#221: What We've Learned About Loyalty

In today’s episode, Paula was joined by fellow podcaster Iain Pringle, to share what we’ve each learned in our combined five years of podcasting about our industry.

Like many loyalty professionals, Iain and Paula both love the opportunity to make customers happy, by rewarding them in ways that are also profitable for business.

Listen to learn all about Iain’s loyalty background and the role of his podcast as another source of knowledge for loyalty marketing professionals worldwide.

Show Notes:

1) The Loyalty Podcast

2) Iain Pringle

Audio Transcript

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 brought to you by The Loyalty and Awards Conference, the leading annual event for loyalty professionals in the travel industry. Make sure to join us this year from the 10th to the 12th of October in Madrid for the perfect mix of inspiring content and exciting awards, check out loyaltyandawards.com for more information and to register.

Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty and unusual one as it’s a guest who also has a loyalty podcast like mine. Iain Pringle is a loyalty expert with a background developing loyalty propositions for brands like Virgin Atlantic, Avios and shell. Iain now operates as part of a global network of loyalty consultants called New Worlds Loyalty who developed loyalty strategies and partnerships focused on adding value to customers and driving business growth. His podcast is quite simply called The Loyalty Podcast where he enjoys creating debates and discussions about a whole host of loyalty topics. It’s a different style of show to mine, which as you all know, is mainly focused on interviews with the leaders of some of the world’s best loyalty programs themselves. We both hope you enjoy listening to this show and to Iain’s loyalty podcast too. As you’ll hear, we both love talking about loyalty and sharing our industry insights with you, our global audience of loyalty marketing professionals.

So Iain Pringle joining me today from the UK. Welcome to let’s talk loyalty. Oh, it’s super exciting. We’ve been podcasting about loyalty for an equal amount of time. 1 (2m 28s): In fact, so I was just reflecting. We have a combined five years of expertise in terms of talking about this subject. So a wonderful opportunity to share that with the audience. So as the opening question, Ian and I always love to ask people, particularly industry professionals like you, what is their favorite loyalty program? So why don’t you kick us off and tell me, what is your favorite loyalty program? 2 (2m 51s): Well, thanks, Paul, it’s a really, really difficult one, isn’t it? Because I’m often asked what’s the best loyalty program, and that’s a very different question because every old program has a different purpose and a different reason to be. And therefore, you know, you have to pick the ones that are most effective, but actually the one that I enjoyed most of them was, was a member of and loved. It was the, my local breweries loyalty program, which my, my wife gave me a present for my, for my birthday, which was membership of this lots of program. And I was a bit like, oh, this is a bit of a busman’s holiday, but actually the, the dark star brewery, which is local beer, beer manufacturer. And it was, it was basically a subscription program where every month you got a free, a free sample of beer. 2 (3m 33s): Once every quarter, you had a party at the brewery, well, went up to say a party. They brew different beers and they brought people along and it was always between six and nine. They didn’t trust us after nine o’clock. 1 (3m 46s): I love it. 2 (3m 47s): And I loved it. And it was all the good things about loyalty in that it was, it was about community and it was about a common sense of ownership of the brand. And it brought people together and you met the people who actually own the brewery, and it was all the beautiful things about loyalty that I enjoyed. But then funny enough, the brewery was then bought out by a, another company who then bought out that company. So within, within a space of about six months, they had two changes of ownership. And by the time we got to the second change of ownership, they just closed it down. They didn’t understand it. It’s another real, typical story and loyalty. They didn’t understand it. They didn’t know what it did. They didn’t know what it, how w how it drove value to the brand. 2 (4m 28s): And so they shut it down. And, and it’s funny, cause I got to touch them and said, you do know what you’re shutting down. This was, you know, I told them my job and I said, this is the best loyalty program I’ve ever come across. And to no avail, it got to close down too much to my disappointment 1 (4m 44s): In D D and, and, and I hope it provides inspiration to another brewery in your region. 2 (4m 51s): And I use it as a case study, but it’s unfortunate. It’s not a case study that has a long-term success, but I know I loved it. And I think it’s a, it’s a really good example of how you can get your customers on your side and feel that they are, they are part of your brand. And though it was a lovely law program. I really enjoyed being a member of it and, and taking part in it. 1 (5m 10s): But also I think what it does then is it picks up on M as you already said, the sense of community. And for example, I was talking to somebody this morning in kind of luxury retail, and they’re looking at programs and they’re not interested thankfully in something like a points program just doesn’t fit this market, particularly in their segment. And I was talking about things like community, and it was just really interesting that I don’t think that that’s valued or respected by management a lot of the time, which is what I’m hearing from your example. Exactly. The new owners didn’t realize how powerful that was. 2 (5m 46s): And it’s so easy to do. And I’ll give you another really good example recently, where there was the Wales recently qualified. Well, they didn’t quite qualify. They still have to be Scotland to qualify for the world cup and, and Ukraine actually funny enough. So they, they, so there was a, there was a comedian, a Welsh comedian being interviewed the other day. And he said at the game, he cried three times. And they, they said, well, what you know is he who’s big interview. And he said, I cried three times one when they, when they won, obviously. But the other two times he said, it’s because the Welsh football league have decided that they would sing this song before the game started, not national Anthem. There was another Welsh national song that they sang before that. 2 (6m 26s): And he said, because they asked the Welsh national national, the worship FAA, if they could sing it and the world chef, they said, yes. And the other thing they said was they did the national Anthem without any music behind it. So they just did it acapella for the whole crowd. And he said, that’s the reason why he cried was because people in the, in the Welsh football union listened to the fans and did that. Whereas the Welsh RFU, the rugby union have been asked for years to do it, and they’ve never done it. And he said, you felt that the fans had a say in how that, that, that campaign, the whole world cup campaign is being run. And that has an impact on the people on the pitch. And it has an impact on the people in the crowd. 2 (7m 6s): And it’s a beautiful thing. And that’s what loyalty is trying to do. Loyalty is trying to get an engagement between your customer base and you as a brand. If you can do that without spending any money, then do that. 1 (7m 17s): Totally, totally. That’s a brilliant example. I love it. And you’ve reminded me actually, because again, for today, I kind of looked back at all of the shows that I’ve done and it’s very hard to pick a favorite. And of course it’s like picking a favorite child, but actually the, one of the ones that really impressed me the most was also in the sporting arena. And it’s the first premiership football club in the UK that launched a formal loyalty program beyond the kind of membership and ticketing that I know everybody kind of does, but, but our smell have built my arsenal rewards. And, you know, part of it is around the data. Of course, there’s a lot of intelligence that they’re looking together, but also what they’re trying to do again, is to support the overall team, the atmosphere in the stadium, incentivize their farms, for example, on every day when the games aren’t being played. 1 (8m 10s): So, you know, I don’t know how many days a year are, so play a match. Let’s say it’s 20, there’s still 345 days of the year where you want to have a connection with them. So if you can find a way, for example, to incentivize them, to make sure that somebody in the seat at the match, even if it’s a coach Tuesday night, rather than a big, final game, that was really insightful to me and highly innovative. So yeah, I think loyalty has so many different purposes and that rugby one is a great one. And I really think sports loyalty is a big up and coming sector where there’s a lot more you can do even alongside the existing, I suppose, emotional loyalty that we’ve all I suppose, taken for granted for many years. 2 (8m 49s): No, and it’s a really good, good, really good way. I mean, Karen dumbbell, I used to work with her at Virgin, so I knew Karen very well. I did listen to that podcast and I really enjoyed it actually. And it was funny because again, it supports what we were just talking about in that each each football club or each, each, each sporting team has a different challenge. And that again is the beauty of loyalty because at the same time I’d been working with other sporting loyalty practice, loyalty brands, also different look, different football brands and sporting brands, and they all have different challenges. 1 (9m 21s): And so 2 (9m 22s): Loyalty can help, help on all sorts of different levels. But Arsenal’s loyalty challenge is very different from other premier league football clubs because yeah, it’s interesting, really interesting. 1 (9m 33s): Absolutely. We’ll never get bored talking about loyalty. And 2 (9m 38s): I think that 1 (9m 40s): It totally is. And I think that was your first conclusion when, when we sat down to say, what have we learned from talking so publicly, I guess about this industry that we love for two and a half years. So, so I think you’ve realized that you will never, never get tired of told me about us. 2 (9m 56s): And that’s very true. I mean, I do love, I love my job and I love the industry and those things. There’s three real key things about why I love my job and the industry so much is first of all, our main job is to make people happy, right? We’re not there to make people unhappy or we’re there to reward people and give them something that they want. And that’s, that’s a beautiful thing, but then we have to make money from it too. I often describe it as being monetizing father Christmas, and then we give stuff away, but we have to do it economically. And then the third thing is, is that, and that’s backed up by data and there’s no right or wrong answer. You know, Noah, I’ve never seen anyone prove absolutely categorically the, exactly what the return on investment is. 2 (10m 37s): And if they have got a measure for return investment, it does vary month to month, week to week, hour to hour. And, you know, and, and that in itself is an art. And so I love that combination of making people happy. We’ve tried to do it in economic way and we, we, we strive to find the best way of measuring success. And I mean, I was, I’ve got a very scientific mind and, and that, that really appeals to me is those three things And we can strive for success and that, and that gives endless theory, endless options, endless content to talk about because, you know, I could talk about this stuff for hours because it is really challenging. 1 (11m 16s): It totally is an and for sure in, when I think about, you know, the people I’ve talked to, certainly that is the biggest challenge that, you know, idea and challenge of. Can we measure it? Can we attribute it? You know, causation and correlation are not the same thing. So how do you isolate and attribute, you know, your investment in a loyalty program, into, you know, profitable behavior change. So I definitely think there’s a lot of people listening to this show. And of course your show as well, that look to people like us for support ideas, validation. And for me, you know, I do struggle if, you know, if I’m being brought in, in the past, as you know, I’m not consulting anymore, but brought in to convince people that they should invest in loyalty. 1 (12m 1s): I always really struggled with that when Ian, because I never felt it was appropriate to convince the board that loving your customer was a good idea and that that would require investment. So I always found it a very difficult challenge. I don’t know if you’ve had the same experience. 2 (12m 17s): Oh, I’ve, I’ve had the same experience all the time. In fact, in the last, you know, I’d maybe consult for maybe 20 different brands in a year. And then the last two years, I have recommended to two brands not to do loyalty programs at all. And I’ll give you a really good example of that is people assume that loyalty programs are there to reward your most loyal customers, which is rubbish. Because if you’ve got a, I had a brand came to me this year and said, I’ve got, I’ve got this particular group who come to me religiously. They buy from me religiously. They’ve bought from me for several years. They are very high value. They buy almost everything in this category from me, but they feel unrewarded. And my response to that was so what, So you’re telling me that they’re giving you loads of money, that they stay with you. 2 (12m 57s): They love, they love the brand, but they feel I’m rewarded, but they’re clearly loyal. So if you spend any money on that category, you are literally wasting it because they’re going to stay with you anyway. And so my job with them was to find out where they are losing customers and where customers aren’t happy and trying to plug that gap that way, rather than starting at the end of saying, actually, but this is a classic example of saying, you know, you need to, in every Lord’s distress, gee, you need to say, what are you trying? What what’s the problem you’re trying to solve? And where is the best economic benefit for solving that problem? And then measuring it as you said, you know, but people have often focus on measuring cost, which is simple, you know, system seamlessly, how much they’re spending on loyalty, how many people in the program, what’s the, what’s the, the, the richness of the reward and how much does the operating costs? 2 (13m 44s): And that’s all easy to, easy to measure. What’s difficult is how much am I actually imply influencing my customers and how much they actually changing their behavior and how much has that changing behavior actually worth. And that’s the really tricky thing. And you can’t, you can’t measure that empirically. And in many cases you just have to look at proxies. 1 (14m 1s): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you’ve reminded me, Ian, a have a conversation with the Kimpton hotels. And they actually, again, I suppose realized that, you know, they simply couldn’t measure everything that they wanted to, but they still felt an extraordinary commitment to recognizing that the most loyal customers that they had. 2 (14m 23s): So that’s true. That’s true. Yeah. And we find it. In fact, in this, in this case, the one case I gave you there where they weren’t rewarded, they, they told not to reward their customers. They actually decided to reward those very valuable customers. But again, my response was, well, don’t try and measure it. 1 (14m 38s): There you go. Which is 2 (14m 39s): Fine. 1 (14m 40s): Hopefully. Well, what the Kimpton hotels guys did, Ian was they got the senior leadership team around the table. They got a speakerphone and they started and they called some of their top. And they just shared some words of acknowledgement of thank you’s and really took some time out, which I thought was extraordinary. So I really thought it was beautiful in its simplicity. And I think particularly guests of that nature will absolutely feel that this isn’t normal. I’m definitely really appreciated by this and by this hotel brand. So I’m pretty sure the people who got those coals will never stay at any other boutique hotel except Kimpton. 1 (15m 21s): So yeah, sometimes the simplest ideas work 2 (15m 25s): And then having those calls, the senior management team, if they’re bright, we’ll also know that they’ll learn a lot about their brand because they have the best brand ambassadors in that they’re in there every day. And they will tell you the truth about that brand 1 (15m 35s): A hundred percent Ian you’re absolutely right. Exactly. So, yeah, I think if I was the CEO of a big company and had that visibility, it would be wonderful to make that time. Because again, there’s no such thing as having the time, but making the time, I think as a, is a great idea. So listen to me, I’d love you to talk us through, I suppose, just a bit about your own show, Ian. I know you tend to say that people love a good argument. So tell us all about, 2 (16m 1s): Yeah. I learned this quite early on in that, in that when we did the first few, few podcasts, I went out and got feedback. Exactly. We just said feedback from people that I knew it listened to it and said, what can we do to improve it? And their response was you would just agree with each other all the time. And it’s very difficult in an industry where you do w where, where it’s very lonely industry and that you do your own thing and for your own brand. And then when you speak to others who have similar experiences, it’s very difficult not to say I agree with that. And I agree with that. And I agree with that, but actually in our podcast, we deliberately try, in fact, but I baked my guests at the beginning to disagree with people when they’re having the podcast, because it makes them a much more interesting thing to listen to. 2 (16m 43s): So, you know, I try to get people to say, well, actually, if you’ve got, if you disagree with what someone says, because that actually then brings out more of the depth of the discussion, because I often feel that a debate on a subject is much more valuable than listen to everyone. Then there’s a constant agreement with, with things and, and, and that’s worked very well since, although, although at the end of the podcast, I always remind my by guests, how many times they did agree with everyone, 1 (17m 13s): It’s hard to make them behave. I know, I know. Yeah. And when I reflected back on my own, what I realized, particularly when I listened to the early shows, I think I probably did have that, you know, I suppose inevitable anxiety about making or trying to make the content as compelling as possible. But what I learned is if I’m curious about something, even if it’s not on the plan, then I usually kind of prefer to follow my curiosity and really listen to the guest because I really feel that there’s like, you’ve just alluded to, there’s probably underlying thinking behind what somebody is sharing with me. And if I don’t really listen to them very carefully, I probably haven’t learned the kind of why behind, behind the washer or, you know, whatever they’re, they’re kind of presenting. 1 (17m 58s): So I definitely think as podcasters and again, I mean, two, two of us doing very different style shows. And of course I hope everybody listening to this will listen to you and vice versa. But yeah, I think healthy, healthy debate is definitely something we can always learn from 2 (18m 14s): Well, and you’re right. They’re very different. I think you’re yours. Yours brings out a one to a depth of one-to-one discussions, which is really important in, in, in, in understanding a particular brand or a particular individual or a particular approach. Yeah. I think what we do is cover off broader subjects where we debate that subject and that’s just two completely different, different than John does, and they can perfectly live. I really enjoy your podcast and listen to it often. So there they are, they are doing different jobs for the same audience. 1 (18m 42s): Exactly, exactly. And I love the fact you’ve got 60 years of experience between you all. 2 (18m 47s): Oh, well, on a call, we generally tend to have, it depends. If Craig’s listening to that, he has a little bit more experienced than that. He’s now 30 years. So what we generally tend to have is, is we generally tend to have more than 20 years experience each on a call. And, and in that you really get a depth of knowledge in that, you know, this 10,000 hours, I don’t know where they get that from because that’s, you know, six years in loyalty. And if I took my, if I took what I knew in my six years of loyalty, compared to what I know now, it wouldn’t even scratch the surface. And so where we, when we get a group of people disputing a subject it’s depth of knowledge on that subject that you would get. And that’s what brings out the agreement and often disagreement about certain things, because, you know, we’ve had some lovely debates about things like how does redemption impact collection and, you know, these things, every loyalty professional needs to know what does a redemption your program drive the future behaviors. 2 (19m 44s): And I’ve seen that drive all sorts of things in different programs. And it really depends on which program you’re talking about. 1 (19m 49s): Yeah. And what I think that does is Ian, it not only equips The Loyalty marketer, who’s listening to our shows with something to reflect on themselves. But I also think it does is it prepares them for when the conversation comes up at a more senior level. So I do think it’s important to provoke our thinking. So I think as a community, we share this love of the customer. We talked about this intention to take care of them in a way that’s profitable to the business. But also like for me, like innovation is extremely important because I really feel there’s a lot of very boring stuff out there. You know, if, if anybody else asks me to sign up for a points program and can’t articulate the, the, the beneficial, the proposition, like I’m actually a very difficult customer, particularly in a retail environment. 1 (20m 40s): And I’ve often said on my show as well, you know, I’m often professionally disappointed when it comes to my birthday every year, because I’m paying attention to, who’s asked for my date of birth and I know they have internal reasons for doing that. But as a member of that program, I then expect something on my birthday, probably because I’ve built so many birthday propositions again in my consulting career, along the way, Bush, I don’t know. Do you have that same experience that, you know, things like data are under utilized and people are kind of doing it maybe for one reason and forgetting all the other reasons, you know, to do it. 2 (21m 14s): Yeah. I agree with that a hundred percent, but at the same time I Argue with nobody. I really do think that because the, because it really depends what the Lord’s programs therefore. So for you take, for example, pets at home in the UK, that program has virtually nothing for the customer. I mean, no, sorry. It does give it, it does give charity to charity donations to, to pet charities, but for the individual, other than getting your personalized rewards, which customers don’t really value, if you ask customers, what do they, what do they want? And, you know, you see many surveys about what they’re looking for. They don’t really value targeted offers particularly, but that’s, that program is entirely built on that because what they’re trying to do is get of SU a, a critical mass of their customer’s data. 2 (22m 1s): But if they can do that without rewarding them, fair enough, because that is not what the, what they’re looking for in that program is an understanding of their customers. I guess I’ve not consulted for them, but at the same time, as I think the program and the way they do it is very effective at doing that. And if they can, if they can do that at no cost, then happy days. And, and at the same time, you know, in the, in our, in our theories for the year, or we were hoping to see from the year. And I think Stu Stuart Bellin said he hopes to see the end to useless birthday promotions. And I’m sorry, I’m sorry if that bursts your bottle of bubble, but a birthday promotion is often annoying me from the opposite side because I see them. And I think what possible commercial benefit are they getting from giving out birthday award, which has no bearing on the company’s profits? 2 (22m 50s): It’s just a random date to you is it’s a very important date to you, but for the company, it’s a random date. So why are they, I often think, why are they rewarding that commercially? I think I don’t understand 1 (23m 0s): Well, to me, that’s the single most important thing that I want as a consumer 2 (23m 5s): Genuinely 1 (23m 6s): So perfectly disagreeing with you. And I’ll tell you my thinking and what I don’t like on my birthday is when I’m sent a discount offer, because I don’t want to be sold to on this one special day of the year. And again, one of the things I’ve learned, I suppose I did an interview with bond brand loyalty, which I’m sure many people have kind of downloaded there and a wonderful piece of research every year, what they were talking about, you know, flipping the construct and you know, that there is a fundamental misunderstanding between the purpose of a loyalty program in that marketers. Apparently I think it was 66% of marketers think that the purpose of a loyalty program is for the customer to be more loyal to them, you know, to spend more on, on all of that. 1 (23m 50s): And that is perfectly valid, but actually what they said is the opposite is true from the member’s perspective. Members believe that the purpose of a loyalty program is for the brand to be loyal to me. 2 (24m 2s): Yeah, 1 (24m 3s): That’s true. So how on earth, you know, can we reconcile these two objectives we have to, as you alluded to earlier, because all of the stakeholders have to feel that this investment is worthwhile, whether I’m investing my time, my data, any of these things, or, or, you know, actual cost, obviously from the brand’s perspective. But I do love when they say it’s your special day, polar, here’s a cup of coffee and a cake. For example, there was a program did that here recently in the UAE. I used to do a lot of those when I was running out to priority. And it was a wonderful opportunity to, to be seen, to be generous, to take the opportunity purely without a commercial agenda and say, Ian, thank you for being a customer about to, or whoever the brand might be. 1 (24m 46s): And here’s something from us to you. So there you go. 2 (24m 49s): It’s also a way of managing your liability again from, from the technical side, obviously because you surprise and delight works with lots of programs, as long as you can afford it. And as long as that surprise is, is genuinely a surprise because then you don’t have to set aside in liability and you can measure the impact so happy days, and Thank you as often work better than do this, get that office. So they often, they often perform better. That’s for sure. 1 (25m 16s): So we actually agree with each other. Yeah, 2 (25m 18s): Absolutely. We can occasionally just make some boring radio. 1 (25m 23s): Oh my goodness. No, I think it’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. Great. Is there anything that you would say surprised you Ian, along the way, I suppose, as a podcaster, and I’m going to give you one example, which, and I don’t think I mentioned to you before, but it really blew my mind. And it was an interview I did with a beauty brand in Australia called adore beauty. And they only launched their loyalty proposition quite recently from memory, maybe about 18 months ago. Now one of these classic, you know, starts up in the kitchen, selling a bit of skin cream and you know, it’s now a publicly quoted company. So loyalty aside, and this is what blew my mind. Adore beauty has two podcasts talking about skincare and makeup and they have had over 2 million downloads. 1 (26m 11s): And when I think about the idea of loyalty as an emotion and as a, you know, literally a way to am to stay engaged with my customer, without the actual, as I said, very separate loyalty program, I found the podcast idea to be awfully extraordinary, particularly I suppose, because the beauty industry to me is entirely visual. It’s a YouTube proposition if you’re going to invest in content, but there you go, they had a podcast and, you know, literally 2 million downloads people listening to them talking about usually, 2 (26m 44s): Well, I think, again, that really surprises. We set out at the very beginning, I guess, because we were all consultants who set it up, we set out a strategy at the beginning and said, this is what we wanted to achieve. And this is what it was for and who this is, who we designing it for. And this is what we want. This is what the response we want to get. And we, we laid it all out. And within two months, we’d, we’d hit those targets and, and it amazes me how many people listened to the podcast, enjoy the podcast and, and get, get value from the podcast. And, and, and what’s the really strange thing is when I, I’m sure you’ve had this experience, when you meet people who listened to podcasts that often you have not met. So you go to a conference and you you’re in the coffee and people will come over and they say, hello, and they start to talk to you, but they talked to you in a way that’s, that’s, that’s more familiar than you’re expecting because they’ve listened to you for hours. 2 (27m 35s): And yet you’ve never met them before. And it’s, it’s, it’s a bit slightly bizarre feeling. 1 (27m 40s): I was highly perturbed. The first time I had coffee with a listener and a, and she’s a great girl and I love her. And she has started her own podcast and I probably never admitted it to her, but I was so taken aback that she felt like my friends, again, I was, you know, meeting somebody for the first time and, you know, in a professional way. So yeah, there’s a very strange dynamic. And I think I’ve alluded to this before. And actually maybe yesterday when we were chatting to me, there is just an intimacy about the human voice. And I think that’s why it resonates with the listeners, why they feel comfortable coming up and, you know, literally talking to us as if we’re their friend and as if it’s, you know, literally reciprocal. 1 (28m 23s): So absolutely it’s very flattering. It’s wonderful. Great for the ego. I was at The Loyalty and awards conference actually here in Dubai last October. And I think everybody came up to me and said, yes, I listened to your show. And I was kind of blown away because I really, really hadn’t expected that. And I wasn’t there in a speaking capacity. And so, yeah, there’s, there’s a wonderful connection and yeah, I’m super proud of what we both do. So yeah, just, we have to learn to live with our little bit of fame. Huh? 2 (28m 54s): It’s a tiny little bit. And then, and then going back to what you said though about, are you surprised? I am surprised every week in, in my industry, but because things come up, you just, and it’s the same in marketing anyway, you’ve got to constantly, and, and again, maybe this is the sort of scientific trading and the you’ve got to constantly be looking out to be surprised and, and for your, your theories and, and to be, to be debunked, you’ve got to do it. And, and again, that’s, in fact, we had a podcast on, on blowing on the myths of loyalty and debunking the myths of loyalty, because there are so many out there and they, and, and you’ve got to test these things all the time and have your eyes open and your ears open to be told. 2 (29m 35s): That’s what you believe is not right. 1 (29m 37s): Totally. Totally. Yeah. And I think we all need to be big enough to am to invite that, that level of challenge into the work that we do. So I fully support that. And one of the ones, I suppose the final thing I wanted to mention was I did some really fascinating interviews with the Wharton university. And so professor Pete fader is the, the professor of marketing actually there, and he’s doing some incredible modeling work. He’s a maths major ex MIT graduate. And he’s developed this whole framework, which is called customer-based corporate valuation. And it’s leading edge thinking. 1 (30m 18s): And certainly above my pay grade, I would say, but I think for us, I suppose, advising the industry to have this understanding that investors are increasingly looking for loyalty metrics and evidence of how customers are likely to behave longterm, those kinds of future expectations, even beyond the customer lifetime value, I suppose the world so familiar with this idea of valuing a company based on their consumer behavior, to me is extraordinary. So, so I love the fact that academics are exploring our industry. You know, the private sector, as we know, is doing extraordinary, I suppose, test and learn. And then of course, there’s people like us who love to go around and discuss and talk and learn on an ongoing basis about the whole thing. 2 (31m 3s): Yeah. I mean, another great example of that. I don’t, I don’t know this food. I only know this from what was written, the press was the press of Manji recent example, which I’m sure you’ve, you’ve covered where, as I understand it, they, as they went into lockdown and as people exited from the cities, they were finding it difficult to borrow money from the banks. So they launched a loyalty proposition, which is based on a subscription, which, which then they could say to the banks, look, these customers believe we’re still in business. These customers believe that it’s still something valuable to be had. And therefore we can borrow against that. And, and I don’t, it’s not a case study I’ve worked on, it’s just what I’ve read in the press. But I think it’s a fascinating case study. You’re saying of saying exactly, you know, where the value is. 2 (31m 45s): I think going back to your question about what you’ve learned from The Loyalty from the podcast, as well as, you know, there are some things that I have that, that have been covered over time that now I use as mantras for what, in my job, you know, certain things that I’ve learned. And, and one of those was Pavel loss. You know, he says execution is the only strategy customers see, and he’s so true about that. We can, every loyalty program has a strategy and every loyalty program has, has, has, you know, a form that they’ve got the head off. It’s a presentation that they’ve given to the, to the MD, but actually, you know, execution what happens at the, on the ground is your loyalty program. 2 (32m 26s): And he’s absolutely right about that. And I think that loyalty practitioners should obsessed with that and probably spend less time looking at that than they perhaps should. And I use that now, since pebble said that I used that as a mantra in everything I do, when we go back to the end of the thing of saying, right, what’s the execution? What are the customers actually going to see? Because that’s going to be their, their experience of the thing. 1 (32m 48s): That’s very wise words. The, and because I do believe every loyalty practitioner goes out with a very well-intentioned concept, you know, to build something that’s extremely compelling. And sometimes when it gets to market after it’s been through finance, been through legal, been through who knows FOSS and is very often I’d diluted version of what the intention and the original vision was. So, so you’re absolutely right. That clarity of what is experienced by the customer is actually all that matters. And fundamentally that will dictate exactly the business case, whether it’s will perform according to what you said it was going to do. So I love <inaudible>. He’s a great, brilliant loyalty mind he’s been on, let’s talk loyalty as well. 1 (33m 31s): And to please, God, we’ll be again. And I suppose my final one, I suppose, words that I have remembered, and it’s Tim Tyler down in ellipsis in Australia, and it was the author simplicity, Ian. And literally what he said is customers are your only source of revenue. And I thought, brilliant. 2 (33m 51s): So 1 (33m 52s): Super simple. So all of these arguments about why would we spend this money and why, and why I’m just like going, look, guys are your only source of revenue. You’ve got to do everything in your power for them. So, and I know that doesn’t always mean a loyalty program and we can agree on that for sure. But yeah, I love the insights. 2 (34m 10s): Yeah. But the other one I’d say to you, but slightly challenging, again, being a, being big challenge, challenging what you said before about the science. So, you know, again, it’s Alan Elias’s words and we did a podcast on, is, is, is it science or loyalty? Is it science or art is, is getting it right. Science, art. And I think it’s got to be combination of both in his, his words war. Anyone can do the science and it’s, and it’s true that it’s, it’s perhaps, you know, disingenuous because you, of course you have people that can do science better than others and have access to more data than others. But in fact, getting loyalty right, is about the art of getting, oh, and the creativity of getting the proposition that really resonates with your customer. 2 (34m 51s): And I think that’s, again, a sort of theme that’s been running through this conversation is that, you know, to really resonate with your customers, you have to have some, you have to understand them, but then come up with something where they go. That’s brilliant. I love that. And going back to that dark star brewery example, I think that that, that, that personal touch was actually what made the difference there. 1 (35m 12s): Exactly. Yeah. A relationship you use the word community, I think certainly post COVID the connection. And actually just to pick up on your case study about pressure Moshe, Ian, I also haven’t worked on us. I haven’t yet had them on the podcast, but I’ve written quite a number of articles about them. And, and my, I suppose, learning through that was, first of all, they’re part of a huge holding company called job holdings. And so their sister company is Panera bread in the United States who had launched a subscription proposition, pre COVID. But I actually think subscription is the perfect COVID response because my understanding is in times of crisis, people look for certainty. 1 (35m 54s): So if you can give them something that is as compelling as unlimited coffee for, I think it’s 15 pounds with pressure Moshay the fit is perfect, you know, so, and so they had internal learnings from Panera bread who have been on the show and extraordinary to invent an FNB physical goods proposition on a subscription basis. I think it’s extraordinary. And, and it’s been leveraged across some of their European companies as well. So I’m quite sure they went to the banks afterwards with that to, to kind of help with the cashflow. But I do believe it was much more around just getting the customers in the door and with a response to that, the whole lockdown thing, and hopefully getting people out of their homes at least once a day to go and enjoy something. 1 (36m 37s): So yeah, I do feel that loyalty is counter cyclical. I got into it after the big recession, 2008. So I do feel where, I guess in the, in the right place at the right time, hopefully to help all of our listeners, to em, to learn lots more and do lots more with The Loyalty propositions 2 (36m 53s): And subscription is a funny one. Isn’t it it’s like the tide coming in and out is that, is that there was a trend in subscriptions many years ago when I first went into loyalty, there was many, many subscription propositions, particularly through the banks now, and then, and then they waned and now they’re back again and it’s a bit like flared trousers. And I go back to the, you know, what’s the fundamental reason for them. Well, you know, if you can have a subscription that actually then drives your share of wallet, then happy days, but it doesn’t start driving share of wallet, then, then you need to consider why, why you have it. And, and whether it’s it’s, you know, if the F if other free options are having more traction with customers, then you need to, you need to, the tide needs to go back out again. 2 (37m 34s): But we’ll see, I think I I’ve, I’ve recommended several subscription programs over, over the last few years, and I think they are the right thing to do for many brands. But again, it depends what you’re trying to do and why. 1 (37m 45s): Yeah. Yeah. Well, those parting words, Ian, I have no more kind of questions or, you know, big ideas that I wanted to explore today. Was there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap up? 2 (37m 58s): No, I, I think I, I think it’s great to be in the podcast because I think we do similar things. I think, I think we, we both have the shared love for loyalty, which I always think is a good podcast when you could go on for hours. And I think we could have gone for hours. I think also there’s lots to come. You know, I think that, that certainly, I don’t think we’re, I’m, I’m done in podcasting. I think there’s lots more, you know, we’ve got, we’ve got one coming out soon where we’d done on my side about learning about loyalty, which I’m really glad you came on that one for about, we’ve also got ones like open banking. I’m sure you’ve covered open banking. We, we could to cover that off in a future 1 (38m 31s): In future, 2 (38m 32s): The future of loyalty who knows, and we’re going to be talking about loyalty fraud. I think you’ve done a thing on fraud before Measuring ROI is always a classic topic. How do you measure loyalty and things like FMCG, CPG, loyalty, you know, all that sort of thing, which is, which is really non-traditional, you know, so th th there’s there’s loads to come and, and I’m really looking forward to these conversations, you know, having more, more chat about it. 1 (38m 60s): Indeed, we will keep the doors wide open. I’m sure we’ll be coming back together to share lots more learnings. So with that said, Iain Pringle managing part of new world loyalty and host of The Loyalty Podcast. Thank you so much from let’s talk loyalty. This show is brought to you by the Australian loyalty association, the leading organization for loyalty, networking and education in Asia Pacific, their international virtual loyalty conference will take place on the 25th of August, 2020 to register now to hear global experts discuss current trends in loyalty marketing, there will be fantastic networking opportunities, questions and answers, gamification and great prizes to be one, visit Australian loyalty association.com to find out more. 1 (40m 1s): Thank you so much for listening to this episode of let’s talk loyalty. If you’d like us to send you the latest shows each week, simply sign up for the let’s talk loyalty newsletter on let’s talk loyalty.com. 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