#539: Exploring Loyalty: Insights from David Slavick of Ascendant Loyalty Marketing

David Slavick is Co-Founder and Partner at Ascendant Loyalty Marketing. His interview unpacks a vast array of loyalty discussion points, which flow easily due to David’s extensive experience both brand side and consultancy/agency side. We enjoy the deep dive into partnerships, programme commercials and programme manager pain points.

Hosted by Amanda Cromhout

Show Notes:

1) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠David Slavick

2) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ Ascendant Loyalty Marketing

Audio Transcript

Paula: Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the Founder and CEO of Let’s Talk Loyalty and also now Loyalty TV. Today’s episode is hosted by Amanda Cromhaut, the Founder of Truth, an international loyalty consultancy, and the author of the book, Blind Loyalty 101 Loyalty Concepts Radically Simplified.

If you work in loyalty marketing, you can watch our latest video interviews every Thursday, on www.loyalty.tv and of course you can also listen to Let’s Talk Loyalty every Tuesday, every Wednesday and every Thursday to learn the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world. 

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Amanda: So in today’s Let’s Talk Loyalty show, I have the pleasure of speaking to one of the most experienced loyalty marketers around the globe. His name is David Slavick, he’s the Co-founder and Partner at Ascendant Loyalty Marketing. 

When I asked David what the main challenges facing loyalty program managers, his response around staff and talent around the obvious return on investment. And then finally, how to reach for the stars, i.e. really innovate. Amongst other discussion points, we really unpack the financial levers in a loyalty program and commercially, which types of partnerships give the highest return on investment. David has years of insight, both as a consultant to the loyalty world, but also as someone who’s worked for many years within loyalty businesses. I hope you enjoy his insights as much as I did listening to them.

So today, another very, very special guest on Let’s Talk Loyalty. I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing David Slavick. He is the Co-founder and Partner of Ascendant Loyalty Marketing. And David and I have known each other for a very long time. Feels like my whole career in loyalty has been knowing David as a good friend at my side. So what a pleasure to interview you today, David. Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

David: It’s great to be with you, Amanda. Thank you so much for inviting me. 

Amanda: No, it’s fabulous. So I’m going to kick straight off with our favorite question about what is your favorite loyalty program? 

David: You know, a lot of people mention United Airlines. I have a bias obviously because I live in Chicago. Our company is based in North America, but we are a global loyalty consulting firm. They’re just doing a great job. There’s a gentleman by the name of Luke Bondar that heads up the Mileage Plus Program. As a really strong relationship with visas, their credit card issuer the foundation of United as well as American Airlines was really the start of points based or miles based loyalty many, many years ago, the points are worth billions of dollars to their balance sheet.

They do a great job when we talk about big data. They certainly have that, they understand their frequent flyers, their million mile flyers. They do a wonderful job of encouraging you to migrate up in terms of value. They offered up new cards with new premier tiers that are associated with it. Obviously, you could pay with subscription on an annual basis to then get access to their clubs. They tie in with partners and you can burn your miles towards cruise, towards hotel stays, towards rental, and it just embraces all the aspects relative to myself as a business traveler, but they also in their communication understand what my preferences are.

They asked me how often do I want to be communicated, which products and services am I most interested in, what’s my future travel plans, and then they ultimately personalize that communication based upon where my interests are. So they just do a great job and check all the boxes. So it’s kind of boring to go and say an airline company, but considering the masses that they impact, and the best practices that Luke’s team does. It’s brilliant. And then full disclosure, we do not handle that account. 

Amanda: It’s funny you made comment to airline because airline obviously comes up so frequently. I mean, I’ve mentioned British Airways, I hear Emirates being mentioned. So it’s just fabulous though, to hear why you say United.

And what I heard from you was a real combination of them understanding you as a frequent flyer by monitoring your transactional behavior, but also by asking you. So using sort of a poll based or research based approach as well. I’ve just done another recording where we really talked about the power of combining actual versus claims activity to get the best result for customers. So United actually were one of the top, top brands mentioned by professionals who come on this program of guests on this program. When we did a, we looked at the top 100 favorite loyalty programs of loyalty experts. So you’re not the only one who also thinks they’re a brilliant program. So, not surprising, especially where you’re based. So thank you for that. 

But David, I think everyone listening to this today have heard of you if not know you because you have an incredibly friendly and powerful personality. So let’s have a little synopsis please of how have you got to where you’ve gotten to today? What’s your loyalty background? 

David: Well, the loyalty background goes all the way back, believe it or not, to 1997 when I was 10 years old frequency marketing hired me. But that was a full service loyalty agency based in Cincinnati. Their claims to fame was they worked with IHG, Intercontinental Hotels Group. They also worked in the cellular phone space. They worked with Bell Atlantic. They worked with Cracker Barrel and created the Good Neighbor program, which has now been relaunched by my good friend, Amy Barnett, with Dolly Parton as the spokesperson and content and all that good stuff.

So that is a lot of fun. That’s a regional chain here in the States that runs near major heights to take care of the traveler. And importantly, what really put them on the map further was American Express Membership Rewards. Oh, they worked with the London operation first, and then they worked with the Phoenix Arizona based operations. So they had a loyalty solutions platform. So they did technology, they did creative they did great analytics, they had a call center. So it was a full service loyalty agency started by a gentleman by the name of Rick Barlow who really taught me empirically about all the ins and outs of program design, strategy, financial analysis, best practices as it relates to operating model and all the rest.

And it really was at the nascent stage of loyalty where retail wasn’t nearly as overpenetrated as it is today or food and beverage or even the thinking about business to business loyalty that was not really thought of. It was all about the sales person and relationships and using, you know, companies like Carlson Marketing or merits or business incentives, BI to ultimately give benefit back based upon what the commercial customer was using.

And so I, you know, had great people to work with. And those still keep very closely in touch with that alumni at frequency. And then they were purchased by Alliance Data, which is now called Bread Financial. And then they folded frequency marketing to Epsilon. So Epsilon is period the end, one of the biggest operators on a global basis.

And that was really the start of it. So, I did both new business as well as design and strategy. And, you know, the rest is really history and I’ve been advertising and marketing background. That’s what my degrees are in. And so I’ve always been in the advertising space and then switched over to really that level of accountability which is really essential.

You don’t know which percent, which 50 percent of the marketing spend or you should is actually impacting what you’re doing. And it really excited me to get into that loyalty space starting at Frequency Marketing. And I’ve really just enjoyed it ever since. And then the nice part was I switched over to client side.

So I understood that side of the desk as well, which is so essential to working with clients, as you know, at Truth, Amanda. And so I started the All Access program at American Eagle Outfitters, Craig Brommers presented at Shop Talk last week. And the place was full to listen to him and Meta and Coach and that really got American Eagle started in 2004 with a really, a strong digital commitment because of the 13-year-old that they were communicating with on, up to Amanda as mom buying for children.

And Sears launched the Shop Your Way program client side at 400 stores across multiple brands between Sears and Kmart and hardware, et cetera. That grew to 150 million members. It was rated in 2011 as the best program worldwide. So understanding department store marketing and then I had never worked pure play e-commerce.

So I was at FTD, the flower company. And that was a great experience to understand about perishable goods and how to be able to personalize your communications. And then five years ago started Ascendant Loyalty and a response to client need. And so my self and my partner, Jay Weinberg, we have a stable of cultains here in North America across a broad matrix of industries.

And then we have the global network with agencies in most continents that practice our loyalty leaders best practice methodology. It’s really been a wonderful experience. And to go and influence consumers on a daily basis, based upon the strategies and tactics and planning that you can ultimately design for clients and help lead them day by day and have a retail orientation is a lot of fun.

Amanda: It’s brilliant to hear your combination of agency, more traditional agency, like advertising, career or education, degree in marketing and advertising, but then the agency environment, and then that need to understand which 50 percent is successful versus second guessing, and then switching to client side and then back again.

So I think any organization understands the power of that rather than you being either or. So, an incredible 20. I think he said when we spoke previously, it was a 25 year build up to where you are now. So with Ascendant Loyalty, I mean, I know it very well. And thank you for that synopsis of what you do. And I think what’s super interesting is the Ascendant Global Network, which you’ve described has this incredible network of consultants and companies around, around the globe. It’s not just limited to North America, so. 

David: I’ll understand any culture, whether it’s an Oceania or it’s in Germany or whether it’s in London or it’s in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand. We have partners all over the globe. And understanding the culture in each one of those countries. That’s really important as opposed to trying to go and build a program and the expression we use in the US. I’m not sure if you do it where you are is peanut butter, you know, and just spread it evenly across everywhere.

That’s not a best practice, right? So your benefit structures, your tier structures, the spending, the behavior the media activity especially with media network now becoming to the four here in the US and elsewhere. You need to adapt your program recommendations and how the program operates by region. So if you’re a major corporation on a global basis, it’s best to go and have regional advisors. And, but have a solid, consistent practice in place as well. 

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. And you’re so right. You cannot get that right unless you got absolute understanding within the marketplace and the consumer behavior. All right. 

So David, let’s talk about some of the really light, interesting subjects in the loyalty vertical that we work in, which isn’t a vertical at all. It spreads across every aspect of the business, not just marketing. But what would you say is the main challenge facing? Are there managers or practitioners in the world of loyalty today?

David: Staff and talent is number one. 

Amanda: Yeah.

David: It’s a tough hiring environment and it’s tough to find people that have the background and experience that you need. So I would say that’s number one, Amanda. 

Number two is attribution or return on investment. A CFO, a CEO, a COO is always asking, hey, this is a significant investment. If I have a program design that has some level of liability, breakdowns with rewards and recognition and investment, or even doing specialized product development, all that overhead needs to be cost justified. And so the program owner that could be head of experience. It could be head of loyalty there.  It is SVP or a VP level. They’re always looking to provide that kind of backup. Whether it’s an attribution model or doing testing control, doing AB testing, constantly understanding the incremental lift from a member versus a non member. 

But the other interesting part is there’s non members that are buying. And then there’s members who have walked away. There’s attrition. Why did they leave? You need to find that out. And so the other part of the equation that I think Amanda comes into play, that’s a challenge is besides doing your regular job, you need to reach for the stars and you need to innovate and you need to evolve your program.

So there are too many programs that are out there that kind of check the box. And they’re not really thinking about what’s phase two and what’s phase three. And so the combination of finding talent that can inspire. And at the same time and bring best practices from prior jobs or they’re empirically trained combined with building that business case for the innovation, because that may indeed be an incremental ask of the finance committee or the executive board. But you need to continue to innovate because your competition is innovating, they’re pushing the envelope. 

Amanda: Yeah. I love that. I mean, I love the fact you started with staff and talents. I dedicate a whole chapter of blind loyalty about loved by your people. And I think you could actually dedicate a whole book to it.

Let alone a chapter return on investment. We kind of know that’s the critical thing that it’s almost, you can’t have these discussions without that. But I absolutely love that final point about reaching for the stars. Cause like what a beautiful way. And we,  I see it so often. We see programs that are just ticking the box. They’re just ticking along and it’s like, come on, you’ve got to reach for the stars. So yeah, but I think let’s just talk about those two together, like return on investment versus reach for the stars. So how do you think brands actually, justify the required investment for that innovation?

David: Well, a lot of folks want a competitive analysis to start. Then they want to listen to their customers, whether it was the example that I gave with American Airlines, I didn’t mention, but after every flight, they survey me and they ask me questions. And how satisfying are things? So the fact is that there are great partners out there that can help you from a research standpoint to get voice of customer. That’s one. 

Two, when I was at American Eagle, which was a phallus culture of listening to their wearer, we had panels, we had community, we brought customers into corporate. And they, you know, came with their, you know, guardian or parent, and they actually toured the store and toured our corporate headquarters and met with different parts of the organization across all the different segments of business, whether it’s menswear, womenswear the Aerie brand which competes with pink, etcetera. And we actually had one on one with our brand lover. I mean, how fabulous is that to do it in a one to one personal way? Forget about a virtual call. Bring them in. Bring them in. 

I also think that innovation can come from talking to your business partners. And I don’t think that companies do enough of that. Where they do a one day or a two day event where you bring in all of your business partners and have them prepare in advance for this one to two day event and talk about what the future holds. Tell us about your future state roadmap and how you’re evolving your solutions. Innovation can come from that. Tell us what you’re hearing in other parts of the globe. The whole point that we were saying about different cultures and how consumers are behaving, we can learn a lot from Japan as an example, as it relates to apparel, they’re the leaders as it relates to, you know, how clothes are worn and what style and fashion is all about.

So there’s ways to innovate that go beyond loyalty. And then there’s ways to create disloyalty. So you better be careful at the same time because change can create attrition and it create dissatisfaction, create negative posting and social. So you’ve got to check off all of those boxes. But I would say that the ideation stage, formulate how you would go about that ideation, bringing in partners, bringing in other parts of your own organization and have them brainstorm with you. We actually did that with our client at backcountry.com and we said, you know, we got everybody together, the merchant organization, the e-commerce, the marketing teams, etcetera.

And we sat down and we said, what does the future hold? What are we missing? What could we be doing better? How could we, reach our customer right on slopes. How can we reach our customer on the hiking trails? What can we do differently as it relates to how we merchandise on the website? And so through that collaboration, the outcome is new initiatives and new innovation.

Amanda: Great. I love that. I love the combination of how you’ve talked about the business partners sort of through change management processes, and then the voice of customer. 

I remember many years ago when I worked at Woolworths South Africa, the loyalty program then didn’t have points or discounts. But the only real benefit was have your say. Be on our panel. Have a voice into the creation of this brand. So it’s amazing how something as simple as that for a brand that is so loved could actually have such impact. So the combination of the customer voice of customer, whether it’s through panels or surveys and community or the change management with your business partners. So great to see the two combined. 

David: I have a slide on my PC. I’ll send it over to you and you can even share it if you want and pop it up along the way, but it shows which brands are the ones that have the greatest loyalty and a lot of it is based on passion. A lot of it is based on emotional connection, and a lot of it is based on not having rewards and recognition.

It’s personalization, because all the surveys from consumers say, show me that you know me. Use the data that I’m sharing with you and prove that out. So, who does it best, right? The hotel chains do it. The airlines do it. Apple, Nike, right? They have high affinity Adidas, but their AdiClub creates it as well. And it’s a function of a running club, or it’s a function of my son creating his own style with his Nike shoes and going online and creating them. So it’s meeting the customer at home and it’s meeting them where their own needs and wants and desires are indicated or predicted and surprising them as well. And so you think about these big global brands and that’s where the affinity comes from. 

Amanda: I’d like to move from that innovation piece or that emotional piece into, as you mentioned, return on investment earlier, and we can’t escape this, you know, we don’t live in a vacuum outside of financial levers. So what would you say are the main financial levers that are best indicators of program performance?

David: Well, I break it down in two ways. It’s fabulous. I mean, we could have a 45 minutes session just on that, right? But there’s two sides to it. There’s the consumer side or traditional retail side of those levers. And then there’s the B2B commercial side of those levers. And they’re different, obviously.

And they also vary based upon the company that you’re talking to. So we have one client that has a lot of one time buyers, and the reason why they have a lot of one time buyers is because there’s a lot of competitors out there that are selling the, you know, the same product from a utility standpoint. I’ll just call it that. And it’s retail. It’s in the retail segment. So they just want to get the one time buyer to two, or get the two time buyer to three. That would be Nirvana. 

Another key metric is redemption. Why redemption? If there is a reward structure, it’s associated with it. A given again. So as a percentage of your total spend, what are we going to go and give back to you in a reward that you can use towards a future purchase. So the traditional kind of construct, which is not going away, by the way, even though people every 10 years say points are me too, and we’re never doing it anymore. Guess what? You’re going to continue to do points or some form of that. And the reason why is because it’s easy to track and consumers are lousy at math. That’s why. 

Amanda: And it works. And it works. 

David: And it works. We can go through why it works. So redemption rate. Is essential. There’s no sense in creating a program if you’re not going to create redemption. Why is redemption essential, especially the first time they really why is that essential? I want to get as high a percentage of the members that I signed up and we illustrate that in our financial models, but then we build our communications plan at launch. And our promotion plan at launch to get the customer to the first redemption.

Why? Because it creates belief. It causes the customer to pay attention to the program. Why participate if you’re not going to go and get something back in return for demonstrating your affinity to the brand. So we want redemption rate to be as high as possible. 

And then a CFO says, Oh, but that’s Markdown. Yes, but it’s a valuable Markdown. Well, show me why. Well, here’s the other metric higher average sale with a redemption. What do you mean? Why would there be a higher average sale? They’re redeeming a 20 dollar reward or a 25 dollar reward. How am I going to get a higher AOV? Because they like you and because they’re spending free money, they’re treating themselves.

It’s no different than, by the way, I want to see a higher AOV when they redeem their birthday gift. If you give them 10 dollars towards a birthday gift, or you give him 20 percent off for their birthday. I want to see a higher AOV. That demonstrates to me, one, that your merchandise is compelling and they like it, and then secondarily, that they’re treating themselves and they have belief in the program. They understand how the program works. They’re paying attention to your promotions and so on. 

Now obviously, units per transaction is another component. I want less purchase on high markdown. I do not want my members buying on clearance. I want my members buying at the best margin I can achieve. And so if you time your promotion, let’s say your bonus offers, two time point, three time point. Don’t do it all the time because that actually depresses demand because they wait for the two time or three time point offer. 

But when you do those bonus offers that generates incremental traffic. It generates incremental sale. It generates a higher AOV. It generates higher units per transaction So those are all You know, standard B2C kind of metrics in the B2B space, which I believe, and we’re doing more financial modeling in that area and talking to more clients on the B2B side, that’s going to be the high growth area and loyalty for the next 10 years, no doubt.

And so I want to steal share from the competition. If you’re spending 10 million dollars with me and you’re splitting it, another 10 million with my competition, whether it’s in the lumber business or whether it’s in the power equipment business or it’s in healthcare and equipment for testing or otherwise, you know, going into labs, etcetera, etcetera, I want you to shift your total spend to me advantageously, which is a completely different component. If you buy a 5 million piece of equipment from Caterpillar or John Deere or somebody like that, I’m not giving you 1 percent back against 5 million dollars. I’m doing other things for you based upon that dynamic. But we ultimately want you to service your equipment with our technicians using our oil, using our filters to keep the product compliant and so on.

And so you’re studying that, that share shift over time, and then you’re doing incremental aspects relative to helping them to manage their business more effectively. You know, sending them on trips if they’ll accept it, all that good stuff. So it’s really, I don’t think in the last five years, my business partner, Jay Weinberg, is great at doing financial modeling. And then I add a little bit of fairy dust to it and kind of validate what I’m seeing in terms of those metrics just based on experience. But those benchmarks are really, really important to know and understand Amanda. 

Amanda: I love listening to you about so much of what you just said. I mean, you’ve spoken now about B2B and I know it’s something I’ve heard you speak many a time about B2B. It’s a, I mean, it’s one of my favorite parts of loyalty.

But just going back to some of the metrics that always used to perplex the non loyalty or non direct marketing people. That’s if you said a thresholded campaign, for example, to say, spend 50 dollars and get 10 percent off that it’s actually quite easy to get the customer to spend a hundred dollars because of that, that positive feeling they get. And so many internal stakeholders don’t believe that until you actually can track it and show the results. It’s such a common uplift without actually, people struggle to believe it. 

David: But you need to be careful because the percentage off, then the customer is determining how much they get to say.

Amanda: Yeah, of course. 

David: As opposed to dollar. So you’d see companies play the silly little game. You know, it’s 10 dollars off. If you spend a hundred, it’s 15 or 20 off. If you spend one 50, which is a bigger discount and so on. Right. So they play that game of pushing it out. The customer understands that. It’s like, why not just make it easy for me? And so the research does come back to say stop playing games with me, treat me with respect, give me a valuable offer and I’ll respond. 

Amanda: Well, I’ve heard you speak passionately about B2B and about the measurements of campaigns and so on. And I know the other subject that you speak passionately about and actually have contributed in Blind Loyalty about is partnerships. So what would you say are the best commercially viable partnership types in loyalty, of course? 

David: People are being very creative in this regard, which I love. It’s not, I’ll give your members an offer and quid pro quo, you give my members an offer, and then let’s measure the response and have quarterly touch bases and see if we’re accomplishing what we hope to accomplish.

In general terms, It’s important to think about what’s brand right, what’s complimentary, and who can offer me something that’s unique and distinctive for my customers to pay attention. The one example that was given at the Shop Talk show, which was fabulous, I thought, was Crocs shoes and Taco Bell. And you go shoes and tacos and burritos.

What the heck? Well, they collaborated and you got to give Taco Bell a lot of credit. I would assume that they came to Crocs, not Crocs coming to Taco Bell and they created branded shoes where people could go and wear their Taco Bell on their feet. And how fun is that? So the shoes were branded with their favorite fast food store.

Amanda: Brilliant.

David: You know, you have Delta partnering with Starbucks and you get a free coffee the day that you travel. How nice is that? Start your day with Starbucks and then, you know, satisfy the rest of your day with us at Delta. We have a we have a process and methodology that we employ called Uniting Loyalty, and it’s a registered trademark for us where we do a formal planning and methodology, because a lot of times companies will say, well, you know, if I call so and so, they’re going to do want to do partnership, and they’re going to work with me from a collab standpoint.

That person who’s returning that phone call may not necessarily be the best choice if you decided based upon your business model that working with pet supplies companies is the number one company to go and work with because their culture matches, they promote, they’ve got a large identified customer audience. They measure response and their store locations match up to where my store locations are. Okay. Not all those companies match up like chewy.com is e-commerce though. That makes sense that gets rid of the geo aspect of things, or is PetSmart a better choice than Petco? You got to think about those things.

So one, it’s identifying the category that’s the best match, whether it’s oil and gas, or pet supplies companies or insurance companies or grocery companies, etc. And then you need to break that down against the different brands that are within each of those industries or sectors. And so it’s helpful to figure out where the brand matches from a culture standpoint. Who’s going to be both a strategic partner as well as a tactical partner. So strategic is throughout the whole year is the way I look at it. Tactical is seasonal. So if I decide that I want to create some new news in my program and just bring somebody in for a short period of time, meals, you know, sent to home.

So work with Blue Apron or Sun Basket or someone like that. I just may just want to pulse that in where they want to go and acquire new subscribers and I can, you know, offer value to my customer. And I don’t even have to offer a discount back to that subscribing audience. 

Another project that we did, which was really cool was a department store chain at five different credit cards that they offer. They had American Express cards and they had a private label. So they had a co-brand and they had private label. There’s different demographics across those five. So we built different collaborations depending upon what that profile or portfolio looked like. So it’s a really cool area to dig into, and it’s not an easy one.

And where we’re talking about staff and management and demand and doing innovation at the same time, decide when you’re dealing with partnerships and collaboration, how high of a priority for it is for you. But like if you’re weak, 18 to 34 and strong 35 to 54, then think about collaborations with brands that are going to help you in that demographic or vice versa.

Amanda: Yeah, lovely. Okay. Collaborations is not partnerships. Love it. Okay. We could keep chatting about what feels like absolutely anything and everything to do with loyalty because we’ve bounced around all sorts of different loyalty concepts and strategies here. So I’m afraid I’ve only got one more time, for one more question, but If you could highlight a brand that has particularly used its loyalty program well to give back, either through charitable execution or environmental causes, what would that be?

David: Well, I’ll tell you of one client of ours that I love, and I’m wearing it actually, and it’s Orvis, ORVIS. People should check them out. So it’s orvis.com. They are an American company that manufactures the best fly fishing rods in the world shipped all over the world. They believe and support nature and they also sell products for your dog, which I know you love dogs. And so they sell the best dog beds. And leashes and all sorts of great stuff. 

And if you think about a company that’s in the outdoors, and so it’s outdoor wear shoes and, you know, fly, fishing and special jackets to handle your fly rod and or fly fishing needs, etcetera, etcetera. What should you be passionate about? You should be passionate about nature and you should be passionate about the lakes and streams and the environment. And clean air and, you know, support our birds and our, you know, eagles and everything else. And so they have a commitment, this American company that’s privately held to the environment and they give 5 percent back to nature and to canine health. And it’s a beautiful thing. 

Amanda: Yeah, lovely.

David: It works. And it’s not forced. So that’s the other part of it is the whole area of ESG and the visibility that people like Greta have created on a global scale to call people out and to call governments to come together and help to save our planet is all beautiful. But don’t jump into that without it being part of your corporate mission statement and having personnel that have a commitment to it every day. 

Amanda: Yeah. 

David: And so companies like Rothy’s out of San Francisco that make shoes that are manufactured out of plastic bottles. They’re a client of ours. And so you look good and you feel good as a result of buying their goods because there’s that recycling and that sustainability that’s associated with it or REI that encourages a customer to send back likely used merchandise. The jacket doesn’t fit anymore, etcetera. And so you’re saving on manufacturer and on materials, cotton, etcetera, and polyester, and then you resell. And so even the whole aspect of Gen Z and Gen Y, the whole aspect of buying in thrift short stores and not buying new is really hot.

So they’re being conscious about their own individual footprint and thumbprint on our world. And so all of us need to commit to that which is a beautiful thing. And then to the extent that the loyalty program can have a component, whether it’s charity and directing your reward, if you don’t want to use it or your unused points and turn it back in. There have been companies that have attempted to build a construct in that regard. And that will continue to be top of mind as we move forward. Our planet continues to evolve as it is absolutely beautiful examples.

Amanda: Absolutely love them. Thank you. But as I said, we could have carried on for double the amount of time, but I think we’re going to have to call it quits. So in the show notes, David, I’ll make sure your LinkedIn profile is there. And obviously the URL for Ascendant Loyalty, but from Let’s Talk Loyalty from all over the globe, even though you’re based in North America. Thank you so much for today’s show. I could have just carried on asking you more and more questions and listen to your fabulous answers. Thank you very much. 

David: My pleasure. Take care, Amanda. 

Paula: This show is brought to you by the Australian Loyalty Association, the leading organization for loyalty networking and education in the Asia Pacific region. Their Asia Pacific loyalty conference will take place on the 7th and 8th of August this year at the Gold Coast, Australia with over 350 guests in attendance, including yours truly from Let’s Talk Loyalty.

I can’t wait to meet so many loyalty experts from the Asia Pacific region in person. Register now to hear global experts discuss current trends in loyalty marketing. There will be fantastic networking opportunities, hosted drinks and dinners, appointment bookings, competitions, and great prizes to be won.

Visit australianloyaltyassociation.com to find out more. 

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