#292: AA Smartfuel New Zealand (Short Summary Show)

AA Smartfuel is a fascinating loyalty programme in New Zealand, designed to delight customers with the opportunity to earn a free tank of fuel!

This short show explains the key success factor for the coalition programme, which now boasts more than forty partners, and ensures consumers can achieve meaningful fuel savings from their everyday spend.

Listen to learn this unique case study from perhaps the most active loyalty market in the world.

Show Notes:

1) AA Smartfuel New Zealand

2) Ian Sutcliffe – Co-Founder AA Smartfuel

3) Jordan Tran – Marketing Manager at AA Smartfuel

4) Let’s Talk Loyalty Episode 141: Loyalty Excellence and Innovation with AA Smartfuel New Zealand

Audio Transcript

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.

Today I want to encourage you to join the only virtual video conference about relationship marketing hosted by CM Group. Signals 22 will explore the strategies essential to brands building long lasting relationships with consumers. Join us as we cover topics ranging from acquisition and engagement to personalization and retention.

For industries including retail, CPG, media, publishing, QSR restaurants and sports. You will be inspired while also learning new ideas from client success stories, thought leadership and practitioner level sessions. This four day series is not to be missed, especially my session on October 27th, sharing the secrets I’ve learned about loyalty in the last three years.

register@cmgroup.com to save your seat now.

Hello and welcome to this week’s short episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty, Where I’m delighted to share what I learned from my very first guests from New Zealand who run the number one loyalty program in the country, it’s called AA Smart Fuel, and it’s a program with an incredible 95% penetration of households in the country.

In my conversation, I met with co-founder of AA Smart Fuel, Ian Sutcliffe and his marketing manager, Jordan Tran. Our conversation took place in September, 2021, and it was fascinating to hear all about this generous coalition model, which focuses on helping Kiwi consumers earn sense off the cost of fuel for their cars.

Ian took us through how the AA Smart Fuel loyalty program was created. And he explained that the AA in the name comes from the program’s partnership with the Automobile Association in New Zealand, a partnership which has been in place already for over a decade focused on the needs of drivers. Kiwi customers are extremely price sensitive.

So with the price of gas increasing, Ian and his co-founders developed a truly compelling proposition where they set themselves the goal of helping consumers save enough to earn a fully free tank of gas. This proposition is powered by earning the fuel discounts at multiple retailers where people shop regular.

So they work in partnership with over 40 retail brands across 1200 stores, and it’s clearly working. Ian is immensely proud of the results, and he shared that now over 5,000 members every month redeem a full tank of free fuel, and that’s as well as all the hundreds of thousands of transactions with other members redeeming, partial discounts.

As well as this mission to generously reward consumers. AA Smart Fuel is also dedicated to supporting its retail partners. Of course, these partners fund the discounts and they also help to market the program, as well as retailers, they also include partners in sectors such as home energy, where consumers can spend and earn their sense per liter discounts.

So this is truly a proposition that delights consumers, partners, and also of course the AA Smart Fuel team themselves. Having talked through their model, we also spoke about some of the more fundamental challenges for our industry in terms of privacy and how our members’ information is stored. Like all program operators, AA Smart Fuel is continually focusing on making their systems secure and efficient to ensure that the security and protection of data for members is also a way to build trust and loyalty towards their brand.

Finally, we discussed their latest ideas and areas of innovation, and Jordan highlighted that AA Smart Fuel was focusing on how it can leverage data to support their partners as well as their consumers. The idea is that they can create more meaningful experiences based on real customer insights.

The whole journey from a compelling consumer proposition to the clever business model of today was truly inspirational. So I hope you enjoyed this short summary of these incredible insights. Of course, if you want to listen to the full show, it’s available at letstalkloyalty.com/141. Then we’re also staying in New Zealand for tomorrow’s show where there’s an equally inspiring story from Genesis Energy, an electricity and gas company that has achieved a measurable reduction in its churn rate with its Power Shout program for residential customers.

Then on Thursday we’re chatting with Jarek Wludyka, who is the managing director for Australia and New Zealand for our partners Comarch. Yarek shares some insights on the approach to loyalty and how he has noticed some key differences across various countries he has worked in in Southeast Asia. That’s it for today. Thanks again for listening to Let’s Talk Loyalty.

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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