DIGITAL LOYALTY IN THE ERA OF COALITION

The establishment of long-lasting relationship paths with consumers is a must for any company nowadays.

The digital loyalty activity can be managed by the individual brand, or it may involve cooperation between several brands as part of a joint loyalty enhancement strategy.

A coalition loyalty program has several advantages. Apart from simple co-marketing, the definition of a single strategy guarantees cross-fertilization between the brands involved. In the case of Tesori del Gusto, for example, there are three brands involved as part of the digital collection: Parmareggio, Casa Modena and Senfter. The consumer can purchase the products in the promotion from each brand and collect the various points on a virtual sheet, which constitutes a single repository. During this activity the user is invited to repeat the purchases and also try new products, to increase the chances of winning.

This fertilization stimulates awareness in respect of the brands involved with regard to consumers who are not traditional buyers of a brand, as well as encouraging cross-trial. A coalition loyalty program is thus able to engage a wider user base compared to a single loyalty program and to transfer more of them to the loyalty path, with a view to finally establishing a 1to1 dialogue both with occasional users and brand lovers. At the end of the activity, all the brands can avail themselves of a database which contains not only personal data but also behavioral information, thanks to a constant mapping of products and of the user’s digital behavior.

In this way the company is also able to categorize its offer and to define the role of the various products as part of its promotional activity. It can thus find out which are the “engagement products” through which consumers are more prone to start a collection, and – on the other hand – which ones are “loyalty products”, that is to say those which encourage the point collection path; this is key information to promote targeted CRM and for subsequent promotional activities.

To date on the Italian scene there are no coalition loyalty programs for the mass consumer industry. Programs such as Nectar and Payback mainly involve the brand and do not need substantial corporate investment at infrastructure level. A coalition loyalty program promoted directly by the brand, on the other hand, favors a more immediate interaction with the general public because the relationship is shifted from the POS to product packaging.