Keeping consumers engaged in loyalty programs has become increasingly difficult, as every brand is vying for their attention and willing to reward their members with all manner of incentives, from points and rewards, through to special promotions and cash back.

It’s imperative now more than ever for brands to cut through the noise and find new ways of naturally integrating touch-points into the day-to-day lives of consumers, allowing them to earn and redeem in ways that are accessible, convenient and add value to their lifestyles. Ultimately, what we’re talking about here is putting consumers firmly at the heart of loyalty programs.

Creating opportunities

There are already many examples of excellent earn-and-redemption loyalty platforms that put customers front-of-mind, with some specializing in online audiences and others focusing more in-store. Brands such as Avios, Tesco and Virgin Atlantic are just a few examples of brands doing this well, with retail and travel being two industries synonymous with loyalty and rewards in general.

However, for continued and longer-term success, the real winners will be brands that can effectively drive engagement both online and offline, creating more opportunities to interact and, therefore, engage with their loyalty program members on a daily basis. And it’s something consumers think is important too: 61 percent of travel and financial services loyalty members in fact, according to our recent global research into the behaviors of global loyalty program members.

“... only 30 percent of loyalty members believe that their loyalty program rewards actually reflect their lifestyle and hobbies.”

Individualizing rewards

Equally important is ensuring that the data from these interactions is used effectively. Our research found that only 30 percent of loyalty members believe that their loyalty program rewards actually reflect their lifestyle and hobbies. Most of us are already aware of the importance of personalization when it comes to loyalty program, but clearly more work needs to be done.

Brands looking to build a successful loyalty program should ensure that they invest time and resources with partners who share a members-first philosophy and have tailored insights to back it up. Having the same vision and focus is crucial in building a loyalty ecosystem that delivers true engagement, value and loyalty.