September 9 2009 by Bryson Forbes
I knew this statement was true, but I didn't quite now how true until I started digging for some facts. According to Colloquy Research, a whopping 93.6 percent of Canadians belong to at least one loyalty program. That number has jumped almost 9 percent since their last study in 2007, which is shocking for an already very saturated market.
Why do we like them so much? Optimists will tell you that we are smart! Why not be rewarded for spending our hard earned cash and for our loyalty - that's worth something you know. The cynics say we're cheap! "Those Canucks always looking for the best deal" they say. In my opinion, both are somewhat accurate.
Although neither cheap nor smart came to mind last week when I witnessed the lady in front of me at the grocery store express line reach back to grab seemingly anything that would take her to the total to the purchase minimum to get a point. I did think to myself, "wow, talk about engaged" and I came to the conclusion the most Canadian generally think of collecting rewards as a game and have fun with it.
The "games" we are most hooked into come in the form of coalition programs like Air Miles and Aeroplan. These programs reward us for everyday purchases and allow redemption across a number of categories including travel, merchandise, gift cards and charitable donations.
It's not enough anymore for companies to simply launch a program and expect us to flock in droves. The program will be scrutinized and compared, and needs to deliver real value to get engagement.
Not surprisingly, I am a fan of the Best Western Rewards program! I like it for a couple of reasons:
- It is free (see paragraph two about our frugalness)!
- It has powerful and relevant partners such as CAA. In addition to extra savings you get by being a CAA member, you also can earn CAA dollars instead of standard points.
- It offers quality programs almost all year long. The summer promotion that just ended gave members an opportunity to earn a free night voucher, after completing just two stays. Now that's value.
So Canadians, what motivates your loyalty program behaviour?