#527: Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0

Today’s Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast talks to three deeply experienced professionals about the whitepaper – Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0. I talk to Charlie Hills,, Chief Strategy Officer and Abigayle Blanshard, Senior Strategist, both from MandoConnect. They are accompanied by Nick Fishbourne, Group Account Director of YouGov.

The whitepaper covers 24 European countries and proves that Europe is not a homogenous loyalty market

Three key highlights are that loyalty is playing an important role in today’s cost of living crisis, customers are begging brands to build emotional connections and finally that there is a distinct rise in gamification within loyalty technology across European loyalty programmes.

Show Notes:

1) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Abigayle Blanshard

2) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Charlie Hills

3)  Nick Fishbourne

4)  MandoConnect

5) Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0

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. 

This show is brought to you by Comarch, a leader in customer engagement tools that help you forge meaningful connections and boost profits. Leveraging over 10 years of utilizing AI technology. From immersive loyalty programs to captivating marketing campaigns, Comarch helps you deliver personalized experiences across every touch point, gather valuable insights, understand customer behavior, and watch your brand recognition soar. Don’t miss out on Comarch’s upcoming webinar, Top Loyalty Trends, Industry Specific Ideas 2024 on May 7th.

Comarch, where innovation meets customer satisfaction. To learn more, visit comarch.com.

Amanda: We have the pleasure of discussing with YouGov and Mando-Connect the second white paper released in two months. This month in April, we talk about understanding loyalty in Europe 2.0. Charlie Hills and Abbie Blanchard from Mando-Connect join us with Nick Fishbourne from YouGov. The white paper which we discussed today cuts across 24 European markets, 266,000 consumers, each of which have answered over a thousand questions, which is just simply remarkable.

And one of the key takeouts is that Europe is not a homogenous loyalty market. The other three key main takeouts. Loyalty plays an important role in this cost of living crisis. Number two, customers are begging brands to build emotional connections. And number three, the rise in gamification and technology is very apparent across Europe.

So it’s an absolute pleasure once again to be discussing a loyalty white paper. So today we discuss Understanding Loyalty in Europe 2.0. And I have very special guests who have been on the show before very recently, but we have Mando-Connect and YouGov. And I’ll introduce the individuals in a moment.

But the reason I think this is so special is the white paper for Europe was released last week, but in the last month, we’ve had an absolute tsunami of white papers around loyalty around the world. So we have South Africa being released in March and the Let’s Talk Loyalty show was on the 10th of April. And then we had What Britain’s Want 4.0 also from Mando-Connects and YouGov released to the public and the industry on the 20th of March and Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

So here we are now in April with the next very exciting white paper for the world of loyalty to consume. And it brings me great pleasure to bring in Charlie Hills, who’s the Chief Strategy Officer of Mando-Connect. Abby Blanchard, who wasn’t with us on the Britain paper. So she’s going to talk about Europe, who’s a senior strategist, also Mando-Connect and a return to the podcast, Nick Fishbourne, Group Account Director from YouGov. Welcome. 

Nick: Thank you. 

Charlie: Thank you.

Amanda: So before we start just unraveling all these exciting insights, because I can’t wait because I’m salivated over what Britain’s want, I salivate over what South Africans want, because that’s obviously a bit of a personal bias. But now we’ve got the whole of Europe to look forward to. But before we get into that, this is a bit of a difficult question for Charlie and Nick because they answered it last month, so let’s see if the answers are the same. But what is your favorite loyalty program? Let’s start with Abby. 

Abigayle: Cool. So I was debating about this and I was debating between Vitality and Morrisons More Card, but I’m going to go with Morrisons due to the fact that they’ve just re List some new and interesting updates to their program. So they’ve always had more points but they’ve revamped them in the last year. And then, I think it was about mid February, they launched what they’ve called Boosters. And it’s connected to your shopping data. We buy a lot of oat milk in our house. So Oatly is one of our boosters. So it says if you spend nine pounds, we’ll give you 250 points. If you spend 17 pounds on Oatly in this period, we’ll give you a thousand more points. 

So I just think it’s a really good way to engage shoppers with their current behavior and also stretch their spend in order to give them more points. And it’s clear from the brand because you end up spending more. And even though I work in loyalty, I fall for it every time and still do it. 

Amanda: Well, you know, it’s a winner if that’s loyalty folks are falling for it. So there we go. And Charlie, any change from a month ago? 

Charlie: Oh, always. I have a plethora of favorite loyalty programs informed in part, you know, by that British research that we did. It’s great to see Abby picking one of the top 10 and that came out was new contender Morrisons this year in the top 10 programs in Britain. I think last time I talked about Beauty Pie as a really interesting hybrid program in beauty, in subscription, doing some really interesting things and pushing the boundaries of the loyalty world.

This time, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about Canon Club, which is actually one of the pan European programs that we featured in the European research. It’s one of my favorite reasons to do the research, which is to uncover and discover new exciting loyalty programs and how they work. 

And I first came across Canon Club a DA conference in London. I’m then married to a big photography aficionado and he’s a big fan of it since I’d introduced him to the program. And what I particularly love about Canon Club is what they’re doing in community and actually engaging their members to take photographs, share photographs. Take part in competitions and the standard is really something else that the photography that you see coming in the commentary coming in.

And it’s great because it’s such a positive, you know, when we ask in research, how important is the community component of the loyalty program, we often see that rank sort of towards the bottom. It comes below value. It comes below treats. It comes below what I get. But the reality is that some programs are really setting the bar in this space. So cool. Membership program is another one. So, yeah, I’m going to go for Canon Club this time. 

Amanda: I love it. Two new ones. Great. Nick? 

Nick: No chance. I’m sticking with them, I’m afraid. So, for anyone that hasn’t listened to the What Brits Want version of this podcast, my favorite is by far Tesco’s Clubcard.

I don’t sit in the industry, so I probably represent Mr. Average in the UK here. But I went out for dinner last night with my wife to Pizza Express and we played the meal entirely with Tesco’s ClubCard points. So, I think when you can do things like that, it’s, you know, it’s a tangible benefit. For anyone listening to this outside of the UK, Tesco’s Express is a very high end pizza chain in the UK. So, yeah, it’s, you know, I see the benefit of it. It’s easy to use. So that is, yeah, that’s my, it’s my clear leader still. 

Amanda: Amazing. Well, I said this last time when I chatted to you about the British white paper, that two of those are brand new in terms of the list of one top 100. So it’s always exciting, but it’s all even more exciting to hear you talk about your personal experience with it, which I think actually really makes it stand out and make sense. So thank you for that. 

And so straight into it, I’m going to do a terrible job of doing the formal introduction. So I’d like you to actually give us a synopsis of your history in loyalty and the role that you play at particularly building up to why, you know, you’re working together on this white paper.

So I’m going to start with Charlie. If you could just give us a sense, Charlie, I know most people listening to this know you from as being a host on Let’s Talk Loyalty, but today you’re a guest. So Charlie Hills. 

Charlie: I think my history in loyalty It’s longer than I would like. It’s, I think it’s something horrifying, like 25 years I’ve been in the industry now.

So I started out at Boots, you know, one of the sort of stalwart loyalty programs, work my way through all different sorts of areas and loyalty and partnerships and promotions. And then in 2017, I co founded Mando-Connect with Joe Ashdown and Becky Munday for WPP. 

And what Mando-Connect is a loyalty specialist partnerships and rewards agency. And what sets us apart, I think, from the rest is our passion for robust data and insight, and actually informing, developing, delivering, executing, and then evaluating those partnerships based on a really good and deep understanding of what customers want, hence the research, what works our own kind of performance data that we then overlay and then which partners are right in terms of our connect partner bank.

And I think that passion for insight and then translating that into actions for our clients and the brands that we work with and creating some brilliant kind of partnerships is what I’m really excited about. And, you know, I’m saying that the white papers are my favorite. Part of my job because I’m naturally very curious, which is probably why I’m a strategist. So every time we do them, we learn something new, be that new data, new insight, new case studies, new inspiration from new experts. So, yeah, that’s me and why I’m really excited about these white papers. I’ll hand to Abby. 

Abigayle: Oh, so I am Abbey Blanchard. I am Senior Strategist at Mando-Connect. My history and loyalty is not quite as long, but it’s still 10 years. So I started off working in software and then very quickly moved into advertising where I started my career really in strategy and planning, mostly on the comms side, working a lot in CRM and working on some sort of B2B brands in this space. So Volkswagen financial services and Mercedes financial services working on sort of CRM and getting people to stick with their fleet provider, which was very in thing.

From there, I moved into doing some market research, customer voice stuff worked on Sainsbury’s there, and then worked at Wunderman Thompson doing these strategies for Shell Go Plus, just as they were switching from points to visits in the UK, which was a very interesting challenge to communicate and to teach customers a whole new loyalty panic.

They were so used to getting points. And that’s actually where I met Charlie. We worked with Mando-Connect on a big spin to win. Promotions. That’s how I got to know Charlie and which eventually landed me here at Mando-Connect. So yeah, I’m just excited about the white paper. I enjoy using sort of my background and loyalty and my experience on that side and then translating that into research and especially working with the experts to pull out the different case studies and understand what is happening in each market and how different the markets can be as well.

Amanda: Lovely. Thanks. I’m really looking forward to hearing those, you know, how the experts contributed and how those different markets stand out, but we’ll get to that. Last but not least, Nick, you have a real pedigree in research. So share with us a little bit about your career and where you’ve got to, and then I’ll start to ask you a little bit more about the research methodology.

Nick: Yeah, thanks. So I’ve been in research and data my whole career. Most recently working at YouGov right now. Head up the the account management team. I’ve been there for about four years coming up now. And I’ve been working with Charlie and the team throughout that time. It’s really great to hear Charlie say that you know, data driven insight is one of the fundamentals that underpins the work that they do. And, you know, that’s really where you go comes into this. 

We’re a search data and analytics group, but we’ve been around for about 20 years. We’re a truly global company. Now we have I think at the last count, something like 25 million global panelists. We operate in over 50 markets. So the role we plan in this collaboration with Mando is very much to provide the raw data that fuels the insight that Charlie and Abby pulled together within the white paper. 

Amanda: That blows my pip 25 million global panelists. That really is just incredibly impressive. And I think it’s a.

Nick: A lot, isn’t it? 

Amanda: Yeah. And I think anyone who knows anything about research will therefore very comfortably sit back now and relax and know that the methodology is sound. So maybe Nick, if you can just share a little bit on that methodology that brings us into, I know it was similar, if not the same as what went into What Britain’s Want 4 0, but I think it’d be really useful for everyone to understand that. 

Nick: Yes. It’s a, Similar methodology, but it’s a different data product that the data comes from. So it comes from a platform that we call Global Profiles, which is it’s a global audience intelligence and profiling platform, essentially. So, we have data in T8 markets globally. In this white paper, we’re just looking at those European markets. So there’s 24 half the A number of countries, but what’s populating this data product is data from 266 000 consumers worldwide. So as you said, very robust, reliable sample sizes. 

And what we’ve done to populate this platform. As we’ve had each one of those 266,000 consumers answer every question of a thousand question questionnaire, obviously, we don’t get people to answer it all at once. It’s done in modules. The consistency of that data globally means that our clients can use the platform to build global audiences or strategies or campaigns. That are globe consistent that you can understand market nuances, market similarities, literally with the touch of a button. It’s all within one platform within one user interface. So it’s it makes for a very powerful and interactive data tool. 

Amanda: Yeah, it’s incredible. It’s incredible. So let’s get into it. I could listen to you all day long because I’m also secretly a real data nerd. So, but aren’t we all? So let’s get into it. So last week on the 17th of April, you launched your paper 2.0. It’s the second edition. But I think what is incredibly impressive is exactly one of those numbers, Nick, that you shared with us is that it’s across 24 different European markets. So whilst you, and you said this to me last time, when we introduced the, what Britain’s want 4.0, that you went deep into one market, which was great Britain.

I know what it takes to produce a white paper like South Africa, which is. One market. And here you are talking about 24 different markets. So congratulations. I think the industry has had a week to enjoy it already, but let’s really start to unpack it. So Charlie, what are the key findings would you like to announce to the audience?

Charlie: Yeah, I think what is so fab about having the opportunity to look at 24 markets is it’s 24 sets of stories and 24 sets of understanding. And my single biggest take out about the European white paper is that Europe is not so much in this loyalty market. And I think sometimes some brands, some programs and some people in the industry are guilty of thinking that there’s so much to think of regional loyalty.

And actually, what I love about this research in this paper is it very clearly shows that is not the case. So, you know, in the British research, we look at things, you know, across all the different regions and we see huge variations within that market. But when you look at 24 markets across Europe, we see some more variation.

 Now, what we looked at in those 24 markets. Last year, we looked at membership. appeal and impact across all 24 of those markets. This year we have the appeal and the impact data. And later in the year, we’ll be releasing the membership data when that comes through and the youth of models. So what’s been great for us this year is to really focus on the case studies and the stories and the understanding of why does it look that way in the market.

However, it’s not as in depth as the British research. So I think another key take out for this paper is it leaves you wanting more, you know, you want to know more and you want to understand more. And that’s why I always say when we present this research, which is look at it, think about it, think how it affects your brand. Think what you can learn from the case studies. I think what you can learn about your approaches to different markets or what you should be doing in each of the markets based on that individual markets propensity to join programs or be a member of program. So it’s really actionable data, but it’s very much chapter 1.

Whereas I feel like the British research is more up to about chapter four, chapter five, because we can really get into it. So it’s brilliant research, but you know, you always, it always leaves you wanting more. 

So the kind of some of the key findings that we had from the research this year is that loyalty program impact is very positive in 2024, which I think is a really great thing for us to see. There’s been some hypotheses. Going around, you know, actually, you know, your transactional impact isn’t as good in a cost of living crisis, or perhaps it’s harder to reach people emotionally during these very challenging times. And actually we haven’t seen that. So we’ve seen very consistent impact data at a European average level from what we saw in 2023.

So 42 percent of the average European adult across our 24 markets says that membership makes them loyal to the brand, which is great. 35 percent say they are more likely to recommend the brand when they’re a member of its program. 31 percent say they are more emotionally connected to the brand when they’re a member of its loyalty program. And 29 percent will spend more with a brand when they’re a member of its loyalty program. So that’s a really strong set of impacts across those emotional metrics, but also those functional ones proving, therefore, the behavioral and the attitudinal impact of loyalty across the European level.

If I would encourage all our listeners to go into the paper and look at what that looks like on a market by market level, of course, in a podcast format, I am not going to take through 24 sets of that data, but it’s particularly interesting when you can see which markets are more affected functionally, which are more affected emotionally. It’s some really interesting data. So dig into it. 

Amanda: Yeah, love it.

Charlie: The second key area was about appeal. And actually, again, we’ve seen very consistent appeal at that European average level. It remained really strong. So European audiences really like and respond positively to loyalty programs. So 55 percent are a great way. I think that loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers, which I think is really strong. So more than half of the adult population thinks. Yep. Loyalty programs are a great thing. What a brilliant and a privilege to work in this industry. I think that’s fantastic. That’s a slight drop from 2023 where we said 56 percent feel that way, but you know, a really miniature drop. So more than half of adults are really positive about loyalty programs.

Topping the polls. We see the British, so 74% of fans followed by the Polish at 67%. The Irish at 66%, the Germans and the Slovakians at 65. So at the top end of the scale, we’ve got some core markets, which I would encourage all our listeners to look at. Those markets are doing really well in those markets, the adult population thinks, yeah, loyalty programs are great. 

What we see at the other end of the scale is, you know, more skepticism about loyalty programs, actually. The Danish are really less sure about loyalty programs. Only 32 percent think that loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers. The Dutch are only 37 percent, and the Turkish are at 41 percent. And we did see slight declines in 17 out of 24 markets in those appeal metrics year on year. Slight declines, nothing significant in most of the markets, but a slight decline in that loyalty program. Loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers.

And when you get into the paper and you can see the stories and the commentary from the experts, it starts to give you a sense of why is that the case in that market. So in some markets it’s because value has been a huge problem. Cost of living crisis has been a huge problem. Inflation has been a problem, so they’re getting less back from their loyalty programs. It might be that programs are investing less or that perhaps they’re a slightly laggard market, you know, actually their loyalty programs are quite as good as the other markets. So, really interesting in the papers why is that the case.

So what I’m seeing is that 42 percent across Europe, I think that every brand should offer a loyalty program. So, again, really positive. And you can see that market variation in the paper.

Then the final appeal metric we look at is if I offer you a loyalty program, will you join it? And the really good news there is that 35 percent of adults across the markets will say yes, absolutely. If you offer me a loyalty program, I’ll join it. And again, we see some variation by market. So the Polish are most keen. So the Polish adults will join every time you give them the chance, 53 percent followed by the Norwegians at 47%, the Irish at 45 and the Italians at 44. And then at that bottom end of the scale, again, we’re seeing some more of those skeptical markets. So the Dutch play the hardest to get only 16 percent will join each time they’re given the opportunity.

Followed by the Danes at 20 percent and the Swedish at 25%. So again, some really interesting, meaty, insightful creation in the markets, but consistency and that sort of net European average. So that’s the sort of stats side of it. And I’ll be able to talk more about the stories and the case studies in the paper, which I think are actually just as interesting.

Amanda: I think, thanks so much, Charlie. I mean, I’m just listening to every word you’re saying and salivating and can’t, you know, can’t get my head around all those stats. So I think as you’ve suggested, everyone listening to this, just download this white paper because you need to couple it up with actually reading the detail. Right. 

So what I think I love about what you say as well, as we always like to look at just the positive, but there’s often more interesting stories in some of the declines. Like, why is that happening? What is how, you know, is it? Is it due to a recession? Is it due to just a number of different impacts that will be different per market?

I think that’s what’s so exciting about this white paper is the lack of, not just lack of consistency, but the fact that we have to look at it market by market. I absolutely love that. And I, you know, that decline piece as well really interests me because I think it tells different stories.

Wonderful. So I think now we start to unpack it in a little bit more detail. So, so Abby, please, before we go into breaking it down by the different markets, you’ve pulled out in this white paper, some really exceptional case studies. Tell us about your favorite case study that’s been highlighted through the white paper.

Abigayle: Oh, that’s a difficult question to pick just one, it’s like picking your favorite child. I think, so Charlie’s already talked about Cannon Club, so I’m not going to talk about them again, but I think Oracle Red Bull Racing is quite an interesting case study, and they’re one of our featured case studies in the white paper.

And they have done an amazing job of taking the F1 season. And applying that to loyalty and using that to get fans to engage with the platform. I think sport is a really interesting place to look at loyalty as well, because you can’t necessarily track what fans are buying. You can’t tell if they’ve bought a cap here or a Jersey there or what they’re doing because you can buy different fan pieces in different places.

So the fact that they have also brought in to the platform as well, how people are interacting with them on social media, how they’re engaging with the different races, and then they have also brought in incredible money can’t buy prizes things like taking winning race suits and cutting them up into thousands of pieces and allowing fans to be able to win a piece of a winning race suit. It’s just really cool. So I think it’s a really interesting program. And I like how they’ve tied it into the sport of wrestling as well. Just adding that extra level of engagement for fans and keeping them excited about it. So that’s really exciting. 

Paula: Just before we continue today’s discussion, I want to ask you to sign up to the Let’s Talk Loyalty email newsletter. Our email newsletter is by far the best way for us to keep you up to date with all of the latest incredible loyalty stories we’re sharing each week. It’s also the easiest place for you to find our show notes with links to everything mentioned in all of the episodes. 

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Amanda: What I love about what you’ve just said is, you know, as Charlie said, you know, the impact of the programs is not only functional, but obviously very emotional. And the transactional side tends to be more functional and the non-transactional side more emotional. And this sounds like it’s just bursting with that emotional side.

I love the surprise and delight, the money can’t buy experiences coming out of which I guess are some transactional inputs, but also some non transactional like social media shares and so forth. So wow, beautiful case study. I mean, I’ve we’ve heard of this case study before, but it’s wonderful how you’ve highlighted it through the paper.

Tell us a bit more about Canon Club. I’m also a bit of a photography nerd. So tell us more about Canon Club. 

Abigayle: Yeah, so Canon Club has recently launched and I think what’s quite clever about what they’ve done is that it’s an invite only membership program. So you have to register your products that you’ve bought and then you get invited to join Canon Club. So I think that’s a really cool way of engaging people to the brand even more. 

And then within the platform, I think the other most exciting thing that you’re offered is just this network of hundreds and hundreds, thousands of other photography nerds and they have really built the platform to be for your very beginner all the way through to your professional and for people to go on to the forum and to ask questions and to ask about different bits of the camera and what do I do here? Or could someone tell me or share a shot of this or so it’s just a really good way to get people to engage with the brand without the brand having to do that. 

So, we talk about it in the white paper, but when talking to Beth, she said about how the community asks of the platform was managed by Canon at the beginning. And now it’s pretty much a self run community, which is amazing. And I think to build that is incredible. And they’ve done it in a year and a half. It’s not a very old program. So I think kudos to Canon. 

Amanda: Yeah. Brilliant. I mean, that’s utopia, right? To get a self run community led program in such a short space of time. But I guess it plays to, If you touch the sweet spot of a passionate hobby, like.

Abigayle: Exactly.

Amanda: And everything you said there, I related it, obviously not the professional photographer, but the starter, I had to turn the camera on and off. Wonderful. 

And then Charlie, in your descriptors, you know, in your key highlights, you talked quite a lot about Denmark. So I know there’s a wonderful case study also from Denmark. So Abby, can you share that with us as well, please? 

Abigayle: Yeah, so we’re giving too much away about the different markets. Denmark is an emergent, an emerging market at the moment when it comes to loyalty. And in the white paper we have Matas who is essentially the Danish Boots, is probably the best way to explain who they are.

So they launched Club Matas in 2010 and it was a very functional earn and burn loyalty program. And then very recently they took the bold decision to revamp the program and really focus on personalization and authorizing, offering personalized offers. And benefits that were tailored to each individual shopper, and they’ve also introduced a comms engine as well to send out personalized communications, which I think was a really bold choice from them, especially as we’ve seen in the data from our Danish expert Rasmus from Agilic, that it’s a very functional market still, and it’s definitely emerging in terms of Danes getting on board with loyalty. So I think that’s very exciting for Matas as well. 

Amanda: Yeah, lovely. I mean, Boots is just, it’s a great description. I hope Matas don’t mind you making that reference, but I think instantly everyone knows what you’re talking about. Amazing. Thank you. There are three absolutely incredible case studies. 

So just before I come back to Abby, I want to talk to you about the role the different experts have played for the white paper. Just before I come back to that, I think Nick, from a YouGov point of view, obviously you’ve blown us away with the robustness of the size of your panel and the thousand questions. I mean, that in its own right is absolutely remarkable. But I know that YouGov does an awful lot more than the research approach on stated behavior. And you actually look at actual behavior. Can you share that with us? Cause I think that’s Again, I use the word utopia, that is utopia to be able to have stated and actual even if it’s not necessarily in the white paper, but just a little bit more around how that work is evolving. 

Nick: Yeah, that’s right. It’s very much the direction that we’re taking as a company. To be able to collect and scrape more actual behavioral data from consumers as you stand there, you know, the real Nirvana of research is to be able to combine that claims data with actual behavioral data. 

At the start of the year we completed an acquisition of GFK’s consumer panel services. So GFK being a major insight provider in the market. And what consumer panel services or CPS does is it’s a European panel that collects SKU level data. So SKU level data, so actual spend data of consumers. With that, we can begin to understand from a consumer perception, it’s not only what people think they do, but it’s what do they actually do.

And the crossover or the gap between that is where the real insight lies. If you think about the cost of living crisis, which we’ve been talking about this morning, you know, top of mind, people might say something like, you know, I’m feeling the pinch. I’m eating out less. But when you actually analyze their spending habits, we also, for example, have access to panelists that opt in to give us their full bank statements. Because, well, yes, they are spending less than they were 12 months ago on eating out. But actually what they’re doing is spending more on takeaways, for example. 

I think that goes into what Abby was saying around almost like that system. One system to thinking the quick system. One thinking is that you know, cost of living crisis, I need to cut back. But you know, I might use loyalty for a quick treat or reward, but the, you know, the, System 2 thinking is that slow kind of, where does the emotional play out come here, combining that claim data with the behavioral data, I think it’s going to be really interesting for understanding the impact of, the impact of different loyalty programs as we move through this economic climate.

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I use the word utopia. You use Nirvana. Shows maybe some of your music tastes, maybe Nirvana of researchers claimed an actual data. I couldn’t agree with you more. I always encourage that when we’re looking at, when we’re looking at actual data inside, I always encourage, well, what does the customer actually really feel through the research as well combined together?

Thank you, Nick. I find the research approach very fascinating because it’s so credible and so thorough, which obviously is why you’re in so many years of these white papers, because it just gives you that longitudinal view and really robust insights. 

Abby, I want to come back to you. Sorry. I feel like I’m maybe picking on you for the majority of the questions.

Abigayle: That’s alright.

Amanda: But I know that you’ve had some expert input because you’ve got such a variety of countries and across Europe and you’ve increased how many experts you’ve reached out to versus last year. So in this second edition, how did, what role did the experts play? How many did you liaise with? Talk us through that process. 

Abigayle: Yeah, so in this year’s paper, we have 10 markets and 10 experts. Last year we only had seven and we’d combined the Nordics region last year, whereas this year we separated them out which is really interesting because we see, so we’ve got a Danish expert and a Swedish expert.

Say the Swedish market is much more mature, whereas the Danish market is emerging. So combining them last year, I think possibly we missed a trick. So it’s great that we’ve separated them out this year to look at those nuances in what you would think is a very similar market. So that was really interesting.

The other markets that we have included are the Czech Republic, I’ve said Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain. New this year is Hungary Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and then again, new is Sweden and France is new as well with a double digit number. University of Bordeaux professor as our expert, which is really interesting to have the very academic approach to loyalty included in the paper as well and the Italian expert as well as a professor. So that provides a different lens to loyalty rather than people who’s working in the loyalty field is having that real academic approach to loyalty. 

Amanda: Yeah, I love that. I mean, I have the privilege of being a judge on the International Loyalty Awards and we’re all, there’s all different nationalities and we all come at it with a different view.

Some are academic, some are more from the research, but play some are more just from pure loyalty strategy, but having that different combination and having academic versus practical strategy, hands on really does give a different debate actually, and a very essential debate. So it’s a real kudos to your white paper that how you’ve included these experts.

I absolutely love it. Thank you. Thank you for sharing it. And I’m looking forward to, I haven’t got to that level of detail of unpacking the difference between Sweden and Denmark, but as you say, as someone who doesn’t live there, you would expect those markets to be relatively similar. And that’s absolutely shocking to say, because they’re two entirely different countries. So of course they’re going to be different. So well done for, you know, getting that level of insight. Great. 

Well, all I can say to everyone listening to this, there are pages and pages of deep insight. And I know on a podcast like this, because you’re covering 24 different countries, we can’t possibly get into that level of information at the minute detail that it requires, but it’s all in there.

And what we’ve touched today with these three wonderful guests is really just the surface level, even though they’ve said, they feel that this is, I think Charlie referred to it as being just chapter one, because it’s surface level within 24 countries. That’s actually not true, Charlie. You’re definitely the white paper goes into detail per country.

So, I really encourage everyone to download it. I’m going to attach to all this show notes LinkedIn profiles of our guests and obviously where you can download the white paper. But before we do conclude this podcast, any other exciting little nuggets you want to leave us with? 

Charlie: Oh, it’s such a good question. Yeah, I think probably we’ve talked about those big three case studies a lot that feature in the paper and those stories are so impactful. But I think there’s a lot of merit as well in some of the smaller case studies that actually we pull out on a per market by market level. And I think one of the most interesting things for me is that some people go, Oh, I could do that. Or, Oh, gosh, I wouldn’t do that. And so some really interesting case studies that have come out. 

So I would call out, you know, Cristina Ziliani of the Loyalty Observatory talks about Greeners by Sorgenia is a really interesting program. That’s where my pronunciation goes down, but they’re doing some really interesting things, those two. So the former is doing a lot in sustainability. The latter has got a really interesting twin program, so consumer facing, but also then one for their baristas. We see Nicole Wilhelm focus talk about Miles and More, My Kick and AdiClub in the German market. Again, some really interesting kind of case studies and some new things, particularly that relaunch of the Miles and More program in January and at the beginning of this year. So some great insight from there. 

Look more of the loyalty chiefs talks about three brilliant program from the Netherlands. Bold.com selected from Kamala, you know, a lingerie retailer who’s doing a personalization journey down to explain your sexy shape and then actually how they create that into a loyalty and engagement program. Really, really interesting. 

We see Pavel of Open Loyalty in Perth talking about Kaufland, Ikea family, and Vitae. Orlen, we’ve got Radek of VoxWise talking about the Albert program, Footshop and Data VIP. Another one offering that kind of member only exclusive invitation. We’ve talked about Rasmus of Agilic and the Danish examples. We’ve got Józsi Kecsmar of Antavo talking about some brilliant examples from Hungary. You know, Libri, a lovely program in the book space, Magenta Moments, Telecoms, and then Supershop, as well, a really interesting coalition program I was unaware of before I read the paper. 

And then we’ve also got obviously, Michael from the University of Bordeaux talking about three brilliant French programs, para for the cat club, which I recommend everybody go and check out doing some really interesting things.

And then, you know, last but not least, I’ll sort of our Swedish expert Emil from Milton. talking about some brilliant programs, including, you know, a bonus, you know, it wouldn’t be a paper on Sweden without reference to that program. So do go and check out those kinds of market by market programs as well. And hopefully it will give everybody as many ideas as it’s given us. 

Amanda: Yeah. Thank you, Charlie. Wow. I mean, I’ve just listening to the that’s repertoire of industries, not just brands, not just countries, but repertoire of industries. So very broad, but with that comes the interesting insights. 

So if I’m not in Europe as many of the listeners of Let’s Talk Loyalty are not in Europe, how transferable is this white paper?

Abigayle: Whilst all the markets we’ve looked at are really different, I think there are three key learnings that we were able to pull out from each of the markets combined. And I think this could apply outside of Europe as well. I think loyalty has played a really important role in the cost of living crisis. We’ve seen different markets do different things to respond to this, but we have seen loyalty take center stage, especially in above the line advertising new member signups. So I think that’s something that you can apply the loyalty lens and cost of living. 

I also think that customers are begging brands to build more emotional connections with them. So whilst the functional loyalty is great for the brand, we need to think a little more customer focused and what we can do for the consumer as brands and loyalty. 

And then the final was the rise in gamification technology and how consumers are just expecting that from the programs and how different markets have done different things with that. So I think those are three things that could apply globally as outside of Europe as well. 

Amanda: What a wonderful summary. So thank you, Abby, for that summary. And from lingerie to Formula One to photography, whoever’s listening to this and anything that falls in between, this white paper is just oozing with insights. And as Abby, you know, Abby said, customers are begging brands for that emotional connection, which we all know is. Is needed out there. 

So I can’t thank you enough because I could just listen to this all day. I mean, reading a white paper is one thing, being able to discuss it as a privilege in the role I’ve just done for let’s talk loyalty.

So Charlie, Abby, Nick, thank you once again for an incredible piece of loyalty insights and white paper for the industry. And as you said, it’s so transferable outside of Europe. So for everybody out there, don’t think you can’t pick it up if you’re sitting outside of Europe. Thank you guys, wonderful insights, and we look forward to chatting next year for the next series, or later in the year, I think you said, Charlie, there’s going to be another little cheeky release later in the year.

Charlie: Yes. When we get the 2024 membership data, we’ll be adding in later in this year. Amazing. Thanks, guys. Thank you very, very much. 

Abigayle: Thank you. 

Nick: Thanks, 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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