#519: Loyalty Lessons ex Starbucks USA – Joy Das Gupta

Today’s episode is available in audio format as “Let’s Talk Loyalty” and in video format on www.Loyalty.TV

Today’s guest has an incredible career in loyalty, working for over thirteen years on many of the most exciting and innovative propositions that Starbucks now offers in the US market.

Joy Das Gupta is now an independent loyalty consultant who works for clients such as Brooks Running, and who has previously supporting brands like Coca Cola, Stanley, Black & Decker, Cisco Systems and Samsung for Merkle.

Joy caught our attention sharing valuable insights and potential pitfalls that loyalty marketing professionals need to be aware of, and she joins Loyalty TV today to share more of these.

Listen to enjoy my conversaton with Joy Das Gupta from Das Gupta Consulting LLC.

Show Notes:

1) Joy Das Gupta

2) Watch the full interview at www.Loyalty.TV

Audio Transcript

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 and Loyalty TV. Today’s guest has an incredible career in loyalty working for over 13 years on many of the most exciting and innovative propositions that Starbucks now offers in the US market. Joy Das Gupta is now an independent loyalty consultant working for numerous clients such as Brooks Running and previously supporting brands like Coca-Cola, Stanley, Black & Decker, Cisco Systems, and Samsung for Merkle.

Joy caught my attention on LinkedIn from her posts with the number of insights and pitfalls that loyalty marketing professionals need to be aware of. And I knew our audience would love the chance to hear her perspective. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joy Das Gupta from DasGupta Consulting.

So, Joy Das Gupta, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Joy: Thank you, Paula. Nice to be here. 

Paula: It’s so wonderful that the joys of social media and LinkedIn has given us this opportunity Joy to connect. I’ve been looking at some of the wonderful posts that you were putting on there recently on some of our content, but also it’s just some helpful tips and tricks from your incredible loyalty career. And it caught my attention. And I always love to kind of hear from particularly consultants who have a really unique perspective, both in terms of the corporate side of loyalty and of course, what you’re doing now as an independent loyalty consultant. So lots to talk about joy in terms of your journey to today. And I really want to pick your brains about what our audience needs to be thinking about. 

So before we talk about all of those insights, Joy, as you know, we always start this show trying to get a sense of what does our audience, what can they learn from you in terms of what’s your favorite loyalty program and why?

Joy: My favorite loyalty program right now is from a company called Grove Collaborative, which is based in the Bay Area of the United States. And they are a direct to consumer company that offers a subscription, but they have a clear mission, which is to reduce plastic use. So all of the products that they sell for cleaning and for beauty care are really focused on either removing or eliminating plastic packaging and using renew, renewable resources.

So I think what I like about it is not only is it convenient and there are subscription based benefits, they also do a really good job of introducing you to new products that meet the environmental mission and still do some of the things that people love, like discounts and free samples of beauty products and all those things that show up in your package. So I think they do a nice job of blending discovery with familiarity in a very convenient program. 

Paula: Okay. Certainly a very unusual example, Joy, but I would say right on trend. Sustainability is a topic that loyalty professionals have to think about. Of course, brands at every level need to be thinking about. So wonderful to hear that example and certainly for anybody listening to the show, we’ll make sure to connect to that in the show notes. It sounds like it’s still quite a small operation from the way you’ve described it being in the Bay area, but if it’s performing as well, as you’ve said, it sounds like it’s got plenty of potential.

Joy: Well, that’s where they’re headquartered. It’s actually a national company and they are selling a lot of their products and their branded products in major retailers like target in the United States. So they support the whole country, but no, it’s not a large company. And I really wanted to bring an example that wasn’t maybe one that listeners had heard of before because there’s some great innovations going out there and in smaller companies. 

Paula: Indeed, and I know innovation is a key passion point for us on this show, Joy. I know it’s a key passion point for you as well. So I’d love you to kick us off by talking us through, I suppose, some of the work that you’ve been doing.

I know you’ve been involved in lots of different areas, whether it’s mobile payments, of course loyalty specifically. And the flagship, I guess, corporate role that you’ve had, of course has been in Starbucks. I know you were there for quite a long time. So would you talk us through how did you get into loyalty and some of the work that you’ve been doing?

Joy: Well, like many people, I fell into it. I started working for Starbucks in 2005. And at that point, there were no loyalty programs at Starbucks or really in the marketplace other than things like airlines. 

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: So, from various marketing and product roles at Starbucks in the US, working on everything from technology to coffee we started to launch our first loyalty program. And it’s the great thing about being at Starbucks for 13 years was we went through at least four iterations. We had to sunset a couple of programs because it was clear that they weren’t making money. Even though customers may love them. That wasn’t you know, a good balance. So that’s how I really got started. I moved into a role and we started working on it and then we saw the opportunity to work on mobile payment when Apple actually launched their app store.

It was one of the first ways that brands could actually directly have mobile relationships with their customers. Because before that, it would be things like text, which you don’t really own. Whereas an app was a way you could actually own that relationship. So we got on that train right away. And we worked with our point of sale team to say, we need to make sure people can pay with their phone. That is the future. And that was back in 2008. 

Paula: Wow. 

Joy: That’s how we got started. 

Paula: It’s quite a vision actually, Joy, when I think now we take mobile payment for granted, I think you told me off air that I think 50 percent now of the Starbucks payments are done by mobile, but it was probably something that was super complicated, probably didn’t make a lot of sense to people. I mean, it’s almost 20 years ago. So, I mean, how did you know that was going to be such a killer app? You know, to use the terminology in terms of, as you said, with so many propositions to try so many reward options available, but mobile payments was a very strong proposition for you to focus on.

Joy: So it was interesting. Like a lot of things it’s born out of solving a problem. So the number one question that would come into Starbucks customer service was how much money do I have on my gift card? 

Paula: Okay. 

Joy: People couldn’t see their balance, right? They had to call a toll free number. And so we realized like through making a simple API call, you could just display that balance and you could have it on your phone because when you really need that information is not when you’re sitting at a desktop, it’s when you’re at the register. It’s not really helpful or when you’re out running your errand, do you want to know, well, how much money do I have on this card? So we’ve realized that we could save a lot of money from customer service if we could just get this one fact out to people. 

And that’s kind of, you know, what led to the first conversation, which is like, let’s let people look at how much money they have on their gift cards. Starbucks has led in the gift card business. 

Paula: Yeah.

Joy: And then let’s turn it into a barcode and see if they can scan it. And that was a very like you said, that was very complicated. As you know, and still today, point of sale is not something you can touch usually it has a lot of rules and regulations. All your money comes through it. There’s a lot of protection. 

So we had to work kind of underground and find somebody in the POS lab that would let us play around with this. And we only tested it in like 10 stores. And we deliberately asked to test it in Silicon Valley because we knew that if you worked for Apple and you lived in Cupertino, California, you would want to try this. And that’s how we got started. 

Paula: Wow. Going for the cool kids, the cool tech and just getting those early adopters to really drive the excitement around something that really makes a difference. As you said, like standing at a till wanting to know how much I’ve gotten my gift card. There’s absolutely no way. I mean, it’s actually quite funny when we think about now that people used to, you know, be expected to call a call center to check something that’s so basic. 

And one thing that I’ve always admired actually about that whole, I suppose, wisdom of what Starbucks did back then Joy was this idea that obviously credit cards are such a popular form of payment, but they’re actually quite expensive. And I’m guessing particularly for a coffee retailer like Starbucks. But you guys, I think very early on, saw the gift card opportunity. And if people were preloading their cash there, you save the credit card fees, of course. And then, you know, you’re literally almost operating as a bank because you’re holding the cash then ready for people because they know they’re going to come in and have their daily coffee with you.

Joy: Yes. That was something Starbucks figured out early on that holding money of course was advantageous for many reasons. People have prepaid, they’ll come and spend it and you also do earn some conservative interest rates as well. So it’s literally the gift that keeps giving the company. But I will say that’s a good example of a strategy that’s really not viable for most companies. Starbucks is unique in having a highly giftable product. 

Paula: It is.

Joy: That is a low ticket. So for 10 dollars, you can buy something at Starbucks, but most retailers and most brands, 10 dollars doesn’t make a meaningful dent in the average price point. So it’s unique in that gift cards are not only at the right price point, but because of having a large store footprint, you can give it to anybody and they can usually use it.

Paula: Yeah. Indeed. And even though we didn’t have a strong footprint of Starbucks in Ireland, when I was working in loyalty Joy, I did give away a lot of coffee because even as a category, it’s pretty universal. And of course we would allow people to do, you know, tea and hot chocolate and actually any hot drink.

But anytime we decided we wanted to go out and just reward people for any random surprise and delight reason, coffee or chocolate actually was my other favorite one. It’s just like once we got the point to sale piece as well set up so that we could obviously have unique codes and make sure that there was no over redemption. But it is, as you said, it’s a very unique category in its universal appeal for everyone. 

Joy: It’s very unique. And we used to talk about gifting at Starbucks and have a gifting strategy. And when you do research, people will tell you that they gift like their inner circle and then they gift an outer circle and a Starbucks card or low value items was very, it was considered thoughtful, but very easy. 

So if you wanted to provide a gift to a teacher or to the school bus driver or to someone in your community as a thank you or for a holiday, it was an affordable way to gift without having to know that person and all of their preferences.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: You know, this is like, I think one of the things I talk a lot about with loyalty is as wonderful as Starbucks model is, it’s not a model that can be duplicated for most companies. And so I think there’s a lot of learning from Starbucks, particularly in how to drive and think about modeling and incremental benefits and financials. But it is a unique, it’s a unique business, right? So.

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. But though you did put something on LinkedIn, you know, as I mentioned earlier, Joy, which I suppose was a way for United, particularly, I think in the example you quoted, where again, there are very few opportunities that most of us have enough points or miles to actually get a reward seat.

But I think the point that you are making about United was that they were making their currency available for much lower value items. So things like free wifi or choosing a slightly better seat, even if it does happen to be an economy. So I think what I’m hearing is you know, the liquidity of the points, even if the value is low, it’s something that anyone can think about whether you are an airline or a coffee shop.

Joy: Absolutely. And I think it was Merkle that just published their 2024 loyalty barometer and you’ll see year after year in their research that really, the top reasons that people are dissatisfied with loyalty programs is, it takes too long to earn a reward. It’s really one of the top things that comes again and again.

So what we see United and I’m seeing American Airlines and actually a variety of retailers is they’re trying to make it easier to redeem for something. And I think that’s a clear example. United has clearly figured out that there’s a lot of people that just aren’t going to earn a flight. And so then they decide not to be part of the program at all. 

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: But if you can use your currency to make your experience just a little bit better, then it does become more attractive. And so increasing utility of currency, I think, is a key trend that we’re, we will see more of, especially because so many currencies and loyalty have been devalued, including Starbucks.

Paula: Indeed. 

Joy: So, as prices go up and as companies need to manage their discount line, they devalue their currency. So one of the ways to offset that disappointment is to give you sort of Incremental benefits.

Paula: And I remember writing about Starbucks actually Joy and I’m guessing that this might have been maybe five or six years ago, but exactly to that same point, even Starbucks at again, quite an accessible kind of price point, even for a cup of coffee. But again, was making rewards available for a shot of flavor, for example. So again, that was something where it was just always being made easier, simpler, and a way that you could close the loop and get that instant gratification that I think we all just get like a dopamine hit. And if we don’t get the dopamine hit, then as you said, we just disengage and give up.

Joy: That’s right. That’s exactly right. 

Paula: Wonderful. So you mentioned quite a lot of propositions Joy and I was I suppose relieved to hear that because from the outside looking in it kind of always seems that kind of Starbucks nailed it from the beginning. The program is just so well respected and it is absolutely the gold standard.

Can you talk us through any other learnings? Things like gamification, for example, we’ve talked about mobile payments, but what else was an important game changer in terms of finding a rewards proposition that resonated with US consumers? 

Joy: So I think there’s a couple. We used to have a program where people could buy a gold card. It lasted for just a short period of time, and then they would get 10 percent off.  And you see some of these models, but it was pretty clear. And again, if you look for it, I don’t know that you’ll find it on the internet. It wouldn’t last that long, but it was pretty clear that was not a winning proposition because if you allow people to buy into discounts and if they’re high frequency customers, you’re effectively giving away revenue.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: So, that model had to get retired in favor for something similar to what we have today at Starbucks, but it actually started out as a frequency, a visit based model, and then it moved to a spend based model. 

Paula: Okay. 

Joy: So I think the economics are always, like for companies that are really attentive, you have to constantly looking at consumer behavior. Because consumers are going to game your system, right? So the idea is you have to have enough people that are not doing that to help offset the cost. So I think that was really a key learning. We got a lot smarter about how to model and forecast consumer behavior. And that’s so important, especially as I work with companies today, I see that marketing and finance have to be in lockstep and that’s not always the case in certain organizations. So I would say that’s really important. 

And another thing I would really stress that was so interesting is that, is loyalty research. 

Paula: Okay. 

Joy: And I don’t know if you’ve done some programs on this topic, but asking people what they want in a loyalty program is not actually always the best way to do the research because what people tell you they want, and the way they behave in a loyalty program are extremely different.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: And sometimes the things that people say they don’t care about are things they actually may care about, so.

Paula: So what we do? Yes. Please give us an example.

Joy: I’ll give you an example of something and that’s why I think you have to be, you have to really integrate your information. So, some people may remember some listeners at Starbucks used to have a gold card that we would send out in the mail with your name on it.

Paula: Okay. 

Joy: And that was a real kind of stamp and at that point people would carry plastic cards and you could argue that might be make sense for Starbucks to do something like this digitally and it doesn’t today, but, you know, if you got a certain amount of visitation, you would get this gold card in the mail and, the amount of thrill that people would have, it was like a major achievement at that point. And that’s a good example of gamification. It’s like if you hit that threshold, you got a prize, which was a gold card with your name on it, which is really just permission to pay with a different card design, right?

Paula: Yeah.

Joy: And if you would go out on that time, it was Twitter or any kind of social media, you would see an unbelievable amount of social chatter of like, Hey, I didn’t pass Math this semester, but I got my gold card. It was like this really amazing achievement and this thrill for people for all kinds of reasons. But if you ask people if they want a personalized gold card, it would always come down at the bottom of the list. 

Paula: Okay. Yeah.

Joy: But the emotional attachment to that was actually really high as a badge of achievement. So it’s one of my favorite learnings of as marketers, I think you have to be, you have to really read between the lines.

Paula: Yeah, it’s like that famous, wasn’t it? Henry Ford, who said if he’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse, you know, when actually, of course, the motor car was just something that nobody had any idea was going to be, you know, absolutely the solution to to transport.

So, I think you’re right, Joy. I think all of us have struggled with that. The one that always comes to my mind is particularly what I think is called virtue signaling, where, you know, there’s a charity proposition where I think if any of us are asked, you know, would you like to give points to charity?

Then of course we want to be seen as a good person and we do absolutely say that’s an important partnership or benefit, but any programs really that I’ve kind of seen figures on. The actual proportion of people who do end up doing the donating to charity is always much smaller, you know, so I don’t know if you’ve seen that, but for me, like if the points are available and I can do something for myself or give it off to a charity, you know, I think I usually go for a, you know, the reward for me for all my hard work.

Joy: That’s a great example. And I feel like that was a constant conversation that in Starbucks, just overall the brand and wanting to be very thoughtful about many things in terms of the environment and coffee farmers and support for those. But again and again you don’t necessarily see people vote with their points that way. I think those are very important from a brand perspective.

Paula: I agree. 

Joy: When I think when companies get into challenges is when they tell themselves that’s. 

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: A major consumer motivator.  So, my sense is that, and I don’t coach companies to necessarily get rid of those things.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: But to try to coalesce around a single day or a week where you create a cornerstone event. Because it is important to your brand and you do want to showcase some of the other things that your brand may work on, but not to make it a centerpiece of the program. 

Paula: Yeah. Absolutely. And it should be available. Absolutely. I would never say not, but I think for me, it’s about managing the expectations of what, you know, behavior is going to change, whether there’s going to be incremental spend based on that particular proposition. I don’t think that’s realistic, but yes, nonetheless, there are people who want to do that and for sure we should facilitate it.

In fact, for me, this, the single most important piece was understanding the value of what I might want to do to a charity, because I think again, sometimes it’s a case of donate points to charity without, you know, specifying, for example, you know, feed a child for a day, for example, as something which is much more tangible.

And in that case, then I’m much more likely to say, okay, this is something that I know what I’m doing rather than just kind of being a good person for the sake of it. So I think that’s specificity is something that I learned was an important factor as well along the way. 

Joy: I would agree with that a hundred percent. You have people want to know how their currency is being used and they want to see the impact. And we see that a lot with companies doing social impact reports, but I think that’s a great opportunity for loyalty programs to be, to connect those pieces more effectively. I agree with you. I think that’s an opportunity that hasn’t, I haven’t really seen that fully mined yet. At least here in the US.

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. The one that I really wanted to quiz you about joy, given your expertise is the whole area that you briefly alluded to around financial modeling. It was always the part that I struggled with the most and you alluded to it earlier. And of course it has to be done.

In your experience, Joy, is it better coming from finance? Is it better coming from a loyalty team with data analysts or I guess, obviously, of course, that has to be done collaboratively, but what do you think is the best way to prove the incrementality so that everybody in the business is comfortable with the level of investment that’s going into the program?

Joy: Yeah, that is kind of the million dollar question, right? 

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: So Starbucks has always been a very collaborative, cross functional, and matrixed culture. So, I believe inherently that it does have to be a cross collaboration. If you make it the domain of just one team, then there isn’t sort of co ownership.

What I do see as a consultant is companies that try to outsource this to an agency. And I am a fan of many agency resources, but I’m not a huge fan of giving it to an agency other than, or a consulting firm, other than to advise you. It’s a model you have to own internally because it is so, it’s such a significant and important part of your business. So that’s one thing I do feel like I don’t, you don’t advocate just giving it to an external company because your finance team will say, well, what were those assumptions and how did you arrive at that? And then it’s invalidated and you spend a lot of money for a model that people don’t actually believe in.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: I also think it requires a very strong test and learn culture. And I think Starbucks again is really one of the best cases so much offer testing. So you have to start with that to understand what drives behavior. First of all, like what actually drives an extra visit or someone to spend an extra dollar. And then was that a profitable dollar spent? So you know that if you discount enough, of course you will drive more people and you’ll drive more sales. So the trick is to figure out, well, how can you discount as little as possible to get the maximum impact? And really you can only, I think, do that through testing.

Paula: Okay. There’s no secret sauce. 

Joy: I don’t think there is a secret sauce and every customer base and brand is different and what motivates them and your loyal customers are motivated by different levers. So I really feel like a lot of the consulting work I do in working with the company right now is I’m like, what are your levers?

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: Let’s figure out what those levers are. Let’s test them. 

Paula: Yeah.

Joy: Let’s figure out what drives the most volume and efficiency. 

Paula: Yeah. And actually you’ve reminded me of one of the, I suppose, high profile levers that Starbucks has done. And maybe since you’ve moved on from there, joy into your consulting work. But it’s the whole idea of NFTs, which I know, you know, exploded maybe two, three years ago. I personally still never really understood why people were excited about it. But when I see a brand like Starbucks doing that, it does make me stop and think, well, maybe I should be experimenting with them. So what’s your take on the whole NFT, you know, explosion slash who knows what to call it?

Joy: Yeah, I think that’s an interesting question. That’s called Starbucks Odyssey. That was definitely after I left, so I don’t have any kind of major insight as to how or why. I, again, I would say Starbucks is unique. It is such a large company and it does have an innovation culture. So it is willing to try new things. Similar to like Nike, I feel like is very innovative and can try things. 

Most companies I don’t think have the luxury of the resources to carve out that kind of test platform. So Starbucks Odyssey, my gut is like still a very small number of people that participate and they have to be motivated by digital assets and that those digital assets great gain value that would skew more of a male audience and younger. That’s my gut. So I think it’s an interesting experiment for Starbucks. I think it has absolutely no material impact on the business results of the company. 

Paula: Okay.

Joy: So make no mistake that the app that Starbucks offers with the regular loyalty earn and burn discounts, the challenges, the games, that’s, what’s moving the needle. It’s not going to be the NFTs. So whether or not the NFTs carry on, I don’t know. I think NFTs might make sense for digital companies like gaming companies, for example, where they are core to their business. I don’t know where it will go for Starbucks. 

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. But as you said, the core earn and burn, the mobile payments, all of that kind of really, you know, powerful levers, I guess, to use that terminology clearly they’re here to stay and so much more, I guess, will always continue to evolve again with a company like that and a culture like that. So an amazing backdrop for you then to move into consulting. What made you decide to go out into the big bad world and start to advise other companies? 

Joy: Well, that’s a combination of personal and professional, right? There’s a lot of flexibility when you can consult and for working parents, that becomes often a necessity. And this is before COVID when people could work remotely more. So that was part of the motivation. And then also just the curiosity of different companies and being able to apply Starbucks learning to so many different industries. 

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: I just love being able to work across different businesses. So it’s just so much fun. And so that was part of the motivation. 

Paula: Amazing. Yeah. So what are you working on now that’s so much fun? I love to hear people enjoy their work. 

Joy: I’ve done a lot of work for an athletic shoe company over the past few years, and that’s been really hard and really fun because it’s such a competitive market.

Paula: Yeah. 

Joy: And you know, they, that direct to consumer sales is only portion of the market. A lot of it has to go through other retailers. And so in those situations, you don’t have data, direct data. I mean, that’s another thing we didn’t talk about with loyalties. If you don’t actually own that customer, you have to think of a variety of different ways to connect with that consumer. So, we have a mix of direct to consumer and then retailer relationship. And that’s been a lot of fun to think about how to connect. 

Paula: Okay. Yeah. So exciting times. What do you think then we’re coming to, to the end of our time together, Joy. When I think about the audience around the world listening, you know, given what you’ve done with that, with Starbucks, as you’ve said, what other kind of trends or ideas do you think are powerful enough to merit their attention? We’ve talked about things like NFTs. We’ve talked about sustainability and the role of understanding those different levers and not taking the research at face value. What else do you think are important messages for loyalty marketers to understand as they seek to optimize their programs?

Joy: I think you covered a lot of them. I think I would say I focus a lot on data versus insights. I think we’re awash with data, but not necessarily insights. And then a lot of the best research for loyalty actually isn’t loyalty research. It’s consumer research. It’s why are people loyal to the brand in the first place is going to yield a lot of clues of how to design a program and what their emotional attachment is to that product or program.

I would also say that there are times when, and this may be heresy, where I recommend not having a loyalty program. And I do think it’s important for loyalty professionals to sort of acknowledge that not all brands are either ready for one, like they don’t necessarily have the tools in place, like CRM or human resources. And I think that’s okay, but that has to be a conversation as well. And some brands don’t actually lend themselves to loyalty programs because the relationship that the consumer has is too fleeting or it’s too infrequent. And so there are probably other ways to spend your dollars that are going to have more impact.

So I worked with someone whose primary business is jewelry and diamond rings. And it’s really hard to say like, Oh, you should have a program when somebody is coming in once, right to buy their wedding ring. There’s probably other marketing types of levers that you’re going to want and need that are quite different from a loyalty program for diamond jewelry.

Paula: Yes. Yeah. I love the heresy, Joy. You know, I think we’re probably not provocative enough on this show sometimes. So thank you for for saying that. And you know, the example I always give in that particular context is Apple which of course is a significant spend. But as you said, the reason by people buy Apple products is not because of any, you know, currency or any rewards. It is for the core product itself. So, you know, in any category where the product is good enough and consumers perceive that massive difference, then absolutely save your dollars. It’s not going to drive the business. 

Joy: Exactly. And so I think we have to be brave enough to say that.

Paula: Totally.

Joy: Which is, you don’t need a loyalty program or you’re not ready for a loyalty program until you have some of these fundamental pieces in place. I think that’s really, really important because not every business requires it. And we’re getting into a situation now where there’s so many programs out there that they all look alike. And the bar is getting higher and higher to differentiate. 

Paula: Indeed. And certainly in this part of the world, joy, you know, every brand in the Middle East wants to be the biggest, wants to be the best. And, you know, the bar is so high that honestly, it is just a case of, well, you know, what else can we do? You know, we can’t just give our products away. So, so what else can’t be done? So clearly plenty more thinking, plenty more opportunity for people like certainly you joy and please God for us as well, for people listening to the show, listening for ideas.

So listen, thank you for sharing your words of wisdom today, Joy. I always love to meet particularly, you know, people coming from this incredible corporate background and again, consulting across different categories now, because I think it does provoke much more inspiring conversations when you can start to learn from one vertical and apply it to another things like CPG and, you know, you’ve talked about data, for example, to me. Those kinds of areas are still huge opportunities for loyalty professionals that we just haven’t nailed yet. So we can look to airlines, we can look to hotels, we can look to Starbucks. But ultimately, as you said, we have to sit and look at our own programs, our own customers, ask them what they want, but then maybe try a few other things that they haven’t even realized they want, which I think is an important learning today as well.

So listen, I don’t have any more questions, Joy but I did want to offer if it’s okay with you to just to put your contact details in our show notes, because my sense is there’s going to be a lot of people who would value your words of wisdom, would love to connect. So if that’s okay, we’ll add that into the show notes. Are you happy enough for people to reach out to you? 

Joy: Sure. LinkedIn would be the best way. Sure. 

Paula: Okay, great. So listen, have you any final words of wisdom then joy for our audience? It’s been a joy from our side. And yeah, we’d love to hear any kind of final thoughts you have. 

Joy: Oh, gosh, just don’t be afraid to try new things, right? It’s those are the, I’m all about innovation and, you know, building that culture of testing and risk taking. 

Paula: Yes.

Joy: So, I don’t have anything else. I think you have an incredible audience of people who are very knowledgeable. So it’s just about keeping it up. Yeah.

Paula: It is. And have fun along the way. I think I picked that up from you as well. Yeah.

Joy: Absolutely. Yeah. 

Paula: Super cool. Great. Okay. So listen, as I said, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Delighted to have been able to pick your brains and get some insight behind the curtains of what happened through your loyalty journey and what you’re continuing to focus on.

So Joy Das Gupta, thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Joy: Thank you, Paula.

Paula: This show is sponsored by Wise Marketer Group, publisher of the Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news, insights, and research. Wise Marketer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals.

For global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty, check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education. For individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org. 

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