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Starbucks Loyalty Fail

Starbucks knows a thing or two about loyalty. I’m a Gold Card member, and enjoy the free refills as well as the periodic free drinks I accrue by using it. (Green Card members get the refill benefit, but not the free beverage after every 15 purchases. In addition, Gold Card members get a personalized card in that color and, theoretically, are addressed by name by the baristas.)

Many other coffee shops offer complimentary in-store refills to all customers, but Starbucks has converted refills into a loyalty benefit. (Similarly, Starbucks has put their own spin on the ubiquitous “free wi-fi” offered at most establishments. They created their own portal with special content like free access to pay sites like WSJ.com and NYTimes.com.) So, I was surprised when normally savvy Starbucks sent a friend this message: […]

By |January 17th, 2012|

When Loyalty Points Beat Price Differences

Every merchant seems to have a loyalty program these days. It makes sense to reward customers for their patronage and encourage even greater frequency. But, it appears there’s one kind of loyalty reward that may be more effective. One study showed that “irrelevant information” (in this case, largely valueless loyalty points) changed consumer buying decisions. […]

By |March 1st, 2011|