Loyalty and strategic loyalty are two different things. Businesses driven only to “check the box” end up with cookie-cutter programs that do little to deliver on business strategy.
Today, marketers are driven to develop loyalty programs for many tactical reasons, foremost among them being: Pressure to implement low-cost mobile-centric technologies; To show use of big data; and, To keep up with competitors. Unfortunately, these forces have resulted in a proliferation of ineffective cookie-cutter, me-too programs. However, by avoiding pitfalls and conducting a critical analysis of what loyalty can truly do for a business, loyalty can be deployed as a sustainable differentiator and source of competitive advantage — even in today’s crowded marketplace.
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