#367: Virgin Red - The Red Thread Connecting the Virgin Brand Globally (Short Summary Show)

Virgin’s programme is described as the “red thread” that connects this diverse group of companies, and delivers on the extraordinary expectations that members expect, to ensure this international loyalty programme becomes as well loved as the Virgin brand is across the globe.

In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk “a little” Loyalty, Tom highlights lessons from the global rollout of the Virgin Red, loyalty programme, from the original podcast hosted by Paula Thomas and featuring Andrea Burchett, International & Strategic Development Director at Virgin Red.

Hosted by Tom Peace.

Show Notes :-

1) Virgin

2) Virgin Red

3) Andrea Burchett

4) #195: Virgin Red – The Red Thread Connecting the Virgin Brand Globally

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an Industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, The Founder of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Today’s episode is hosted by Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People, a strategic consultancy with a laser focus on loyalty, CRM, and customer engagement.

The Loyalty People also runs a free global community for anyone working in the loyalty industry. If you are working in loyalty marketing, make sure to join Let’s Talk Loyalty every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to hear the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.

This episode is brought to you by Collinson, worldwide, leaders in Customer Engagement and Loyalty, creating an orchestrating customer engagement and loyalty initiatives and programs for some of the world’s biggest brands in travel, retail, and financial services. Doing it globally for over 30 years. Want to know more?

Go to collinsongroup.com.

Tom: Hi, I’m Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People. Welcome to this week’s episode of Let’s Talk A Little Loyalty. This week my summary podcast showcases Paula’s interview featuring Andrea Burchett, International and Strategic Development Director at Virgin Red.

Virgin Red is capitalized on the power of the Global Virgin brand, which has huge brand awareness, and generally people love the brand. Andrea refers to Virgin as the world’s most exciting brand, and I think she could be right. We all know Virgin as an innovative brand with a truly entrepreneurial culture. However, it’s also a brand with fantastic customer service and the very highest product quality. So Virgin Red really is the Red Thread that ties all the brands together.

It’s a genuine global loyalty program across all their best known brands, such as airline and cruises, but also, around 50 other brands around the world. Crucial to success of Virgin Red is to have all the brands included within the loyalty strategy. Any exclusions would be frustrating for a loyal customer of the Virgin brand and achieving this has given the brand an extremely broad appeal and a strong value proposition for the customer, and it enables Virgin to stretch customers across categories and brands within the wider group.

Virgin Red leans into the emotional connection that people have with the Virgin brand itself. Customers who love Virgin Atlantic are now given the opportunity for valuable engagements with other products and services, and the loyalty program goes further in terms of rewarding other interactions and behaviors that customers have with the brand through social media and reviews, rewarding loyal customers for advocating the brand.

So what can we learn from Virgin Red? Firstly, the power of the brand is key to success across the group, and this is hard to manage, but Virgin are very successful in ensuring that all brand interactions are positive. Secondly, there’s a strong ESG element of the program, which is essential for any brand in the current climate.

But especially for the travel elements of the Virgin Group, so that customers can offset their travel footprints somewhat. And finally, something that I think is really strong about this program is that points never expire. Whilst this creates a financial liability in the program, it is also customer value that has been legitimately earned.

And as Andrea says, every loyalty program should strive for 100% redemption because that’s a hundred percent engagement. I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, and I think it’s a very strong customer focus. Andrea does recognize that in order to have zero expiry, you have to have a very broad range of redemption offers and communicate these to the customers in a very relevant and personalized way.

So this has been a great interview about a fascinating and unique brand. I’d highly recommend that you listen to the main show, which can be found at www.letstalkloyalty.com. And first aired on the 10th of March, 2022, episode number 195. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed my summary. Show all the best and speak you. Tom

Paula: This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights, and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 500 executives in 38 countries, as certified loyalty marketing professionals.

For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.

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