World-renown coffee chain, Starbucks, is launching a new loyalty program for 2010. Starbucks has struggled to maintain loyalty programs in the recent past, due to customer groups and their continued efforts to try and bend the rules to their favor. Under the new loyalty program plan it appears that many Starbucks customers will be losing a 10 percent discount but will be gaining a variety of benefits and perks, such as WiFi usage and other coffee-related items offered at their stores.
In other loyalty program-relates news (anti-loyalty program may be a better fit), Gwilym Davies, the World Barista Champion (I’m not a coffee lover so I’ll reserve judgment here) has launched what may be the first “disloyalty program.” Under the program (which apparently benefits multiple stores, not just one), the world’s favorite ambassador of coffee wants to encourage people to try different brews in and around London. If you use the card at eight or so different coffee shops you’ll get rewarded with free coffee.
Here at UnderstandingMarketing.com we’ve always been big fans of loyalty programs that are tied in together with other small businesses that don’t necessarily compete with each other but rather complement each other. As an example (and pointed out by resident marketing expert Chrisanne Sternal), a wedding photographer, cake decorator, planner and invitation company can all team together since they, for the most part, share the same customers without competing directly with one another. This type of a relationship is great to share in the costs of marketing so that you each help to grow one another’s business.
What are your thoughts of a disloyalty program?