, the way the the airline treats you, the quality of the airline, uh, is very, very important.
So, um, The fact that Emirates flies into South Africa and into Cape Town, I think it’s one of the busy route, um, is just so convenient. Um, and I think the overall, um, just quality of the Skywards program, the partners, um, the flexibility, um, the ease of earning and, and redeeming, um, really puts it up there for me as one of the, the top, um, loyalty programs and certainly my favorite.
Amanda: Oh, it’s great to hear cuz actually my favorite when Paula asked me was also a, a competing frequent flyer program, but was also a frequent flyer program. So lovely to hear another one.
Bronwen: Yeah. Shows how important flights and airlines are in our awards.
Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. And Nic, to you, the same question.
What’s your favorite loyalty program?
Nic: Well, you know, I spent most of my time, um, fiddling with other people’s loyalty programs to see how they work. So consequently, I , I’m sure I mess up personalization for my wife and family members all the time. And then they get offered strange red wine specials, on the female gender profile, which must be very confusing for both the brand and my wife.
But in my personal capacity, actually a funny story. We built a on demand app for Vida Cafe, Vida Coffee Shops, uh, where you could basically order ahead and pay and then skip the queue and pick up your coffee. So there was a time period where I was testing that so much that actually I led the national leader board.
For coffee in country. Oh, brilliant. I love it. You know, I actually for a moment believe my own nonsense and thought that I was that good at coffee drinker, but of course it just because it wasn’t that big in the early days and I was doing most of the testing. So the short answer is I don’t really have a favorite loyalty program, but I’m, I’m looking forward to being part of making one maybe in future.
Amanda: Well, I think Pieter will be happy to hear that. Um, Happy to hear their own, um, program features anyway, so, And you’re not the only one who’s mentioned Vida in South Africa before, so, um, That’s lovely to hear. So I think just before we get into the questions about the South African Loyalty Awards, which were announced very recently for the marketplace, uh, what I’d love to establish for the listeners of Let’s Talk Loyalty is a little bit about your career and what brings you to be, uh, qualified, so to speak.
But, uh, that’s, that’s term I’ve views to be a judge on the South African Loyalty Award. So, Broman, share with the listeners a little bit please about your, your career history, bringing you up to today.
Bronwen: Yes, thanks. Thanks, Amanda. Um, so I’m a retailer through and through. Um, as you mentioned earlier on, um, I was.
CMO when we launched the Smart prop, uh, shopper program in Pick and Pay, which was the largest grocery retailer program. And that was in 2011. Um, and um, through my, my retail experience, I was put on the team to lead. The development, the design, um, the launch of the program worked with, uh, partners on it, um, and, uh, you know, to take many months of research, uh, looking at global loyalty programs, looking at best in class.
Um, looking to the UK market quite a bit actually. Yeah. Looking at the Tesco program and the sensory program, um, uh, to see, you know, what had worked, what hadn’t worked, what were customers, um, really, um, valuing out of those programs. And then scientist. Standing, the South African market and the Pick and Pay customer and obviously what would be of most value to them.
Um, and so it was around the design. It was around the technology implementation. And I remember at the time, not only did we have to put in a loyalty platform, we. Also needed to put into a point of sale, a new point of sale system that would seamlessly, uh, um, create a good customer experience. And, and at the time we, we also put in kiosks, um, around customer communication and redemption.
But at, at a really was, um, at a great. Time of learning, of, uh, being responsive, being agile, working out what our customers responded to, what they didn’t respond to, and evolving it, uh, as a program. And then at the same time within loyalty. Um, Programs, there’s always a customer analytic side. What do you do with the data?
How does it add value? How do you in enrich the customers, uh, uh, experience with your brand? But at the same time, how do you take that data as a, a retailer and, and, and use it to your, your advantage not only from a, a business strategy perspective, but from a, a customer engagement and, and, and sales and revenue.
So, yeah. Um, you know, the bulk of my career has been as a, a retailer. Um, and I I, you, I started straight off to university with Woolworths, South Africa, and then moved to pick and pay retailers for the large part of my career. And, um, over the last, uh, seven years, I’ve, um, head up the retail consultancy practice within South Africa Photo Consultancy Services and still working with all the large retailers in the South African market.
Amanda: Thanks. Actually, yeah, when you mentioned a little bit more detail about Smart Shopper Bronwen, it reminded me of a fabulous memory that I had the privilege of going with Steve Hoban to talk at Chicago at the CRMC, which many listeners will understand is a very, very, um, big CRM and loyalty conference, and we.
Proudly stood up, and talked about the launch of Pick and Pay and how we’d exceeded 3 million cards in the first month and this was the biggest thing ever. And we’d run out of cards and so on, and all those wonderful memories we have of the War room, and then Walgreen, then Walgreen’s, followed us and stood up and said we’re about to launch loyalty and we’re gonna get 60 million members in the first few months.
So we certainly got size of the marketplace concept from the 3 million at Pick and Pay in Walgreens, 60 million but’s. Very fun memory.
Bronwen: Definitely, and I think Amanda, if we think about it, if we looked at our targets and, you know, part of the planning was, um, having loyalty cards or smart shopper cards at that stage.
It wasn’t a, there wasn’t a digital option as such. So it was very much a physical card.
Amanda: Thank you very much. So Nic, um, for yourself, you’ve had a different career path, but, um, what brings, um, the variety onto the judging panel, which is what we love. So tell us a little bit about your career.
Nic: Yeah, thanks Amanda.
And I must say it’s been a great pleasure working with you and all the fellow judges on the SA Loyalty Awards for the last, what is it, four years? I think. This is
Amanda: our Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
Nic: So, um, my, my first experience with loyalty and rewards per se started in an advertising group called BBDO. Um, where I worked across all the different disciplines, uh, including loyalty and rewards, but most, probably most poignantly on digital and the beginning of digital and founded for B B D O, a digital agency called Glue that really helped pioneer the use of digital in this country.
And, um, towards the end of my career in the agency group, I saw the future in, in, in smartphones and mobile phones. And so I switched across to, to specifically mobile and software development within Mobile. And spent many years working with, you know, big retailers and big banks, building out their apps and building out the, the convergence of loyalty and payment.
Because as soon as you start dealing with consumers on a digital platform, you need to have some form of ability to have omnichannel, um, earning and burning of loyalty value, and then combining that with payments. At the point of sale in an offline retail environment. So then a lot of my career then was on the software side, specifically in mobile and then specifically in, in the payments in multi space.
And then more recently I’ve joined, uh, a large digital platform that reaches the mass market here in South Africa. We have about, six and a half million monthly active users and about 4 million daily active users. And we are a very large, um, chat platform like, uh, WhatsApp where WeChat. But the big difference is that we actually free to the users so they can chat to each other and to business without any cost to themselves.
Amanda: That’s an incredible concept. 4 million daily active users. I think that’s the start a lot of people would chase. That’s super. Thanks Nic. Thanks for sharing. So just briefly before we get into the discussion, a little bit of background to our listeners around the South African Loyalty Awards. As Nic said, it’s in its fourth year and it really is a very established awards, um, process for the industry here in South Africa. Um, Truth is the managing company, but we actually run it independently with a panel of 12 judges, Nic and Bronwen being two of them, but they’ve been with us from the very start. And there’s about 15 categories that obviously celebrate best loyalty programs in category or in industry verticals through to technology vendors. And then recognizing other aspects like the strategic use of data and technology, innovation and so forth. So the judges really are a mix of digital, for example, with Nic or Bronwen, who’s extremely experienced in retail through to technology vendor experience or more of the statistics data side. So I’m really proud of the panel and they really add value to the concept of challenging every aspect of a good loyalty proposition. So yes. So today we are going to discuss the, the winners of The Loyalty Awards, and I’d like to start please with yourself, Nic, give us a little sense of the main category winners. If we think about retail financial services, and we had one new category this year, the overall long term loyalty program. Give us your views.
Nic: Sure. So I think what’s interesting about the South African Loyalty space is that we’ve got a, a number of very large programs, not quite as large as Walgreens, but certainly, you know, we’re talking about tens of millions, if not twenties of millions of users. Some of them have been going for a very long time. So if we look at the big categories like retail and banking, there are large programs that some of them have been going for. You know, I think was talking about 2011, so that’s 11 years ago. Others might have been going for 20 years. So you’ve got. You’ve got an incredible pedigree of sustainable loyalty programs per category. But what you also have, and this is what it’s a big feature of, of the last two years in my experience, is that you’ve got big players who for the first time are introducing loyalty programs and, not surprisingly, that is changing the dynamic quite fundamentally. And in this year’s particular outcome in retail, uh, one of the newcomers of last year has actually won the overall award, and that is the Shoprite group. Yeah. So when we saw them arrive last year, we were incredibly impressed with the, the speed that they managed to grow, um, and the scale of their growth. Um, and I suppose a lot of us were going, Wow, okay, these are definitely the new kids on the block. And of course they do benefit from, uh, last move or advantage. They can see what works and what resonates with the consumers, but we do need to credit them for executing it at such a high level and at such scales so quickly. Yeah. And now we see this year Shoprite once again coming in with even more figures and even more, um, Uh, proof points of, of what a successful program they’ve launched. So much so that actually, although it was a very hotly contested category, they actually ended up winning it. And the same theme continues through, if we look at financial services, again, a large incumbent player with a, you know, a, a, a multi decade record, um, and a previous winner as the incumbent also being usurped by a new arrival with, uh, you know, a fairly, recent launch, so under, well, a year ago in the form of Capitec. So in that particular case, Capitec, the new challenger brand, uh, from a loyalty point of view, arriving and cleaning up. So absolutely fascinating dynamic. I think very good for the consumer, obviously, but equally very good for the level and quality of competition. Demonstrating, you know, quite what a standard is being achieved in this, in this loyalty market here in South Africa. And then if we move across to the kind of the long term category, um, Firstly, a wide range of brands being able to demonstrate that there have been there for the long term. Um, and then an incredible win for, for eBucks. Uh, just being able to show year after year fantastic innovation at scale. And I think most specifically, um, for a tiered program, you know, a really comprehensive offering for every tier that they operate. So a really exciting year.
Amanda: Yeah. Great for the overview. In fact, recently eBucks were recognized on the international stage with The International Loyalty Awards as winner of best use of technology for loyalty.
And they also, as we know, picked that up for the South Africa marketplace for the fourth year running. So that’s obviously their niche that they’re being recognized for as well, as well as the long term program. The one, there’s another category as well Bronwen, if you could share with us, we had a QSR restaurant category, which is a very, um, dynamic part of the industry here in South Africa.
So which brand led that, that particular award?
Bronwen: Yeah, it was the Spur Steak Ranches family, um, club loyalty program, um, Amanda, which, you know, I mean the, the Spur Steak brand is a brand that’s well loved by many South African families. And, um, I, I, uh, I think the, the program really, um, you know, has been quite successful over the last year.
I, I know there had some challenges during Covid, as did most of the restaurant industry in South Africa. Uh, there was a time period they couldn’t trade, um, that couldn’t serve customers and, and, and a lot of them were impacted, but in one just looks at the Spur Steak Ranch, uh, loyalty program. I mean, they’ve been running for about 11 years.
Um, besides the program just being so simple and easy to engage with, um, they have really, uh, I started understanding the customers and personalizing the type of rewards and offers they, they give to their loyalty club members. And the type of areas they, they started focusing on was, you know, what was your preferred meal? Was it a breakfast, lunch, or dinner? What was your preferred dessert? Uh, when was your birthday? So the Spur birthday cup is just, one of those loyalty clubs that I think most South African families are aware of, and you will, you will go and redeem your voucher. It’s, it’s a great event to have a, a birthday at the Spur.
Um, and, and so what they’ve done is they’ve got to understand the customers a lot more. They’ve, they’ve, put relevant offers to them and they’ve really capitalized on their family brand and, and making sure their rewards involve the whole family in terms of the ability to not only earn, but also to redeem.
Uh, rewards during, um, you know, your, your visit to the restaurant. So I think a simple model, um, seamless with, uh, just the most, um, wonderful mobile app. I, I really wanna say that, um, you know, easy to just register. Uh, they now have a digital engagement model, which. I think is, um, you know, just, it’s just absolutely necessitated by the current, uh, you know, or the last three years of, of pandemic and, and customers wanting to engage differently.
So, yes, I think a, a world deserved category winner, um, um, being the Spur Steak Ranches.
Amanda: Yeah. And as you say, an iconic South African brand. I mean, I think any of us with children have spent many hours letting our children enjoy the, the fun and games there, and they’ve captured that through that fabulous family card that gets your children hooked at a young age birthday celebration.
So I, that’s really always stood out for me, so That’s lovely. You’ve highlighted that. I think what’s great about having this conversation with yourselves, because you’ve seen all of the entries, you’ve judged for four years now, but recently this year. What I’d love to share with the listeners of Let’s Talk Loyalty are more of the generic so that we don’t attach it to any particular brand, but more of the generic sort of key performance indicators, the loyalty KPIs that are coming through.
So Nick, if you could share some of those, what you read in the entrance so that we get a sense of the best of the best. What are they achieving in the loyalty marketplace?
Nic: Sure. So I think, let’s just take a step back, for instance, if we look at the retail category, One of the impressive things that happens when you, when you implement a good loyalty program at scale is that you go from an understanding of, of sales and gross revenue to an understanding of exactly how that is derived by whom.
So one of the major drivers is the identity, obviously, of the consumer who’s now spending the money through your tools. So when we see, um, you know, the loyalty programs contributing up to, you know, potentially 90% of all sales, you realize just quite how powerful that is for the retailer. And we also recognize that because of, you know, the strength of technology, we now have the ability to understand up to 90% of the volume of all transactions going through a retailer at scale and being able to look at that data and segment that data right down to, you know, and that’s the potential of personalization.
So I think the 90% kind of three part or 80 to 90%, three part is a, is a really interesting stack. Yeah. Then on, on the banking side, you know, where they, where they have, uh, the ability to earn and increasingly that ability to earn is, is more and more seamless with less and less work for the consumer to do. They’re having really, really high redemption rates, and for a while, I think in loyalty, there was this idea that maybe redemption rates should be low because then you don’t have to spend the money, But that’s of course completely wrong. You do want to drive consumers to redeem the value so that they get that. You know, either the direct transactional benefit, whatever the value of the benefits that you’re offering, or just the feeling of being acknowledged and recognized, you know, either way, whether it’s emotional, whether it’s transactional, redeeming at really high percentages is an important health barometer of a loyalty program.
And in the case studies that we were reading, you know that some of them were at 92%. So in a really, really good redemption levels. And then I think another thing to bear in mind is that when you’ve got very large categories like retail and banking, um, you know, to make a percentage change in the sales figures is, is something to be extraordinarily proud of. You know, and in these categories we were seeing 3 to 4% lift in sales and that, you know, that is an enormous achievement if you consider how big some of these retailers or banks already are.
Amanda: Yeah, and I think these numbers, Nic, thanks for sharing, are so difficult to get hold of in the open space because obviously no brand really wants to disclose them.
So what I’m hearing from you is this 80 to 90% contribution of sales that is absolutely comparable to global best practice, we, we’ve heard on the show alone, many brands talking about an 80 or 90%, but others talking about a lot less. So the, these, um, stats coming out of the South African Loyalty Awards are very comparable to the best in class globally.
So it’s really, I’m really excited to hear them. So thank you very much. And that 3 to 4% incremental sales is like a magic number that, uh, we, we as practitioners have to use day in, day out. So to actually get some evidence effectively of a, a group of brands that are saying a similar thing, um, enables us to have some confidence in that type of number.
But if we think about going forward, like we’ve, we’ve, we’re in the fourth year, it’s still quite a young loyalty awards, but, taking the loyalty towards outta the discussion Bronwen, what’s your view of what, you know, you are such an established retailer, What do you think loyalty programs need to do to actually keep themselves ahead for the future?
Bronwen: Yeah, I mean, you know, if one just looks at the sort of global shake up we’ve had. Over the last, gosh, when did the Covid Pandemic come in? 2021. I mean, businesses have just had to focus on innovation, digital transformations, greater investment in technologies because the way they in, we’re engaging with the customers or where the, the customer engagement model has evolved due to the pandemic has really changed.
Um, you know, a lot of a, a retailers’, um, ability to communicate with customers. So I think you know what one’s seeing and what one will see is the adoption refreshing of new technologies around loyalty, um, you know, the digital transformation, uh, will enable being able to engage with customers through any channels at any time through different, um, technologies, whether it’s mobile app, email, WhatsApp, social media, you are really gonna see that change. And, and I think one of the, the big trends and um, that one will see is really. Um, an actual move to start putting personalization into action. I know everyone talks about it, you know, a whole benefit of loyalty programs is personalization, but I think it’s more spoken about than actually implemented.
And I, I think some recent research that I saw was that many retailers are, start spending about 5% of their marketing budget. On personalized offers. Um, so with the move to digitization, there’s going to be an increased demand and, and need to spend a across digital channels. So I think, um, you know that with, um, you know, the, the new platforms, technology platforms that are out there that you can start triggering marketing, uh, you know, automated communications campaigns, loyalty offers with, AI, um, out there, and the ability to do data analytics at totally different levels, I think, um, you know, is going to fundamentally change, um, the way one communicates with customers or the ability to communicate with, with, with customers. Um, so I think that’s going to to be key because as, um, the, the retailers and loyalty programs learn more about the customers and their preferences.
They’re going to have the ability to, um, interact with them differently. Yeah. Which moves to the next point, and I think this is gonna be the second big trend that’s gonna happen, is moving beyond transactional loyalty and moving to more an emotional loyalty. And, and emotional loyalty really talks to brand engagement and, and how often you can get that customer to interact with your brand.
And it might be, you know, whether it’s getting to know your customers differently. Uh, Letting them tell you their preferences could be through gamified surveys, profiles. Um, there’s just going to be a demand, not, not to replace transaction, but I think to supplement it. I think that will coexist, but I think the way the world is moving, um, and the more channels, there’s just going to be a need to build that emotional loyalty as well.
Um, so those are, you know, two big trends that I will, I think, go ahead in glove, the personalization and building of emotional loyalty will support each other. And I can just use one, one, um, loyalty program, and I think that’s done this particularly well in, in, in the last year or so. And that’s the Marks and Spencer Box program and the way that they’ve also changed their, their model of engaging with the customers through, um, advance understanding who their customers are. That’s not a point space program, but it’s about emotionally connecting with them through, you know, initiatives that might be a preview of a, you know, a new range of, of clothing. It might be priority access to a wine event. Yeah. Um, it’s, thank yous that they get the customer, um, you know, it’s, it’s their community involvement, the sustainability. Uh, credentials and ability to give back and, and, uh, also look after the environment. So I think they’ve really understood the customers quite well and changed, um, the approach to a far more emotional engagement model. Um, Um, and I think that’s kind of important trend.
Amanda: Yeah. And you mentioned that they don’t give points anymore cause they’re used to and they’ve moved away from that to this more of an emotional engagement type model, which is lovely. You’ve highlighted that, actually talking about, um, emotional loyalty. You know, I mean, it’s a coined phrase, but the previous interview we did it with South Africa was with Pieter Twine from My School, and they actually also were a winner at this year, South Africa Loyalty Awards, um, in a, we call it the open category cuz it doesn’t fall specifically in a particular segment.
And Pieter talked a lot about, you know, this and I think all of us who understand the, My School, My Village, My Planet Program understand that pull on emotional loyalty rather than just the pure transaction. So you mentioned Bron, um, around, eco and sustainability. Um, I’ve had the privilege of recently being at an international conference that talked about this, so it’s obviously hot on everyone’s agenda. Globally. What are your views on that around, you know, loyalty programs and, um, Yeah. What are your views on, did we see much of it coming through in this year’s awards?
Bronwen: Yeah, I mean, I, I didn’t necessarily see that coming through, um, you know, in, in, in all the categories. I mean, I think the retail category has always been particularly strong, um, around this and, and, and maybe to, uh, as someone who extend the banking, but you know, the effects of Covid has really left its mark on consumers.
And whether it’s demographic changes, whether it’s environmental, whether it’s community, sustainability is just becoming an important corporate and customer issue. And if we have a look at the customers basing their purchase decisions on company values, the way they, in fact, um, you know, treat the environment, how they treat their communities, you know, sustainability initiative.
So gonna become a core practice in the world of loyalty. Um, if one looks too at the emerging generations, I mean, you know, the millennials, generation Z they all see sustainability as a key component of business and, and it’s gonna become a core purchase criteria. So I think it’s something that, um, companies are going to have to stand up and take notice of if they haven’t.
Yeah. Um, I think, um, it’s an, it’s, it’s a wonderful brand engagement, uh, opportunity. Um, um, you know, these younger generations, are definitely proving to be more socially conscious than perhaps us as parents or grandparents. And I think for organizations that are looking to be successful, not just today, but in the future, they’re going to have to contend with this changing phase of customer demographics.
Their preferences, how they want to be communicated with. Um, and so I think embedding sustainability to core business models, corporate governance, and customer loyalty programs are definitely going to be key for the success of any organization in the future.
Amanda: Yeah, you mentioned the connection between generational, um, demographics and, um, sustainability.
What came out is the com, a user group conference in Paris was very much that it is a factor of purchasing, but it not necessarily, a lot of people talk about it, but not necessarily put their money on the line when it comes to changing their shopping behavior around eco and sustainability. But they intend to, but don’t necessarily follow through.
But of those that do, it’s very dominated by a younger customer. So, Very much something for everyone to sit up and look at. And I agree with you, it didn’t come through as strongly as I would’ve liked to have seen in the, in these awards. So maybe something for the companies to focus on for next year. So I think, uh, Nic, I want to ask you a question really around, you know, there’s a lot of talk, as Bronwen said about personalization, but obviously there’s a broader discussion around strategic use of data and how that can really drive improved experience and value for the customer, but as well as for the business. What are your views on that between the different categories and the use of data?
Nic: Yeah, it was very interesting, you know, seeing that when you go across the different categories, you just see how people use data differently. So I mean, I think the good news and spot on with agree with Bronwen, that personalization is the mantra and that’s what everyone’s aiming for and they are really good examples of delivering personalization at scale.
I think what’s really interesting though is if you kind of just take a step back and think about it, banks forever have had all the data in the world. Cause they see all the transactions. Yeah. But they haven’t particularly used it that well, uh, for a long time. Although some of them, you know, like the eBucks of this world would claim that they do and have got some evidence to prove that they do.
But generally speaking, as a genre or as a category, banks had a lot of information and didn’t use it particularly well. Along come the retailers, and they go from really understanding, you know, a huge range of other fact factors in marketing to getting into understanding, you know, the data that comes out of first party of data, what comes out of the tool at a consumer level.
And you know, they’ve been very quick to take advantage of that. And, and very convincing and, and how they take advantage of that. So, um, it’s really interesting to see what that means for the, for the consumer, uh, and how good the consumer experience goes through it. It’s really interesting to see retailers that, you know, at the very highest level, you know, at the C-suite level, are making decisions about, uh, ranging an assortment and personalized offers at scale. You know, and so they, they totally committed to what we talk about in loyalty or even, even at like a CEO level of a big, uh, you know, Um, retailer. And one wonders if a similar focus exists within the banks.
Yeah. You know, some of them definitely. Um, you know, I think in, in, in the South African market, eBucks is a very good example of that, forever and ever. Uh, and now Capitec with its no frills. Very simple, highly compelling program. No doubt had the full C-suite behind it. But you wonder about some of the other banks where you don’t see much evidence of that same commitment to, to data analytics and to customer centricity right at the very top.
Amanda: That’s great. Like I love that like how the banks have it and the retailers are using it. So , I love the way you’ve coined that. Thank you. So I really enjoyed the, the dis, I enjoyed obviously the announcement of the awards that you took us through today, but, more the discussion around the KPIs and how programs need to evolve and, Exactly, now, Nic, your, your discussion around banks versus retailers and how some are or are not using data to scale. Um, and I think let’s just remind everybody in a, in that. The Let’s Talk Loyalty audience that South Africa is a very mature loyalty market. It’s been mentioned quite a few times on this series.
Um, and hence these awards were hotly contested. So just before I draw ourselves to a close, um, is there anything else you’d like to add and share with the, talk with the audience today?
Bronwen: Yeah, I think, um, you know, uh, uh, uh, we, we, we’ve covered a lot. I think, um, just the type of rewards or loyalty model is going to be one that’s going to be more holistic. I think relationship based. And I think that’s also gotta start considering, you know, whether you’re a retailer or bank, you’re operating in an ecosystem where you share the same customers. Um, and I, I think we are going to see, uh, you know, removing friction. I think there’s going to be, you know, um, uh, a, I’m gonna use the word collaboration.
I, I think there’s going to be a, a slightly different model, perhaps, of, of loyalty where um, you know, whether you’re a bank or retailer, you’re gonna be aware of the, how they react towards the brand, the interests, you know, the financial obligations, um, and really gonna allow retailers and financial institutions together.
You’re certainly, retailers are also offering financial cards now and, and, and products that’ll allow them to sort of create, build, retain much stronger relationships with their customer. But it really talks about a holistic, uh, approach to your customers.
Amanda: Yeah, I love that. I mean, if we look at the winner of the retail category Shoprite, they have launched their own banking proposition straight up.
So, you know, they really are cross pollinating different categories. Um, and a lot of the retailers, if you look at NetBank, South Africa with their AVO app, are also entering into services and delivery and so on. So a real cross pollination across those industry verticals. Absolutely. Fantastic. And Nic, anything else for you just before we say goodbye?
Nic: Yeah, I mean I think a lot of, a lot of the categories that we look at tend to do loyalty for the middle to upper income. For me, the opportunity gap in the South African market is the mass market. You know, there’s a firmer statement that the rich labor bargain, but the less, you know, the less well healed needed.
So there’s a huge opportunity for doing loyalty and rewards to the mass market. They, they have been largely ignored. And if we look at ShopRite with extra savings and if we look at Capitec with its program, that is proof that, you know, you can do loyalty at scale for the mass market and get a, you know, a tremendous benefit out of doing it.
So I think going forward there are going to be many, um, retailers and banks and, uh, quick service restaurants, et cetera, that need to understand us, and it’s now far easier to deliver a loyalty program with the margins of tax, at that scale by using technology. So there is no excuse not to do this. Um, the mass market needs a decent rewards and loyalty program, and I would hope going forward that we see more and more examples of that.
Amanda: Fantastic. Yeah. And we’ve obviously seen it, as you said, the judges, um, saw how well it’s being executed. Exactly what you’ve just said with the results with ShopRite and Capitec picking up their respective categories. So from myself, I am the judging chair myself of the South African Loyalty Awards, but I never judge because I’m terribly conflicted.
But it’s a pleasure and an honor to be able to run the, the judging proceedings with such established, um, professionals such as yourselves. So, From myself, I, Let’s Talk Loyalty to Bronwen Rohland and Nic Bednall. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Bronwen: It’s been a pleasure, Amanda. Thank you.
Nic: Thank you very much.
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