Loyalty programs are in just about every place you tap your credit card.
And Canadians, it seems, are happiest with small rewards – such as free movies and groceries – over big dreams, according to a new study released Friday.
Consumer satisfaction, trust and overall relationships are strongest with the Scotiabank/Cineplex Scene program and the new PC Optimum program, rather than those focusing their rewards on travel, the Argyle Public Relationships Index finds.
“While Canadians are loyal to their loyalty programs, the ready reward of the free movie or groceries seems to be winning our hearts more than the elusive dream vacation,” said Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch.
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“The recent controversies about the future of Air Miles points, and about Aeroplan’s future, may also be factors in the slight edge gained by those offering smaller, simpler rewards.”
The annual study by Leger Research and Argyle Public Relationships also finds, in general, Canadians have strong relationships with their preferred loyalty program:
- 79 per cent are very or somewhat satisfied with the program they use the most;
- 76 per cent trust their loyalty program;
- 73 per cent believe the loyalty program takes care of people likely to use it;
- 70 per cent believe the loyalty program is committed to meeting their expectations;
- 60 per cent see the loyalty program as concerned about “people like me;”
- 41 per cent believe they can influence the decisions or direction of their main loyalty program.
Public relations research suggests there are six dimensions of relationships between brands and their publics: trust; satisfaction; perceived commitment to meet expectations; caring for customers (“exchange relationship”); concern for people like me (“communal relationship”); and people’s perception of their ability to influence the brand. The index averages public ratings of how the brand they know best in each sector performs on the six dimensions.
Among loyalty programs, the survey reveals average-to-strong relationships between most major programs and the public (out of 100):
The survey also shows that just over two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) are interested in having relationships with the brands they buy and the service providers with which they do business, down from 73 per cent a year ago. Seventy-nine per cent are more likely to do business with a brand that builds a relationship with them, and 80 per cent are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends.
“In two years of working with Argyle on this research, it’s clear that the health of a company’s relationships with the public correlates strongly to the health of its brand,” said Leger’s VP of communications and public affairs Lisa Covens.
“Whether it’s their products, their communications, or both, the loyalty programs offering these simple, everyday rewards are earning stronger relationships with the Canadian public.”