It doesn’t matter what business you happen to be in; from Airlines and Hotels to major Credit Card Providers, all these businesses have something in common…
A reward scheme of sorts.
Whether it’s free flights through an airline like Emirates, a hotel room upgrade at the Marriott or your tenth cup of coffee for free at your nearest Vida e Caffè.
These reward schemes promote brand loyalty, and hopefully turn us all into good brand ambassadors.
But first let me set the scene for you;
Smartphones have become the device that the majority of the human population views content on and is at the very core of how we interact with so many brands today.
Because of this many brands, today have created mobile applications (apps) where users can easily and conveniently interact with any given brand. In fact, a recent study conducted by Smart Insights indicated that Mobile apps accounted for over 80% of mobile time!
This, of course, leads me into the world of how the world of rewards is increasingly becoming mobile and a very instant experience. GET Rewards has an app too by the way!
The role of mobile rewards has become increasingly important in the digital age that we are living in.
This mobile era and rise of mobile apps, conveniently allows people to interact and engage with brands instantly at any given time, and on the go!
To understand the spread of brand-related mobile apps all you need to do is head over to the I-store or Google Play and take a look around. It’s vast; the Starbucks application is a great example, you can order, pay and earn loyalty points before you even enter the store!
It’s how you create a fast, easy and convenient way for your customers to interact with your brand.
Hand-in-hand with this is the aspect of social media, which allows us to be active on multiple platforms at the same time.
This means that it’s very easy to instantly broadcast whether our experience and interaction with a particular brand was a good one or conversely a not-so-good one.
And. Well, Millennials love to share their experiences – good (and bad).
So, if you’re an HR director looking to maximise benefits for a mobile rewards scheme for employees, or a brand manager looking to reward your customers in ways that increase connections, it is important to understand that rewards are an ideal instrument to demonstrate the true worth of this kind of brand loyalty we speak of.
The reason for this?
People get to experience rewards emotionally.
As decision-making can be both rational and emotional it makes good business sense to connect people to brands through the use of a rewards program, as in the Starbucks example.
Mobile rewards also provide vast amounts of transactional data.
What does this mean?
This allows owners of various mobile reward programs to collect data about individual people, enabling them to connect with these users in a very personalised and holistic way. It just takes the notion of employee recognition to know that this has great impacts on productivity, an average of 22% in fact!
So what types of reward programs are there?
The answer lies within; with who the brand is.
For example; an airline like Emirates will use a points-based reward program, where their employees and customers can collect and accumulate points. They promote brand loyalty through being able to redeem those points for free or discounted flights to a multitude of destinations.
Also, a brand like BMW uses a credit card reward system, where points can be redeemed for cash or used to purchase on an online rewards store or at any supermarket or retail store.
These rewards relate to you as an individual.
But how do you give a reward that has an objective value to an employee or customer?
The answer to that question lies within gift vouchers.
If you are an employer, there are commercial companies that provide a service to facilitate your rewards program, but the major benefit of the voucher is that it’s an objective reward that can be given to someone else.
The Collins English Dictionary defines a gift voucher as:
A gift voucher is a card or piece of paper that you buy at a shop and give to someone, which entitles the person to exchange it for goods worth the same amount.
Typically, a voucher can be used like this;
- Airtime and data - e.g. with telephone companies
- In-store shopping at popular retail outlets and fast food outlets.
- Experiences such as bungee jumping or hot air ballooning.
But what situations are vouchers most commonly used?
- Trade promotions
- Brand activations
- Product launches
- Workplace sprints
- Work anniversaries
- Workplace appreciation
- Staff birthdays
- Long-service awards
- Loyalty club draws
Gift vouchers are often found online and are also used by various stores, such as Cape Union Mart and even supermarkets like Game and Checkers.
So what’s my point?
Mobile rewards provide you as the “giver” many options in terms of how you achieve your reward objective, as well as the ultimate brand interaction and overall experience in doing so.
Ultimately, the need for brand loyalty in this digital era is crucial, where both a positive and a negative impression can be broadcast to the world very quickly. A good mobile rewards program will assist greatly in the management of that.
About Claudio Pereira
A marketing director by trade, Claudio Pereira is a passionate wordsmith at heart. Based in Cape Town, a keen outdoor and sporting enthusiast, he enjoys portraying valuable information in new and exciting manners through any means possible.