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Five Ways Your Loyalty Program Can Deliver the 'Wow' Factor

by Fred Thompson  |  
November 11, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • The difference between functional and aspirational rewards
  • What rewards drive customer behavior
  • Why your loyalty program should consider the human brain

To deliver the critical wow factor that draws consumers into loyalty programs and keeps them there, marketers must get inside customers' heads.

Delivering dreams is what inspires wow. But remember, dreaming isn't the only thing that goes on in customers' minds. So, to construct an effective rewards catalog, you'll need to apply a little "brain surgery" to answer the question of balance between the human brain's two hemispheres.

The left brain governs logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and objective thinking. The right brain governs intuitive, holistic, subjective, creative, and "big-picture" thinking. The hemispheres of your brain work together—ideally, in balance—to define the personality of the unique human being you are.

With those thoughts literally "in mind," let's examine five key areas of balance.

1. The Functional vs. the Aspirational

The left brain values the functional. Rewards that fulfill needs will help you pass the "value-detector" test consumers apply to every new program: Wow—that's a deal.

The right brain values the aspirational. Rewards that fulfill dreams will help you pass the "splurge-detector" test: Wow—I couldn't get that anywhere else. They must really appreciate me.

Consider the following chart, which displays a continuum of rising value perceptions:

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Fred Thompson is partner and retail practice lead at LoyaltyOne Consulting, a consulting firm that specializes in loyalty programs, relationship marketing, and customer analytics. He is responsible for defining and refining the organization's expertise in the retail category.

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  • by Long Sun Nov 13, 2011 via web

    Well how would you balance the fact wow, here I mean, there will always be a trade-off and no such thing as perfection? You will lose out one or another, try to achieve both will be costly. What do you say?

    Try too hard on your loyalty program is the same of you try to offer them something different from your product, which is not product-oriented. What do you think?

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