When managers think innovation, they tend to think of it at the program level: a simple list of clever or new things they can implement to increase the overall effectiveness of a program. But that high level approach undermines the innovation process and ignores what fundamentally powers strong innovation efforts.
Taking a look at a company’s rewards programs, there is an opportunity to innovate at each level - from the targeting of the program to the delivery of rewards, and everywhere in between. What’s most important to realize is that each part warrants a separate and focused innovation effort - rather than as part of the a single program wide innovation effort. That focus on each piece of the puzzle will deliver much deeper focus on critical success factors (CSF’s) and allow more innovative ideas to be generated for each stage.
The examples that follow bring home the point - that innovation needs laser focus on each stage of your rewards programs. (Click on the highlighted part of each example to get an indepth understanding of each one).
#1 Setting Goals
Tiger Fuel aimed its rewards program directly at a brand perception problem.
#2 Who Should Be Targeted
Hilton maximized brand value in China by recognizing locals who were known for their work ethic.
Vista bank targeted both consumers and businesses with a community oriented rewards program.
#3 When to reward
Givex and Transacta partnered to deliver a solution for companies to affect purchase decision making in real time
#4 Choosing platforms
Jersey Mike’s uses NFC for customers to collect rewards
PointBank uses a social activity tracking system to reward customers for social activity
#5 What to reward
Vista Bank rewards customers for using social to spread the word about its loyalty program
Shopkick empowers retailers to rewards store visits rather than only purchases
#6 What rewards?
Loyalty Shares takes alignment of company and customer to next level: Company shares as rewards puts customers in the company’s shoes and forces them to look for win-win’s in purchasing process.