Today’s episode is all about the exciting possibilities for the next generation of loyalty programmes using Web 3.0 technologies.
Our guest is Connor Kelley, who was inspired by the success of the world’s leading online games such as Roblox, and has used the principles to create Flaunt Loyalty, a dedicated loyalty platform that harnesses the unique capabilities available from the third generation of the internet!
Listen to hear Connor share what loyalty professionals can learn from the world of Web 3.0, which drives such engaged behavior and at such incredible scale!
This episode is sponsored by Flaunt.
Paula: 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 today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty, all about the exciting possibilities for the next generation of loyalty programs using Web 3.0 technologies. My guest is Connor Kelley, who was inspired by the success of the world’s leading online games and has used the same success principles to create Flaunt Loyalty.
It’s a dedicated loyalty platform that harnesses the unique capabilities available from this next generation of the internet. Connor shares what loyalty professionals can learn from the world of Web 3.0. which drives such engaged behavior and at such incredible scale. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Connor Kelley, CEO and Co-founder of Flaunt Loyalty.
So Connor Kelly, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Connor: Thank you, Paula. I am so thrilled to be here.
Paula: You’ve heard me say that I don’t know how many hundreds of times, Connor.
Connor: So many times. So many times.
Paula: You’re definitely one of our super fans and I am super grateful. It’s definitely a joy to know that the, I suppose the intention of the show is landing with people and given the journey that you are on, certainly from coming outside of the loyalty industry. It’s really an honor for me to know that we’re able to help you, I suppose, build your insights in terms of what’s going on with loyalty marketing.
Paula: So listen, let’s get straight into it. We’re here to talk about your amazing company and what Flaunt Loyalty is doing, but of course, we’re always keen to start off with getting a sense of you as a loyalty industry professional and a newly graduated CLMP. Of course, we can’t let that go unsaid.
So, Connor Kelley, please do tell me what is your favorite loyalty program or programs?
Connor: I have two. My first is Hertz. I started to do more business travel as part of my recent company, like you mentioned Flaunt. And I think they do a great job of tapping into the assets that they have to enhance the customer experience, the ability to cut the line as a result of being a member is game changing. I’m somebody who really, really prioritizes my time, sometimes even more than my wallet, and I think that that’s a great example of enhancing the customer experience.
The other that has really, in preparation for this question, I’ve tried to think what has really driven profitable behavior change for me. And the other one is, is Starbucks’s new Web 3.0 enabled Odyssey program. I was a longtime Starbucks rewards member when I was in investment banking, getting four to five hours of sleep. The ability to order ahead was really the, my main use for, for the app. But I had sort of churned and I was reactivated by this game that they are playing with their customers. Yeah, so they really reactivated me as a Starbucks rewards member, and have driven some pretty profitable behavior change for me.
Paula: Incredible, incredible. Well, Hertz, of course, we all know and love, I guess, one of the most established sectors being in the travel piece. And again, when we can point to those very tangible benefits, as you said, cut the line, to me, that’s off the charts exciting. For sure when I am frustrated and I like to feel a little bit special and be able to absolutely get prioritized. So, that makes perfect logical sense.
And I think you might have to just share with us a little bit more about Odyssey Connor, because I think it gets to the heart of what we’re here to talk about today.
And Web 3.0 is something I want to make sure the audience, first and foremost is super clear on. But I guess Odyssey is also something that many people just won’t be familiar with because I know it’s only operating in the US market. So tell us a little bit about what it’s like as a member of the Starbucks program and what is it that Odyssey’s doing for you that you’re finding so engaging.
Connor: Yeah, it’s great question. So, Starbucks Odyssey is a always on game that they are playing with a segment of their customer base. Really, they’re, they’re super fans, people that want to engage with the brand, and want to get rewarded and recognized and connect with others.
So the mechanics of the game, and this is me, like you said, speaking as a participant in the program. They have these journeys, these different, you know, quests that you can go on as a member to, and they require interacting with the brand. And really just a deeper level of engagement. I have learned more about the Starbucks brand and how they make coffee, etcetera than I ever thought that I would.
But at the end of these journeys, because those are not uniquely, you know, Web 3 enabled, that’s just good marketing. There is the ability to unlock rewards and unlock a digital collectible. And so this is a little bit different than a badge, which is in all sorts of programs. But, it’s collectible meaning that you actually own it. And so you can acquire these different collectibles that can add, that can unlock surprise and delight opportunities in the future. But you can also elect to resell them on a marketplace and actually monetize your loyalty status.
So it just makes the game a little bit more interesting and, and worth playing. And each of those collectibles express the brand in, in interesting ways, visually and tell the story.
But then the other big piece is, It’s a multiplayer game, like you can see other people. Starbucks has millions and billions of members of customers engaging with their loyalty program. But those customers never see one another. And so yeah, you, this program, they sort of operate a community and you have the ability to connect with others that are playing the same game that you are. And, and can connect on different you know, elements of the brand, coffee, etcetera. So it’s a really captivating experience.
Paula: And you have to forgive my ignorance book. Can you then connect with those people? Like are you just kind of like, you know, just competing with them, I suppose, anonymously? Or are you actually going, hey, I love this, you know, latte as well, or are you actually connecting with these people within the Odyssey program?
Connor: Yes. So, they have a number of the way that they operate their community, is on this, you know, separate platform where you have to verify that you are indeed a Starbucks rewards member in order to gain access. But there are different channels where people share their unique Starbucks drink.
It’s sort of a UGC user-generated content machine for the business. But, you know, coffee is something that a lot of people have in common, and are quite passionate about. If you go on, you know, Reddit and search like the number of people that are just talking and posting about coffee, it’s insane.
So yes, there are people, they are anonymous, you can’t, you don’t know who, who all the different people are, but they’ve built enough of a reputation in this little community space that you’re connecting with others and you always have the opportunity to turn those into real relationships.
Paula: Super, super fun. And when you mention collectibles, actually Connor, it brings me back almost to like my childhood. You know, when you know, there was always a, a thing that really got, you know, really exciting and engaging. Now, of course, back then it was stickers or, you know, erasers and those kind of things. But what I’m hearing, I think coming through, you know, from what you’re describing is it’s the next generation of the same, you know, human needs to collect things, to connect with each other, but actually using the latest digital technologies.
Connor: That’s exactly right. Paula, I, my version of that when I was growing up was, Pokemon and Pokemon cards.
Paula: Oh, cool.
Connor: So, I had, you know, a whole booklet of Pokemon cards, that’s this sort of video game and these different characters. And I also would sort of create my own versions of those, actually my Co-founder, Chris Miller and I have known each other since we were like two years old, and we created our own, you know, species of Pokemon and we were connecting all of our, it sort of took over our friend group when we were kids.
So, yes. It’s, it’s really just tapping into exactly what you said. Human psychology, which again, that’s what we as loyalty marketers do and using some of the latest and greatest capabilities.
Paula: Amazing. So you mentioned coming from investment banking, Connor. This is a world away. How on earth did you get from investment banking through to where we are today, talking about Web 3.0 and all these cool loyalty things?
Connor: Yeah, it’s it’s a great question. So I was an economist, by sort of trade when I was in school.
Paula: Oh my God.
Connor: I leapt into investment banking and did a lot of different things in investment banking, but namely spent probably 10,000 hours building financial models and projections and understanding, you know, the PNL of lots of different types of businesses. I then went to a company called Roblox. For those that don’t know Roblox, is now the most engaging gaming platform on planet Earth. And, there I spent probably something close to 10,000 hours studying virtual economies.
I was building products for brands and creators to help them engage with consumers. And so that is after financial modeling and projections and PNL, virtual currencies and understanding you know, game design.
I also started to fall in love with marketing and I built a, a product myself after leaving Roblox, sort of a solo venture, and I realized how critical the function of marketing is to businesses. And you know, looking at my experiences, you can sort of see a build towards why loyalty marketing just sort of resonated with me. The operating a PNL, understanding game design, the nature of virtual currencies and driving profitable behavior, which is what sort of games are designed to do. But making sure that you’re doing it in a profitable way.
It just, and I think it resonated with me the most as a sort of a human, the way I treat my relationships. I invest, so of all the different marketing, you know, functions to really start to build the next phase of my career in loyalty was sort of the natural fit.
Paula: For sure and dare I say, perhaps the most fun as well, Connor, you know, if you growing up with the Pokemons and all of that kind of stuff, it just sounds like you found your perfect passion point.
Connor: Yeah, I really have. And I, the one thing I left out there was a belief that loyalty is going to be over the next, you know, couple of decades. I think it’s going to just continue to, I’ve already seen it in some of the brands that I worked with, even when I was at Roblox and working with brands on the side. I think it’s gonna just grow in importance as an organization. And I, I think that, Some of my unique experiences, I want to be a part of that and help, help marketers evolve their strategies.
Paula: For sure. I mean, Roblox, I’ve heard in passing Connor, and you know, I’m definitely not the demographic for sure. I, of course went and looked up, you know, exactly what Roblox is currently doing in terms of their current, you know, quarterly earnings, for example. Like it’s just of the chart. Daily active users of 65.5 million people.
Connor: That’s right.
Paula: On this gaming platform. Now, would it be fair to say again, Connor, you know, I think a lot of the audience here again, are probably like me, not the core demographic, so I’m really you know, thinking that the people who are playing Roblox are very much a younger demographic. So probably younger than most loyalty professionals are yet, I suppose, focused on.
I’m sure we’re all aware, of course, that we need to look at up and coming consumers, but I even had to go and look up the name of the generation because we talk about millennials, we talk about Gen Z, and I just realized we’re actually in Generation Alpha now.
So am I right in thinking that it’s Generation Alpha that’s playing roadblocks, and are these the people that we’re starting to have to build our loyalty programs to cater to?
Connor: I think it’s an interesting question, and frankly, I’m not the, the, in the other members of your audience that are maybe, you know, earlier in their loyalty marketing careers like I am. You know, I’m not the core demographic for Roblox either.
I think that the most interesting takeaways of Roblox are just the patterns that are really expressing themselves in the way that I engage in, in lots of different older generations engage on the internet. But it is just, perhaps the best expression of, what online engagement looks like in right now. And also over the next two, three decades.
Everything that we do online is multiplayer. Everything that you know, we do in every, we like to engage with other people. We like our experiences to build on one another. We take pride in our identities, and I think that Roblox is I think a microcosm for what’s coming for the rest of the internet and for in many cases what’s already here.
So I think that the biggest, like why any loyalty marketer would care about what’s going on in Roblox? Yes, the future and just like understanding what’s coming, but loyalty marketers have tons of things and, and problems that are problems now. And I think that, it’s mainly a source of inspiration for if you are trying to get, you know, your members to be more engaged, care more about your program and your, your brand and your value proposition, perhaps there’s some, some learnings that you can take from what is now the most engaging gaming platform in the world.
And then the other thing that I would note is I remember there was a day when Facebook came out where it was only for college kids, but now my grandparents are actually spending gobs of time engaging on Facebook, and I’m actually not. So things come quickly.
But I think that it’s really an excellent source of inspiration for how loyalty marketers who are maybe at their wit’s end for sort of exhausting the tactics that have been played out over the last decade to really evolve and modernize their programs.
Paula: And, and I couldn’t have put it better myself, Connor, because, you know, one of my frustrations, building programs has always been, you know, a sense of apathy. You know, this sense that the loyalty market is very jaded. And when, again, I think about this audience, you know, defending spend, you know, looking for investment, you know, it’s very difficult to do if you’re going to the C-suite with something that you know, either all your competitors are already doing or you know that there’s going to be a huge amount of acquisition costs, and then people will just not engage.
So, you know, I think you’re right also to acknowledge that everybody’s extremely busy. So, everybody listening to this show for sure has a hundred different things that they’re trying to get done to kind of keep, you know, the show on the road and optimize what’s currently there. But I think what’s missing is this sense of excitement and this sense of what is possible.
Like hearing you talk about Odyssey, for example, and I know you’ve got a couple of other examples for us. It very much feels like, you know, mature markets who have, I suppose, a vision for what loyalty can be. You actually just can’t ignore these kinds of trends, even again, if individually we’re not necessarily spending time in these particular communities. As you said, like I’m still actually a little bit engaged with Facebook, which I know is probably embarrassing at this point. But of course our behavior is changing.
And again, I wanted to kind of, you know, for anyone who hasn’t really understood the concept of, you know, what the next couple of decades of the web looked like, even without the loyalty application. I just went back myself to, to just remind myself like of how the internet has evolved. You know, how did we get to where we are?
And in simple terms, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but Web 1.0 I think was when, you know, we all put up a page on the internet with a couple of hyperlinks. It was, you know, very boring, very basic. Then of course, web 2.0 was the social media explosion, user generated content, and we all know how that’s gone.
So Web 3.0 is absolutely the third generation. It has things like decentralization as a core principle. I know there’s a lot of blockchain technology, which again, quite confusing, but important to underpin what’s possible and things like machine learning and AI. So all of these big buzzwords are actually really coming to life very quickly. Have I kind of captured that correctly in terms of what is so exciting about Web 3.0?
Connor: You have. I think that there’s some, you know, big tough to really understand, you know, like words that can get thrown around like decentralization.
Paula: Totally, yes.
Connor: Why should I care about that? Like nobody’s saying, hey, Like it’s especially, you know, in just the hair on fire problems that lots of people are dealing with. Hey, I need more decentralization. Like, that’s just not coming up.
Paula: That’s not the thing.
Connor: Right. But, I think you did hit lots of nails on the head there. I think that the thing that’s most exciting about me, and again translating like what I saw at Roblox, one of the unique things about Roblox is like the real world. You sort of have this identity that you can participate in all these different experiences, games context. But you have a singular character and all these achievements that you are acquiring from participating in different games in this case, are all coming back to your one single identity and profile. It’s all sort of connected.
And I think that thinking about the future of the internet, and again, we’re talking like futuristic terms here. But having, having it feel a little bit more like the real world in that regards where you have the ability to sort of have this, you know, persistent presence and identity, I’m this version of myself here. I’m this version of myself, on Facebook. I’m this version of myself in my professional context. But the ability for all of that to sort of be interconnected. I think that that is really what the promise of and my excitement for blockchain technology is.
But I think that, you know, and we can talk about this more too. It is something that doesn’t need to just totally transform everything that you know, marketers are doing today. Because the fact of the matter is you are, you may be engaging on Facebook, but you’re not really using blockchain technology today.
So thinking about, thinking about how you can apply some of these, you know, new technologies in a useful way that adds value to your members’ experience today. While also possibly, you know, laying the foundation, making that transition easier in the future, is I think how I would guide loyalty professionals to be thinking about some of these, some of these happenings and what’s possible in quote unquote Web 3.0 today.
Paula: For sure. No, I think there is so much there, and you’ve already touched on some of the things that I can kind of see why, you know, running a program, things like, you know, being able to feel like part of a community, which we talk about so much, but actually is not very easy to do. I think it’s almost like taking gamification into a whole other world where there is actually just a sense of being connected to other people like me.
And I think I said to you last time we spoke Connor, you know, with the skillset you’ve got, you know, and an understanding of course, of, you know, the way the digital world is transforming, there’s a hundred different things you could have done. You could have go on and built the next Roblox.
So like, I’m quite excited that you’ve chosen the loyalty industry as the place where there’s the biggest need. So I’d love you just to expand on that a bit more because, you know, Flaunt itself is obviously, you know, already running, you know, I know one fantastic Web 3.0 base loyalty program. I know there’s others coming, very soon as well. But just tell us like, what are you hearing from loyalty managers that is exciting them, that they can’t currently do in the Web 2.0 world?
Connor: Yup. So the needs that we are encountering and reasons why people are, becoming excited about what we can do for them are really about number one, connecting what is happening outside of your sort of walled garden of the, the loyalty program or your transactional relationship. Going beyond the transactional relationship to map different behaviors and have a more holistic view of your customers. And also, different segments and super fans who is engaging with you on, different social media channels, on channels like Roblox, etcetera. And really trying to, you know, deepen that relationship.
Because so much of, what brands are trying to do is really tap into you know, share of mind as opposed to share of wallets. And I think that, that’s one sort of need of, I want to reward and track and understand what is happening outside of just the transactional relationship with the customer. That’s one of the things that people are coming to us for.
The second one is I want to find more reasons for people to open up my app, to think about my brand aside from their normal consumption patterns. Hertz as I, I talked about that earlier, rather than just when I need to rent a car, is there brands and Hertz is not one of them. But brands are trying to figure out how can I figure out ways to engage. I talked about what Odyssey was doing. How can I figure out ways to engage my customers and members with my brand outside of their typical consumption patterns without just using promotions as the sort of carrot. So deeper gamification.
And then the final one is I don’t wanna just lift shifts and retain. I want to grow. Customer acquisition costs are through the roof. Every enterprise is talking about how they’re trying to get more efficiencies on, you know, their media spend. And so how can I tap into this?
In many cases, massive number of loyalty members. How can I tap into the best ones to sort of help me grow and promote my brand? So I think those are the needs that, business needs that we’re seeing that we’re trying to build software to help. You help loyalty marketers really do more across those vectors.
Paula: Amazing. Amazing. And give us some examples, Connor both, you know, outside of your own business, for example. I think you mentioned, Lacoste, is that the brand out of Europe that’s doing some super fun stuff Web 3.0, and then some of the things that you’ve built and, and why.
Like again, what was the loyalty program owner looking to achieve by, you know, taking this big leap of faith working with you guys and, and building something that obviously they hadn’t seen before. So give us a couple of examples of what it looks like.
Connor: Yeah, I would love to. So first off, on Lacoste, again, this is me as a avid fan of what they’re doing and participant in the program. But they have, in a very similar fashion to what Starbucks Odyssey is doing, they have built a always on game that they are playing with their customers.
And they are, the sort of core tenants are somewhat similar. They, to Starbucks Odyssey, they are enabling and, and creating opportunities for, a community of their brand fans to participate, compete with one another, to get different levels of rewards and benefits. So that’s where the sort of loyalty, angle is coming in.
There’s opportunities to really build a sense of identity that not, you don’t just see, unlike lots of sort of gamification pieces of loyalty programs. This is something that is on display for everybody. And so they’re really tapping into really tried and true principles of rewards and recognition, but they’re just taking it up a notch by making it a multiplayer game in a very similar fashion.
So what Starbucks Odyssey is doing, there’s a community people are connecting with one another about tennis, about you know, they’re using AI, they’re using AI to create different interpretations of the brand. And it’s all un unlike Starbucks rewards, this one is not necessarily connected to their core loyalty program, Le Club Lacoste, but I could see it coming in the future.
The other, another example that we personally have built, I’ll give you two examples. One is Wow Bao. They are a QSR brand in the US with 600 plus locations across the country. They had a traditional rewards program, that’s very simplistic. And, you know, acquire points and get some dollars off your, your orders. But they really wanted to transform that and build upon that to turn it into more of a loyalty program where people can interact with the brand, they can help, you know, shape new flavors and actually have a space and a line of communication where they can actually shape this really fast growing brand.
And so they used us to create a new layer of membership that has gamification, has the ability to earn different collectibles, and has the ability to earn unique benefits as well as contribute to the brand.
And then the final example is, a well-known skincare brand, that is, a program we’re launching in a couple of months. Where they actually had an existing loyalty program that they were not satisfied with. They didn’t really see the, didn’t really see the returns and it was sort of, they’ve had reached that state of maturation of I feel like there’s something more that we can be doing, that we can be prompting more action, more participation.
And not just trying to lift, shift and retain, like I said, but actually grow. And so tap into the people that really, really like our brand. And create a space and a loyalty program that just gives them more reason to share and spread and refer other customers to us. And so we’re building a loyalty program that has a lot of the blocking and tackling, of, you know, traditional loyalty concepts, points, tiers, but they also have that collectibles that are bringing the brand’s story and the brand’s message to life that unlock different levels of surprise and delight access. And they also have a community portion where certain tiers of the membership can vote, yeah, they can connect with one another and they can compete for different levels of experiential benefits.
Paula: That one particularly fascinates me, Connor, because, you know, skincare is something again that of course I am definitely in that space, I’m a consumer. And that makes it much more real. You know, again, to go back to the, you know, the conversation about Roblox, again, it’s a, it’s a gaming platform and yes it has commercial application, but to hear that skincare brands in the US market are. I suppose seeing the potential for this level as a radically new strategy, dare I say it, sounds like something we’ll definitely need to make sure that we get them on the show.
To share that story because, you know, all of these pieces, for example, like we had, you know, Boots from the UK again, a market leader on the show, you know, talking about things like, of course the basic points program. But again, the sense of community and content. So those kind of things that your skincare clients are talking about are things that actually I would value.
And you know that the purpose of this show, like is exactly what we’re talking about. We’re here to educate. We’re here to inspire. We’re here to, to talk about innovation, you know, because there is so much of the same stuff going on. So I would love to have been in those pitch meetings when you were kind of talking through, you know exactly what they were gonna build. I’m guessing there was a lot of excitement in the room.
Connor: There really was. I think that there was. It was exciting, you know, because we are doing, we’re doing some new things and it’s really resonating with people that want and are demanding more from their loyalty programs and feel like yeah, the, they want to go from and make members feel not just like a member of a program, but a member of their brand. And it’s awesome to see the, the lights, or see, see things click with our clients.
Paula: The light bulb goes on, huh?
Connor: That’s right.
Paula: Yeah, and listen, like do they need to understand, you know, blockchain? You know, when I think about myself as a loyalty program operator, I always felt extremely lucky that I never had to do an RFP. I never had to choose a platform. I’m mildly terrified of all forms of technology.
So, you know, I’m just trying to understand, you know, how complex is it to understand, you know, the underlying, and dare I say, much hyped technology? Because I think we’ve all heard the word blockchain, but not really understand, you know, why should I care actually?
So for, for people who are listening to this and curious about the role of blockchain, do you think they need to understand the technology itself? Or is it just a case where they just need to be clear on understanding, I suppose, the consumer experience, and then hopefully you can translate that into something that that kind of comes to life in a way that makes sense?
Connor: Well, I think it’s primarily the latter. I think you, I, I would recommend that loyalty marketers, do not sacrifice an iota on the user experience. Like things for your consumers if they’re not easy, they will not participate in them. And, do not get lured into doing something that, that sounds and, you know, promising, but that introduces friction. It’s not to, you shouldn’t tolerate it.
So I think that it’s really important to look at and define the consumer experience that you’re trying to bring to life and that you think will resonate with your particular audience. But I, I think that there is a degree of validation and trust that with any technology provider, understanding a little bit of the, hey, just tell me how you are making this happen, so that you can, you know, have trust in the tech.
Because ultimately the, as the loyalty, you know, leader that’s making that decision about the platform, \you know, you’re ultimately the product owner. And so, if there, if you are, you know, buying something that, just making sure that you have your security, you know, concerns, and questions, fulfilled and, and all of the other, you know. How, what are the implications of doing it this way versus this way? Just from a business context perspective, I think it’s important to do diligence, but I would prioritize making sure that the consumer experience that you’re bringing to life for your members, is the one that you believe will execute on your business objectives.
Paula: Well, that is incredibly reassuring, I have to say. So thank you for that. And it’s, it’s, it’s full of integrity actually, is what I’m hearing coming through because of course you are here to, you know, inspire people to really move in this direction. But to hear that, to be balanced with ultimately, an appreciation of exactly what the loyalty marketer themselves both has to build, own and defend is really, really good to hear. So, so we’ll be watching with bated breath. Of course. Wow Bao is already in market, isn’t it?
Connor: That’s right, yep.
Paula: And how’s it going?
Connor: It’s going well. We’ve, it’s still early days, but we’ve driven profits to significant profits to their loyalty program, which is what amazing profitable behavior change is the name of the game that we are all, that we’re all playing. And, we’re really excited to launch with the skincare brand and a few other clients that we have coming up.
Paula: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And predominantly in the US market is it Connor, am I right to say at the moment your client base?
Connor: Predominantly in the US market? That’s right. We’ve had, a number of, and I, we’ve seen a lot of innovation out of Europe. We talked about the cost and there’s a number, of different innovative brands. A lot of what we’re talking about. Fashion, has been one of the sort of, market leaders and first movers. And Europe has such a great, you know, concentration of beloved fashion brands. And so, it is, the problems that we’re solving are not limited to the US but we are a US-based company. And that’s where, where we’ve been getting started.
Paula: Amazing. And given that we have a global audience, of course, Connor, across all sectors, you know, whether it’s airlines or hospitality or retail, maybe not necessarily fashion. I think what we have, you know, really noticed is you know how much there is on, you know, the, the to-do list, as we said for loyalty program owners.
So as they start to get inspired by the kind of use cases that we’re talking about today and the opportunity to think about Web 3.0 for their loyalty programs, like how do you see it? Like where should it be on the priority list given all of the other things that people are trying to do? Even basic stuff, like as you said, things like privacy, things like, you know, we still have to run our campaigns all year round.
So where should this evolution be on their thinking in terms of, I guess its urgency and I guess the whole planning. Ccause it’s, it is gonna take time to, to come round.
Connor: Of course. Well, I think that you need to solve the problems that you have today, period. Like, don’t invent problems. Rest assured that a lot of what we’re, you know, talking about, it doesn’t mean you need to all of a sudden think about problems that you didn’t already have.
However, if, having, you know, deeper integrations with what people are doing outside of your loyalty program and outside of your, you know, transaction and point of sale system is important to capture. Maybe you should think about one of these, you know, innovative loyalty solutions like ourself that captures that behavior and has deeper integrations with other accounts that like social, social channels, et cetera.
If you are trying to figure out how can I get people to think about my brand a little bit more, how can I tap into the assets that I, that I have as a brand? To provide a value, extend the value proposition for my customer, but do so in a profitable manner that doesn’t just require, you know, more discounting.
Then maybe this deeper gamification, this more compelling. Always on, you know, multiplayer gaming proposition that you can seamlessly weave into your program. Maybe you should consider that as a way to solve that problem.
And if you’re trying to figure out if your business is saying, we’re spending way too much on customer acquisition, if you’re trying to get more from your loyalty program, perhaps you should invest in thinking about community and using the loyalty program to tap into your super fans. And give them more energy and more reason and meaning to spread the word on your behalf, to grow your brand.
So if those are in your problem, if those are in the priority rank, I think that these are some interesting solutions that you should consider. But I also recommend solving the problems that your business is charging you to solve.
Paula: Absolutely. And as you were explaining all of that, I was just thinking, you know, there’s an awful lot to be said for, you know, working with, a platform that does have Web 3.0 as its core ethos, you know, as distinct from, you know, the roadmap with a current provider.
Because I do think, you know, yes, there are amazing platforms and we all work with them and we love them. And of course things like machine learning and AI and blockchain are all being discussed,.And I know they’re all available. But sometimes I think if you want a really fresh approach, it is actually to, to come and talk with, you know, dare I say it, and I hope this doesn’t sound patronizing, but you know, digital natives.
Like, you know, you understand Web 3.0 in your heart, in your core as a business. And if nothing else, I would, I suppose, encourage people listening to, to think about at least having the conversation. Because you don’t know what’s possible until you start having that shift in understanding of what could we do if we had a blank sheet of paper?
Connor: That’s right.
Paula: So, I hope that’s okay to say.
Connor: That is okay to say, you did not offend me by calling me a digital native. Do not worry. And yeah, and it’s, it’s a dial that you can turn to your, the degree to which it solves a problem for you today. While also giving you a lens into, what might, what might be possible down the road. So, I think you, that was very well said. Thank you, Paula.
Paula: Amazing. My final question is about your brand name, Connor. Because I think, you know, I love words and I do pay attention to, you know, positioning. And of course I was like, okay, Flaunt Loyalty. What does that mean?
So, went off to my online dictionary, which tells me that the verb to flaunt means to display something to provoke, envy or admiration. So tell us, is that, you know, part of the ethos of what you’re trying to, to create?
Connor: It is, I think, you know, we all, and, and basically every loyalty education, you know, presentation or, or writeup that I’ve seen, there’s usually a tattoo of something on an arm that says iHeart brand, or maybe the classic, US-based motorcycle brand, Harley Davidson tattoo on somebody’s arm that the ultimate expression of loyalty and emotional attachment is flaunting somebody’s brand name imprinted on your arm.
And so it is at the ethos, I think tapping into. There’s tried and true behaviors that have been around for a very long time that loyalty marketing taps into. And I think that there’s another one, particularly for, those brands that, like I’ve said a couple of times, are looking to not just lift, shift and retain, but also grow using their customers as a channel. So that is, that’s the origin of Flaunt.
Paula: Okay, so irrational loyalty, is that what I’m hearing?
Connor: You, that’s what you’re hearing.
Paula: Fantastic. Connor, listen, it’s so inspiring and so exciting to hear. I suppose first of all, that you’ve gone so all in with this incredible technology that you’re doing, the thinking, that you’re understanding our problems.
Again, whether it’s going and doing your own CLMP, listening to hundreds of hours of my show, I think, you know, taking this incredibly comprehensive approach to understanding what this industry needs and building solutions for us is incredibly admirable. And I’m super grateful for all of the stories that you share, both on LinkedIn and of course with me when we do have our, our regular catch-ups.
So thank you for being a super fan. Thank you for creating this extraordinary technology. And yeah, just tell me is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you wanted to share on today’s episode?
Connor: I don’t think so. I think, I would just, like you mentioned, encourage people to connect with me on LinkedIn. That’s where I’m most active.
And I’d also like to thank you. I’ve been, this show was a core source of my education as I became a student of the loyalty marketing practice. And you’ve built quite the community yourself. I’m grateful to all of the people who have spoken on the show who have you know, talk to us as we’ve started to mold a new suite of tools to help solve this emerging, you know, emerging need and innovative loyalty programs. So, you’ve built quite the, the community and I’m happy to say that I’m avid member of it.
Paula: Oh my goodness. That is so wonderful to hear, Connor. And of course we will make sure to link into your profile.
Paula: In the show notes for this episode. And of course if anybody wants to reach out to me to connect you to Connor, please feel free. So with those final parting words, I want to say, Connor Kelley, Co-founder and CEO of Flaunt Loyalty. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Connor: Thanks, Paula.
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 is 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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