How to find the “X”​ factor in your customer loyalty or rewards program

I've been working with a number of clients developing loyalty and rewards programs that do not become lost in the sea of sameness.

Programs are abundantly available in all sectors of business (not only retail) and I am on a mission to ensure they continuously strive to be more meaningful to members.

While programs are generally improving (earn rate; simplicity, use of technology) as identified in our customer loyalty research study For Love or Money 2018, we cannot sit still.

The most common starting point for many program benefit structures are financial and transactional. However, even before we go there (it's the easiest place to start) the question to ask is -

"What's the X factor in this program?"

We all know that an 'X' factor is something special, unique, different, or distinctive. The starting point for identifying an X factor is often an internal focus ie "in this program".

Instead of looking for the X factor in the program, be outward looking and answer that question with...

"'s your customers' Y!"

Ok, so that might be an obvious answer, however moving from "X" to "Y" gives you the opportunity to drill down into what your customers' "y" (why) is.

Focus on your customers' "Y":

  1. Understand what their pain and friction is when interacting with the brand and then identify how a program can provide relief.
  2. Understand what will bring your customers joy and delight when engaging with the brand and let the program play its part in the delivery.

This is not a masterstroke of genius, however it is simply about being brilliant at the basics. When you solve your customer's 'Y' with your program, you'll find your program's X factor.

Have a happy loyalty day!