#184: Hong Kong's Groundbreaking Yuu Rewards, A Hong Kong Coalition Loyalty Program (Short Summary Show)

Yuu Rewards is the first coalition loyalty program ever launched in Hong Kong and we had the opportunity to speak with Chief Operating Officer and loyalty expert, Mark Sage, about the amazing success of the program.

In this short summary episode, we look back on lessons learned when launching this massive program in a very short time in the middle of a global pandemic.

Show Notes:

1) Mark Sage, Chief Operating Officer, Yuu Rewards

2) Yuu Rewards

Audio Transcript

#184: Hong Kong's Groundbreaking Yuu Rewards, A Hong Kong Coalition Loyalty Program (Short Summary Show) (6m)
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. This show is sponsored by the Lnternational Loyalty Awards, which celebrate the world’s most innovative and effective loyalty ideas from all six continents. Why not celebrate your success and loyalty by being shortlisted or even winning a prestigious international loyalty award in 2022?
The closing date for entries is the 14th of February. So visit the internationalloyaltyawards.com for more information and make sure you entered.
1m 1s
In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. I’m looking back on an interview with Mark Sage, the chief operations officer, of Yuu Rewards in Hong Kong, Yuu Rewards was launched in July, 2020 and hit an astounding 2 million users within its first month. At the time of our interview, the program was just three months old.
1m 28s
So as you can imagine, Mark was delighted with its early success. Yuu Rewards is a coalition program and the first of its kind in Hong Kong, it was developed by the Dairy Farm Retail Group, which operates convenience stores, pharmacies, and grocery brands, as well as franchises for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut with so many brands and partners. The Yuu Rewards proposition is incredibly strong and diverse both for its members and for its merchants. When this concept was initially developed, Mark personally moved to Hong Kong to support the program, the most ambitious loyalty proposition that has ever launched in that market.
2m 20s
He explained to me that the design and the development stage took about a year and nine months from launch. Although there were delays as a result of the COVID pandemic, but there were also some inevitable technology challenges as the group had to integrate a number of legacy systems across its brands. Thankfully, the tech-savvy population of Hong Kong responded beautifully and the new program operates almost exclusively through a mobile app. And this in itself is quite an extraordinary achievement. Mark explained that in order to focus attention on the app as its primary channel, Yuu Rewards intentionally limited the functionality of the program website, a fascinating insight separately.
3m 15s
We learned that Yuu Rewards decided not to issue plastic cards to users, but instead they programmed with the Octopus card, which in Hong Kong is used to pay for everything like transport and even everyday purchases. So it is a great option as a physical card for anyone who might want it. Another key topic we discussed was that quite a number of brands within the Yuu Rewards program had existing loyalty programs in place prior to the Yuu program. And Mark explained that these partners were delighted to join the coalition, given the sheer scale and opportunity that a multi-sectoral program offered even 7-Eleven in Hong Kong, the world’s largest convenience store brand has joined Yuu Rewards as a partner.
4m 11s
So that’s it for this short summary. This episode was published in late 2020. So if you’re interested in Mark’s incredible experience, please do check out the full interview. It’s episode 61 on LetsTalkLoyalty.com and make sure you keep an eye out on our upcoming shows. As we are planning to have Mark back on in the next few months to give us an update how Yuu Rewards has been doing since we last spoke to him finally for today, don’t forget to join me again on Thursday. When I’m talking with Brian Almieda of India’s Points For Good program to hear how this powerful charity concept is beginning its rollout in Europe.
4m 59s
This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing use 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.
5m 40s
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