Executive Summary: Changing Consumer Expectations

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At rDialogue, we believe there is a fundamental shift in what loyalty marketing should stand for: brands must pay attention to customers and act accordingly. There’s a need for brands to be customer-centric and deliver value in more ways than rewards, points, and generic communications. In 2016, rDialogue published a white paper on this evolving approach, something we call Loyalty 3.0.

This year, we set out to conduct a proprietary research study and asked ourselves – what haven’t we seen in the market today that can help inform and validate our point of view on Loyalty 3.0? Through our experience in designing and managing loyalty strategies, we know that customers have been accustomed to transactional relationships with brands. We believe, however, that when brands look beyond transactions and deliver value through more emotional drivers (such as saving time and making lives more convenient) they unlock the potential of long-lasting loyalty. This research study begins to demonstrate that leading brands like Amazon are not only improving customer experiences, but are fundamentally changing consumer expectations for the better.

Our thesis around Loyalty 3.0 was simple: Brands need to move beyond transactions, and pay attention to their customers, in order to drive real loyalty.

With this in mind, we explored whether a connection exists between unaided awareness of brand loyalty and loyalty program engagement, often considered the most valuable measure of brand strength. Only one brand sits at the epicenter: Amazon. Amazon has been immensely successful because they have focused on the emotional side of loyalty through instant gratification and making it easier to buy things – two very important attributes to customers. And they’ve embraced Amazon Prime as an extension of the brand, and powered it with the mechanisms to recognize loyalty and deliver personal, relevant value back to members.

Learn more about how Amazon is impacting retail and customer experience, and the opportunity to engage customers beyond discounts. By focusing on more than financial value, brands are able to act accordingly for their customers, giving them a reason to be loyal.