Designing a loyalty programme around the modern-day traveller

There are some influential forces at work in travel, shaping how the market is evolving and challenging brands to think carefully about the future.

Alternative accommodation options such as Airbnb, low-cost airlines expanding into transatlantic flights and greater expectation from consumers in terms of choice, price and convenience, means that competition in the hospitality and airline industries is more aggressive than ever.

With brands throughout the world vying for consumers’ attention, offering them a wide range of incentives from discounts, loyalty currency, cash-back and rewards, it can be difficult to cut through the noise.

Loyalty programmes do work but a sub-standard, inflexible and purely commercial approach will no longer cut it.

There needs to be an emotional connection derived from positive engagement, allowing members to more easily access and engage with loyalty currency and rewards.

Ultimately, at the heart of any proposition must be a focus on the member and the mechanisms for enriching their overall brand experience.

Listening to what members really want and serving up content and experiences based on individual unique personas, in a timely and relevant manner, is most definitely the way forward.

Making loyalty part of everyday life

Even the most frequent traveller may only book a hotel stay or flight several times a month and for the masses, it can be as little as once or twice a year.

The onus is on brands to create new and relevant ways for consumers to both earn and redeem loyalty currency, while also looking at initiatives that make loyalty more a part of their members’ everyday lives.

Within travel, the likes of Virgin Atlantic has extended its member earning opportunities from their online eStores to the high-street, with payment card-linked-offer solutions being rolled out in the past 12 months.

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