It Tastes Better When It is Free

You know that feeling when you get something for free. You feel smart, satisfied, happy, and rewarded. In essence, you feel like a winner.

My favorite ‘freebie’ is an ice cream cone from Stew Leonard’s, a fresh food grocery and dairy store.  In addition to their fresh products and family atmosphere, they have farm animals, food tastings, and prominently displayed signage which touts their mantra, ‘the customer is always right’. But their best ‘side’ attraction is their ice cream stand. They have fabulous soft serve ice cream which shoppers can get for free with every $100 worth of groceries spent.

What I realized is that when I pay for Stew’s ice cream, it is always good.  But when I redeem for a free ice cream cone, it tastes so much better.

This one reward transforms shopping for groceries from a chore to a rewarding experience. The key ingredients to this experience are instant gratification, a clearly defined ‘deal’ (spend this, get that) and being instantly rewarded by Stew’s for my loyalty. (I do have a choice to save my receipts and redeem in the future.)

Reward programs in general try to evoke this same emotion to reward their customers.  But today’s major rewards programs encounter a lot of friction. They do not deliver instant gratification and they do not allow the use of my points in retail stores where consumers want to spend them. Billions of dollars in miles and point programs go unused for many reasons including the limitations of closed loop rewards programs and relatively low level point accumulation which may not be meaningful for available redemption options.  Until now.

Loyalty Pay™ is the new game changer solution from Bridge2 Solutions that allows the use of reward points in retail stores (wherever Apple Pay or Android Pay is accepted.)  Reward programs that adopt Loyalty Pay will allow their members to earn points on credit cards, for example, and use them at any ice cream stand, café, apparel store, salon etc.  Reward members can be spontaneous with Loyalty Pay and decide to treat themselves or friends and family without any preplanning.  With Loyalty Pay, reward programs can finally deliver the holy grail of rewards programs – point ubiquity, all wrapped up in instant gratification and a fast and friction-less experience.

So will my rewards points ‘taste better’ with Loyalty Pay?  You bet they will. My reward points will finally be free, as in ‘freed up’ and ‘unlocked’ for me to use them anywhere I want.  I will finally feel that that as the consumer, I have the choice of spending my earned reward points how I want to, when I want, and where I want.  And, I will feel as happy with my rewards program as I do when getting my free ice cream cone.  #LoyaltyUnlocked

By Amy Harris