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. Hello and welcome to episode 100 of let’s talk loyalty. And before I introduce today’s guest, I want to take a moment to just firstly, realize that I’ve actually recorded 100 episodes of the show. It’s not something I ever imagined happening. And many of you will listening will know that I set out properly to record for five or six episodes, literally to see if this was something that I enjoy doing now clearly, whether it would be absolutely no point in sitting down to record these interviews every week without all of you listening.
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So I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who listens to this show, literally to make it all so worthwhile. So I’m excited for the future 100 down, who knows how many hundreds more to come. So today’s guest is a gentleman by the name of Renato Ramos. And I was really interested in fact fascinated to hear his particular role as director of loyalty for the star Alliance, which many of you will be familiar with as the largest global aviation Alliance with 26 member airlines. So you can imagine the sheer amount of coordination that is required in order to coordinate their global loyalty programs.
1m 41s
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So Renata talks us through exactly how they do all of that. We also touch on some really interesting topics, such as the importance of understanding your share of your customer’s Wallace and how that can be actually measured, monitored and improved. We also talk about the impact of COVID. So clearly the pandemic and some of the trends and solutions that star Alliance airlines have put in place. And finally, we talk a bit about some key areas that Renata is interested to explore for the new normal. So Renato, please tell me, what is your favorite loyalty statistic?
2m 24s
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Oh, Paula, I’ll try to be more pragmatic today and explain to you that my favorite loyalty KPI is sheriff wallet. From my experience I’ve already seen even the most frequent customers. Sometimes they still have some room for improvement with their share of wallet. So I would really like to go back to the basics of loyalty strategy, loyalty programs to say that we need to make the frequency higher. Right. So shut off all that is super-important for, for, for the business, I would say.
3m 4s
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Wonderful. And I know you first came across that one Renato from your work in your home country of Brazil, if I’m correct. So, so I’d love to, you know, really understand why did that particular one resonate with you?
3m 18s
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Yeah, so once I was having a conversation with our co-brand partner and just identifying the volume of purchases done by our members or our credit card holders and, and we, we, we found out that they were buying tickets from our competitors as well. And, and, and our share of wallet was something around 50% only with our top tier members. So then we decided that it would be better to start with some retention initiatives, like a very tailored CRM messages offers to the customers because we knew everything that they were buying and what were they needs, right.
4m 9s
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And it was cheaper than well, that is a P share, but it was way cheaper to retain this super valuable customer than just going out and acquire a new customer. Right? So this was the base. This is the basics of loyalty. So that was when I realized that, and then it was super effective. So just some small efforts we could increase the share of wallet and then the profitability was, was huge with this w
4m 41s
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Wow. I always love to hear actually that something has worked without her. So well done. You and genuinely actually I was going to ask you, but you’ve already answered that part, which was what was the source of the data. And because I do think a lot of us running individual loyalty programs, particularly if we’re outside of alliances and coalition, we obviously don’t really get a lot of visibility. So I think it is payment partner and co-branded credit cards, as you said.
5m 9s
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Yes. Yes, definitely. So even though we have many different sources of information, sometimes we didn’t have, we didn’t have the ability to, to manage properly all of these different sources. So I strongly recommend colleagues to, to share data with their partnerships to, to try to get different insights. This one, for example, we would never be able to have a picture from outside of the company. Right. The, of course, pony all the and, and, and not sharing any, any data that could be
5m 51s
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Individually sensitive. Yeah, of course, absolutely. And what I’m hearing and just to, just to clarify on this point for me, very often, my decision about the airline that I travel with is dictated by the schedule or, you know, the pricing. So what I’m hearing though is they were almost comparable. So your competitors were flying to similar places. The pricing was on a par. And so the gap was almost in the communications and recognizing, and maybe communicating something relevant to your member.
6m 25s
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Yeah, exactly. So for many times we try to identify the key motivation factors for a customer to decide which airline they would fly. And of course, first one was price. And that justifies a lot how the market has been reacting this recent years on having this super competitive approaches to price with low cost carriers growing so much, right. And price is definitely the first one key motivator to decide for an airline then after that becomes the right time and, and, and right network.
7m 11s
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So, so going where I need to go the time that I need to be there and with a good price. So let’s say that this, this are the basic, the basic things that an airline should have, right. And then the, after this basic comes the loyalty. So after price or flying, where I need to fly, and the time that I need to fly comes loyalty. And the funny part is that I saw, I heard from many customers that somehow they try to manipulate the ones that they could like changing the time of their meetings, just to be able to justify flying.
7m 54s
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That’s amazing. Okay. Well, there’s a success right there. I hope you got all the testimonials from these people. Wow. Cool. So from that amazing experience now you’re certainly the first person that I have spoken to who is, let’s say supporting, I think you said 20 programs across 26 airlines. So an extraordinary work that the star lions does. So really curious to see exactly how the whole operation runs and because it does sound incredibly complicated. So perhaps you’d explain just how the whole thing comes together.
8m 33s
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Yeah. Thank you, Paula, for the opportunity to explain that it’s not, it’s not a traditional it’s, it’s not, it has some, some specific complexities. So I had previous experience experiences managing loyalty programs in Brazil, two of them from airlines. And then when I came to this position, well here, I don’t manage directly any loyalty program, but as you said, perfectly, I support 20 others. And this, and this programs, they have their own strategies to make their customers more loyal in their home markets.
9m 16s
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And, and within their networks fighting against their local competitors. Right. But there is this, this spot, this sweet spot that I support them, that is when their customers want to fly to places that they are not serving, and then they can use their air partners to get there. So it involves connections. It involves going a little bit more distant than that CA that, that, that, that carrier can reach currently with their network. So then I connect airlines to other customers from other FFPs from other loyalty programs.
9m 60s
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And then the, there it comes the seamless experience that we try to provide to the customers that the ability to earn and redeem miles in a, in a bigger scale with other, with other airline partners. So that’s a bit of it. So it’s more of articulating with the, with the loyalty experts from this 20 different loyalty programs to see the value of addressing this customer, which is a very valuable customer to offering him orphan him or her, this customer, the, this extended seamless experience.
10m 43s
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Right. And this is what an Alliance can provide. I think mostly the nature of a loyalty within an Alliance goes to, to the customer experience side of it. I got all framed as seamless experience everywhere.
10m 59s
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Okay. Okay. And you’ve used that word actually a few times when we’ve spoken Renato. So it seems to be almost the key word that your entire role is focused on is the seamlessness. Yeah.
11m 11s
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Not only my role, but the entire Alliance role to guarantee to customers that they can fly abroad and keep a seamless experience. Right. Sometimes I, I make fun of with, with my CEO and tell him that we are a loyalty company. We just, we just do the LA part as well, because out of this seamless experience, earning and redeeming miles is key in an Alliance. So it’s a value proposition that is super important. And for that, we offer our member carriers, hubs, and platforms to connect them. So if I could add a second word to like, after stimulus is connectivity and the ability to exchange all this information, right?
12m 0s
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Because as we were talking before about, about share of wallet, it’s super difficult to have access to some information that sometime is inside the company. Imagine when this customer is Sterling outside. So this is where this is where we, we are important for our members to, to connect them. So they w they are able to, to identify this customer identified that is traveling abroad and grant him the miles, allow him to redeem this, this miles with a flight and for the top tier members for them to be recognized abroad, because then it’s part of a seamless experience, right?
12m 41s
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Because if this customer has access to lounges, when flying within this airline network, and when he’s flying to the other side of the glove, maybe a more exhaustive flight, right. Because we all know that he can be, he wouldn’t be able to, to join a lounge with a partner. And we, we allow that this, this lounge from another airline can identify that this is a valuable customer for the partner. And then the access is granted. So we have a set of what we call star Alliance gold, and Starline super benefits that it’s an agreement between the carriers, that when they identify that a customer is a valuable customer for the other partner, they grant access to this set of benefits.
13m 33s
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These are the three, the three pillars for us in loyalty for Alliance or Jamie and recognition, and making this available. As I said before, where our member carriers, they cannot reach directly with their own network.
13m 50s
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Okay. And just to do a little bit from the history book as well, Renato as when I was researching in preparation for today, very impressed to see that the star lines was the very first global aviation Alliance ever created way back in 1997. And I even know the five beginning airlines will. I mentioned them for our listeners, please. Yeah. So, so what I loved obviously was all of the different continents that were covered United airlines, Scandinavian airlines, Thai airways, air Canada, and Lufthansa. So truly visionary, I guess, to have those five at the beginning. And now, as you said, 26 companies. Yeah.
14m 30s
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And, and it’s impressive to see how many other countries just, just were added to this, this war, world war map. Right. We had companies from South South America where I come from, we have companies from new sealer from Asia, a more India. We have this for Africa. So it’s a true global experience. And it’s a privilege to be part of this team. And not only because we have so many different cultures, but because daily, I experience having conversation with people that deal with the same issues, but they have completely different perspectives just because of their background because of how they see this problem.
15m 22s
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And because sometimes they, they address the problem in different ways and in work, just because the customer was open to, to, to have to have a positive response to that, just because it’s a different place in the world with different backgrounds, with different cultures. So that, that’s why I’m passionate about, about this position, like to about understanding customers, customer needs, and customer backgrounds, even people, even the people that I work with, they have the different backgrounds and different experiences, different cultures. And it’s really, really interesting to be close to them.
16m 2s
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So on a practical level, Renato, my, my mind is boggling with the complexity of aligning 20 loyalty programs. And yes, there’s, you know, 20 years of history, 24 years, if my math is correct. So, you know, the original concept obviously is very, very well embedded now, but just on a practical level, how do you manage to add, to coordinate those programs just on a week to week basis, day to day and monster month?
16m 31s
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Yeah, you’re right. We are getting to the 25th anniversary and it’s impressive how many companies, right. We know that reached that Mark. And even with this complexity, because in the end, we cannot deny that in some markets, this companies, they are competing with each other right. And how they can, they can have a positive result on partnering with them with the year up within Asia Pacific, within yeah. Merica. So it’s the, the challenge here is to keep the, the structure of the conversation going on.
17m 12s
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So we have a very strict, strict calendar of meetings that unfortunately had to be adapted due to the current situation. Right? So we started using virtual meetings as well. And, and from one aspect, it was better to keep the conversation going on, but that was a challenge as well for more Eaton’s discussions. Right? So, but this calendar is very important to, to define the, where we are going and when, and what top and which topics do we want to then we set up the year goes, and everybody tries to prioritize these initiatives.
17m 56s
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And some of them, they become standards for the Alliance. And then we reach the seamless experience. So it starts with business needs that are discussed, align per appetized implemented, and then it becomes a standard. So for example, if I had an airline today cannot or airways, and I wanted to join the Alliance, have to fulfill certain criteria that was set before I joined the Alliance, right? Mileage earning mileage burning with the recognition, just talking about loyalty only. And this was, this is not like by coincidence that this was defined beforehand by the loyalty experts that define a business need and set a time line of, for implementation prioritization and then created an Alliance standard.
18m 51s
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So that is where, that is how we can manage the, the seamless experience that we just mentioned in the beginning of the focus.
18m 60s
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Absolutely. And just as a general observation, is it often that the, or does it ever happen that the Alliance priorities are very different to the individual airline priorities? Does it happen a lot? Does it happen? Never. Like, I’m curious as to, if I was the loyalty manager, for example, in United, you know, which one takes priority and precedence, because it’s such a big task to execute any change to a loyalty program.
19m 29s
1

Definitely. And we are talking about a share of their customers, right? So sometimes decisions that are taken because of the other share of customers, the local domestic customers, they might impact the, the, the a lot, let’s put it this way, the Alliance customers, but then you have, you have to, to execute it. That’s why the standards, what we call the core values. They are every year. So the carriers continue to do that. And any exception should be requested to, to the board of the Alliance.
20m 10s
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So for example, if a carrier that is fine, that is fighting a local competition with a low cost, maybe, and once you reduce the benefits, they cannot do that on their own, because this might impact the Alliance customers and the partners fliers when they are traveling with them. So there might be a discussion. So it’s, it’s, it’s a commitment to be part of over the lack of any Alliance. Right. And the Alliance is a coming from marriage to, to a midline Alliance. So you should, they should keep the standards that were aligned before, while offering their daily stuff.
20m 54s
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Okay. Okay. And I guess it comes from a place of respect, as you said, already, Renato, you know, many of these airlines have been around for, for over a decade, probably two or two and a half, in fact, coming up to your 25 year anniversary. So yes, I guess they understand that they would impact their global customer. So, so you have to take care of them all. So, so that makes perfect sense. And because it is 2021, we can’t not talk about COVID Renato. Tell me, how has that impacted loyalty within the star lions? Have you seen massive shifts? And I know you’ve done all of the global best practice things, for example, about extending status, but I would just love to hear your comments about what is happening with, with the COVID implications.
21m 40s
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Yeah, for sure. It has been dramatic the situation, not only for us as an Alliance, but for our members, for sure. In some places we saw airlines stop flying for a while that alliances some carriers, member, carers, reducing their networks. So, and we needed to adapt. And the most difficult part is that our customers, so the sheriff customers from the member carriers that fly abroad in all their partners network, they will be the last ones to come back to fly, or because, because they, they will need that regulations are in place that the vaccination would take place, that we have some aligned criteria to validate.
22m 33s
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We do have to have borders open for, for long distance flights. So this will be the last customer to return with a CVT. And when they get there and when they get back to this full activity, it will be a different customer. And we need to know that a customer that has been through an experience of having to deliver their business with other alternative manners. So they, as I was just mentioning, we had more virtual conferences. So how did this impact our customers behavior on making business, right?
23m 14s
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And, and then the best way that we, that we can do is not to fight this trend, but understanding and, and how, and, and, and try to identify, how can we call correlate with it, like not, not just live in it aside. So in order to do that, we, we had a series of, of customer surveys to understand how a customer’s seeing this new trends, new technologies, and how will back their travel behavior. And what can we expect so far is that yes, virtual conferences will still be a thing after COVID and we’ll support a lot daily business, but new business and closing the deals, they cannot be fully replaced.
24m 7s
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So people is to travel a lot. People will still have face-to-face of course, respecting all the restrictions and the conditions, but it will net a good face to face meeting will never be replaced like for a meeting. Right. But, but we need, we need to, to find a way to, to live with this new scenario, right? Carer member carers will have to adapt to that. And, and, and we, and in order to support frequent flyers who come back flying, we have what we call it, travel information hub, you know, our website, where it looks fabulous.
24m 48s
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We try to, to, to, to bring information to the customers like where they can fly, what do they need when they are planning to fly somewhere? So information is super important because we can get information from many different places. So reliable information is super important when you’re playing to, to have to travel somewhere in this new, new, new, normal,
25m 11s
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Well, for sure. Yes. And the words fake news, which I really don’t like, but you’ve actually just reminded me. It’s only brands like star lions that I would go to, because I know I can trust the information. So, so that really is critical because we were talking before we came on air about some huge positive developments that are starting, you know, just these little glimmers of hope for the travel industry, where certain countries are, you know, welcoming customers that are vaccinated and no need for PCR tests, which I will be delighted when I can travel like that. And I think, for example, I saw the Seychelles, I saw Greece mentioned, and I’m sure there’s others as well, but definitely when I sold the COVID hub on the Starlines website, I thought, Oh, this is fabulous as a resource because of the Brahms.
25m 60s
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So it’s really extraordinary, I guess, in terms of how brands really start to become even more critical to drive that emotional loyalty, as well as the transactional stuff that we all know and love. I think your brand is going to stand you in good stead at this time.
26m 14s
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Exactly. As you said, now, we see some movements of this travel bug bubbles being created within, within specific countries. So maybe a travel bug will be created between Australia and New Zealand and the region. So, and of course, this has an impact, as I said, that our customer is the one that travels abroad that travels outside of the network for, for that, for the carrier. So I, I can expect that, that it would take some time for us to be completely aligned. And, and our brand coming to the 25th anniversary is super important.
26m 59s
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It’s a huge X S asset that we have developed in the less, in less years. And it comes from the standards, the core values that we have in place that customers really know that they can trust. It’s kind of, and I’ve been there I’ve been in, in, in airlines that, that, that it started being part that launched the, the partnership with star Alliance. And I remember being back at the star Alliance brand had in our local brands. So it, it’s kind of a stamp of approval of our customers from all around the world will feel safe and reassured on traveling with that airline.
27m 44s
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So it it’s, it’s, it’s really, it’s a really important asset that we have today. And it was built on top of the core values on top of the standards that were built on top of knowledge, that 26 different carriers put together. Right. So it’s, it’s super rich. So this meetings, this conversation they’re super rich.
28m 6s
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Oh, for sure. Yeah. And I’m a little envious Renato of those type of, even regular meetings that you mentioned where you have, you know, your 20 loyalty program directors, I guess, sitting around and really discussing in detail. So I’d say the learnings that you get just from facilitating and guiding those conversations and, and ensuring, as you said, the excellence and execution, it must be just fascinating.
28m 31s
1

Yeah. It’s fascinating from both sides from the personal side and from the professional side, because it’s, it’s almost a UN meeting with so many different and with so many different backgrounds and, and it’s interesting to see how they approach business in different ways than there are different results. So yeah, I can say that I, and I, I it’s, it’s, it’s a privilege to, to, to be in this role and my career. Definitely.
28m 60s
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And I loved what you mentioned before we came on air about how you support what I know you call non-home markets. So I’d love just for listeners, if you would give the example that you told me about the type of activities that you do, where you don’t have a home carrier.
29m 15s
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Yeah. So as part of things that we have done, but they were not in the core business. And now with this new post COVID world, this new normal we might address effectively is our strategy from, for the normal markets. So imagine that we have what we call the home markets, which are the domestic markets for our member carriers. And we have the local markets, which are markets that we don’t have presence of a local carrier. And in the markets there that we have many carers flying to this places.
29m 56s
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And many, we might even offer connection services, lounges, Bret star Alliance, brand branded lounges in this, in this markets. And, and, but today we don’t have a loyalty approach to this market or an effective loyalty approach to this market. And what we’re trying, we’re trying to focus in that, for example, in, in the UK today, when you fly with any star Alliance member and you have the star Alliance gold status with the airline FFP, when you travel to downtown London from the airport and you take the Heathrow express, you can get an upgrade from the cabin.
30m 42s
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So things like that, like this small perks, or even maybe stronger initiatives for earn and burn, we are studying with the airlines when it will be the right time to offer them. But we can, we can, we can use the same aspect of helping our member carriers to reach places that they’re not there with the support of partners or not even with the support of partner with joint efforts in those markets. Right. So that’s what we have been discussing recently. And it might be the case that soon we will have more, more initiatives like this one, and we can schedule a second chat and I can tell you that,
31m 32s
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But off the press, brilliant. Yeah.
31m 34s
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This is something that we are working and we, and, and it’s awesome because we, we try to understand any and how, how can we, we always see this in this very cliche t-shirts mugs that we are stronger together. And in this home, we are stronger together, right? So that’s, that’s the basis of it.
31m 55s
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Yeah. But what I like about that Renato is, you know, it’s almost, you know, irrespective of what’s happening with the international scene and covert, and those restrictions that you’re finding non airline partnerships as a way to differentiate and make your gold members feel super special. And I think the Heathrow express is a perfect example of that.
32m 15s
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Yeah, no, this year, this year’s the no air that we call know our partnerships. They were super important for us to keep recognizing our customers, right. So we had different initiatives in place where loyalty programs, they just simply extended the, the, the expiration date for the two levels. But we had as well, some Lu two programs that we don’t. So we have one standard that is that only air bios can be used to grant status to the customer. In an Alliance of perspective this year, we had the exception that loyalty programs they could connect with their known air partners and grants status based as well in some of this partnerships that they have.
33m 11s
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So they had the possibility of offering that besides expanding the, their, their expiration date. So individually the loyalty programs decided to use this. And, and it was super important to, to keep activity, to keep engagement and to keep the, the, the, the, the brand relationship, right. This loyalty program has sort of been customers and the Alliance. Consequently,
33m 42s
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Of course, absolutely. I really liked that. And uncertainty as with my customer hat on, I would love to see that one continue. I’m not sure how the debates will go. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of discussion. So, so let’s say in two years time, or goodness knows how long when normal at full normality has returned. It will be interesting to see if you keep that position and policy, or if it reverts to you travel with an airline to get status, you know,
34m 9s
1

It’s about learning how to live in this new normal, right? Not, not completely putting in a side, but understanding it and, and, and, and understanding how we can correlate. Maybe we won’t have like a full allowance. Maybe we will have percentage or something like that that will make sense for, for our carers. And we still support our core business that is traveling right. But in need to understand the new behavior, the impact that the new behavior has in this customer’s way of doing business, and how can we, can we be sure that we allow these customers to have this face-to-face interaction, that directions that we will never, never end because they will still be important, right?
34m 57s
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They totally will. Yeah. And even, you know, obviously business travelers are a key focus and for any frequent flyer program, and I’m sure it’s by far the dominant membership, but also what I did love, I was researching just again, the, the number of destinations and for things like the round, the world tickets, and which is obviously a, you know, a tourist product. So again, I’m sure it’s pre COVID numbers, but 1300 destinations, 762 million passengers a year flying with star Alliance. So, so I guess there’s, there’s an important opportunity again, in the new normal, these people. Again, I think there’s like this built up pent up demand that people do want to get back on planes when they feel safe to do so.
35m 40s
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So it’ll be fascinating to see how that behavior and evolves.
35m 43s
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Yeah. This will be a new era for loyalty in the Alliance level and, and with the frequent flyer programs as well, like how to address this leisure customers, as you said, we hear many CEOs from airlines saying that the leisure segment will be more and more important, but how do we address that with the loyalty strategy that was beaut in the traditional way of granting more according to frequency, right? So how can we address the ones that are traveling maybe once, twice, three times per year, but we have many different people that has this behavior, right?
36m 27s
1

We might replace a seat of a corporate customer that would be flying, but now because of the new normal, because of a change in behavior is reducing the amount of flights you’re right. I think, and this is a challenge for the upcoming months and years, how traditional and loyalty programs that were well established, focus on business travel. We will now serve the, this leisure segment. We have some initiatives with our members, like with, at any goes through partnering with no air partners as well with, with this daily and more focused, experienced experience that they are not including maybe just a super big travel plan now, but, but still they can feel recognized.
37m 20s
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And then they can, they can feel that, that there, there is value in that relationship with the, with the company and with the Alliance. So, well, there is this, this trend of cash back programs, or will this be an alternative to the regular mileage? An I, I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t have that clear, but we should definitely study how an alternatives of how to address loyalty for the leisure customers, for the physio team, friends and relative segment. How could we create this, a value proposition that says, this is a work in progress that we are learning, and we need to have these partnerships in place, but then again, it always starts with, it starts with the airlines that will create this.
38m 16s
1

Then we will create standards for, for them to offer to each other customers. And after that, it will, it will become an Alliance and Alliance core value to, to, to allow these customers to have this seamless experience. So there is a process, we are part of this discussion, but it’s not the immediate impact in the Alliance travelers. So let’s see, let’s see. It’s very interesting. We are not, we won’t have a same, the same scenario that we used to have, so we will have to innovate and we have to invest in innovation as well.
38m 52s
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I love it. I’m a big fan of innovation as you know, Renato. And actually today, as we’re recording, I was super impressed to see the new innovation hub that the star lions literally just announced today. So you guys are currently based in Frankfurt, but there’s going to be a new location, I believe in Singapore.
39m 11s
1

Yeah, you’re right. This, this was just announced. And we are, we are eager to, to structure this, but I’ve personally visited Singapore before, and I’m seeing some many startups. They have their offices there, and it will be an opportunity for DLI is to build up the partnerships to, to even to capture talent as well. So it’s, it’s, I’m very, very excited with this news to see how, how this future will be shaped.
39m 54s
1

Right. But you’re right. So it’s, it’s, this is brand new it’s, this is brand brand new,
39m 59s
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Hot off the presses today. So as in, when you’re allowed to travel, which I’m hoping is quite soon, actually, what is the position I know from a personal perspective, I guess you can make your own decisions, but just as things stand at the moment, you know, within, you know, I suppose to Alliance, is it okay to travel on business? Or is it still preferred you don’t or how are you guys managing that from a professional perspective?
40m 22s
1

Well, we believe that S as soon as we get to the point that it’s, it’s okay to travel and I mean, it’s safe to travel and it’s that the regulations, governments, they allow people to travel. We should be the first ones. Okay. To, to, to, to be the example. Right. Of course we have to respect every government decision and, and, and the health authorities knowledge on this. But as soon as we get there, okay, there are green lights. We shouldn’t be the first ones in this queue in this, in this line.
41m 5s
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And we expect to do that. Yeah. I expect to do that.
41m 10s
0

Sure, absolutely good. Well, we’ll meet too again. I mean, I don’t travel on business, but I do travel and on personal and basis, and I’m looking forward and hoping to do that, and we know the protocols are, are not fun, but they are essential. And I think we’ve all kind of recognize that, and I’m certainly willing like you to do whatever it takes. And the only other real question I had as a general loyalty will now. So this might not even be airline specific Renato, but I’m just picking your brain because you have access to so much of the, the industry. And it’s really around the idea of paid loyalty programs. So it’s something that I find super fascinating.
41m 51s
0

We’ve seen, you know, obviously Amazon prime really kind of knocking it out of the park. I think in terms of, you know, building a VV VIP experience, I think for anybody. So is this something that you see more of maybe within the airline context or, or even, you know, there in Germany where you’re based?
42m 10s
1

Well, I, yeah, if I, if I, if I could pick this to the two trends to explore more one will be the cash back trend that is huge here in retail. For example, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the model could be applied. The model that is so successful with airlines could be applied in other segments with all this, the retail industry with, with the FinTech industry, with payments. So I really believe that there’s a lot to be developed in that, in that area, cash back is one of them.
42m 53s
1

And the other one, the subscriptions that you mentioned could be, could be a different approach and to have access to this prime services, right? I’m personally, I am a prime member. I’d use it every time to get my things, and, but I’m also a cash back customer. So I don’t think it’s related only to, to one specific target audience. It could, it could address different, different, different types of target audience, but I don’t believe that in the short term, this could be applied to, to the airline segment, maybe for travel or leisure.
43m 40s
1

Customers could be an alternative in the future. Some of our loyalty programs, they have a subscription as, as an option to have access, to, to sum up their, of their benefits, to their local benefits. And it has been quite successful in Brazil. For example, we have, we have programs that also have this subscription model that they can get access to specific amount of mileage or every month. So if they are planning to have a trip in the end of the year, they can start paying for it now. And it’s a super interesting revenue source for the loyalty program.
44m 25s
1

It could be, it could be a good thing for the customer as well, right? To, to start planning this and maybe having access to a different availability or maybe have access to a different set of benefits. So this is quite common in Brazil. I’ve seen that could be maybe not just like the same model that Amazon prime has, like some script fully subscription, but maybe some different aspects could be, could be applied as well. Good. Yeah.
44m 56s
0

I think that’s incredibly insightful Renato and you’ve reminded me of an article and called the bank of Starbucks, which essentially talks about the prepayment value. And it’s in the billions of dollars. I don’t have to figure to hand, but I will make sure in the show notes to talk about and link to this bank of Starbucks article, because I think anybody particularly in travel, really thinking prepayment, I think that’s a genius idea. I’ve seen it back in my home country of Ireland where people prepay for Christmas or big spend, but for that to be facilitated now, I just think there’s something very big in that as a possibility. And again, cashflow is King particularly right now.
45m 38s
0

So super interesting idea, and definitely keen to hear more.
45m 42s
1

I, I would say that in a mover, I a lot about considering the target audience. So for example, the, the, the example that you just gave about Starbucks and I am a fan, I love Starbucks, everyone that knows me know that I’m, I’m a big fan and I buy all the time, Starbucks coffee. And I used to be part of their loyalty program in Brazil, but I’m not part of the loyalty program that they have here in Germany, because it’s not the same, it’s not as effective. So why that, because, because the target audience is different here, they have, we have different behavior here. So all of this will have to arrive according to the region, according to the cultural aspects of car, according to the local behavior.
46m 31s
1

Right? So it doesn’t mean that that one answer suits all, and I’ve seen that. And then I can appreciate from my experience with the different loyalty programs in the globe. So for example, we have this huge trend of super apps and cure code payment in Asia, but it’s not applicable to every, to every country. So even this trends should be analyzed according to the, to the customer. So if I have to say something, study that target audience and test, test, test totally for launching,
47m 7s
0

Oh my goodness. Or not. So well, well, that’s absolutely brilliant advice to finish on. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention from your side?
47m 16s
1

Thank you very much for the opportunity Paula, I, after, after our first chat I’ve been following you and your podcasts, and it’s incredible, the rich conversations you that you have with your, with all the people that you’ve been talking to. It’s a super interesting channel for ex loyalty experts or curious people, right? That once you learn the loyalty and the business world, because loyalty for me goes beyond marketing goes beyond. It’s a business strategy, right? Telling me most of us that we came from marketing, but I think it’s super important.
47m 59s
1

And it’s part of a company culture, right? Of addressing the most important customers, the most valuable customers to focus on retaining them and not acquiring more customers and spending more money sometimes. So it’s a business decision. It’s more than just a marketing initiative. It’s a business decision.
48m 22s
0

Totally, totally. And I’ve often said, in fact, Renato, that the reason I called the show let’s talk loyalty or not. Let’s talk loyalty programs is exactly that point you’ve just made. So thank you for that. I know you are listening to lots of podcasts. I’m super thrilled. You’re listening to mine. So on that note, I want to say Renata Ramos, a director of loyalty of star Lyons. Thank you so much. Let’s talk loyalty. This show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing news insights and research. The wines marketeer also offers loyalty marketing training through its loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 170 executives in 20 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out the wise market, tier.com and loyalty academy.org. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of let’s talk loyalty. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on let’s talk loyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favorite podcast platform.
49m 11s

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