Circle K operates the largest global network of car washes, with more than 2,750 units worldwide and their subscription based loyalty program is hugely popular and successful.
In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk “a little” Loyalty, Tom highlights a niche, but highly successful subscription based loyalty program for Circle K car wash, from the original podcast hosted by Paula Thomas and featuring Lars Hecht, who leads the car wash category globally.
Circle K’s commitment to innovation has been the driving force of this dramatic evolution for the car wash industry, so listen to hear the complex and compelling journey they’ve been on to ensure the success of this new business model.
From subscription insights to beacons, we discuss fascinating technology innovations that engage customers, increase trip frequency and create a powerful opportunity for recurring revenue.
Hosted by Tom Peace
1) Circle – K
Paula: Welcome to Lets Talk Loyalty, an Industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the Founder of Lets Talk Loyalty. Today’s episode is hosted by Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People, a strategic consultancy with a laser focus on loyalty, CRM, and customer engagement.
The Loyalty People also runs a free global community for anyone working in the loyalty industry. If you are working in loyalty marketing, make sure to join Let’s Talk Loyalty every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to hear the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.
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Tom: Hi, I’m Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People and presenter of Let’s Talk A Little Loyalty. Welcome to this week’s short summary show. On behalf of Let’s Talk Loyalty, this week my Let’s Talk a little Loyalty podcast showcases Paula’s interview with Lars Hecht, who leads the carwash category globally at Circle K.
We know that subscription-based loyalty schemes are in huge growth, and the proliferation of these schemes globally is a major trend seemingly across every sector. I’ve spoken about them in my shows before in relation to QSR and retail. However, carwash subscription really is a niche sector bat. I was fascinated by this interview.
The principles of setting this up are the same anywhere, and it was great to hear Lars talk through how his strategy was built and implemented globally. It’s a lesson for anyone looking at a loyalty scheme with a subscription element. Firstly last talks about the emotional collection people have, not with their car wash, but with their own image and that of their car.
It’s a projection of one’s self. We dress up for work and special occasions, and we want to present a strong image to the world if we invest in jewelry. Fashion and indeed our car. Why not invest in keeping it looking great and save money? Doing so? Last started the strategic design of this program at exactly the right place in the data.
Circle K understood that carwash was a popular service already, but they needed to understand where to pitch the subscription value. Looking at the data, it was possible to see that every country and even regions within country had very different purchase behaviors depending on seasonality. Weather, affluence, et cetera.
Customers from the US washed their car twice as often as some Europeans and Canadians are six times more frequent. Therefore, customer subscriptions needed to be very different at a local level. Accounting for the different customer behaviors. By analyzing the data, Lars was able to launch a global program with local strategies that has been immensely successful.
Whilst the subscription scheme stands up on its own, it’s as a very profitable and successful program. It also reinforces the benefits of shopping at Circle K for convenient shopping and coffee. So even when we’re all driving electric vehicles, there is still a need to visit your local Circle K. It’s a fantastic program that triggers an emotional collection around personal image and value.
Whilst carwash isn’t the sexiest of categories, this has been a fascinating interview showing how powerful a subscription-based loyalty program can be. I’d highly recommend listening to the main show, which can be found at www dot Let’s talk loyalty.com, and first aired on the 23rd of March, 2022.
Episode number 200. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed my summary. Show all the best, and speak to you soon, Tom.
Paula: 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 500 executives in 38 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals for more information.
Check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.
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