Thursday, October 25, 2012

Regarding point card schemes

Today I received this message on my phone:

"Dear Biotherm Club member, your points will expire on 24/11/2012. Do make a transaction to reach 500 points & redeem your rewards"

"Dear Biotherm Club member":
For the record, I am not a Biotherm Club member I have difficulties to understand why I received this message in the first place. Usually I would have ignored this SPAM. But it is a good example why point car loyalty programs hardly work for most of the products.

"Your points will expire":
Point expiration: So, I hypothetically signed up with your service, bought some products, etc. Obviously I haven't been with you in a while therefore you write me a message to remind me. So far so good. But with point expiration you start to threaten me that I lose everything in around one month time unless I do what you tell me.

"Do make a transaction"
Aside from the perceived coldness of this statement it is so forcefully delivered that I have no choice but to react annoyed. The annoyance comes basically from the old "What is in for me ? " question.

"Redeem your rewards"
Again very generic. On the other hand cool, I can get rewards.  So what can I get? A Porsche,  a flight to Bali ? A free lunch ?  A free coffee ? Anything ? Most loyalty programs I have participated in have really bad reward schemes. So why should I be interested in this proposal ? In addition, in order to have reached the aforementioned 500 points threshold, I have just purchased some of your products. Assumed that the rewards are more products from your company. Why should I be interested in having them since if I don't own them already?

Where this comes down to is that this marketing tool has no edges unless you can offer the customer something that he or she perceives as valuable. Loyalty points do not offer value. They only offer vanity.

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