The loyalty industry is littered with high-promise initiatives that left managers disillusioned and members irate. Some reasons why loyalty programs fail to live up to expectations include:
Poor program design
Good design, insufficient internal buy-in
Implemented in theory, but not managed well operationally
Not invested in on an ongoing basis
Change in strategic objectives, no corresponding program change
Poor program design is a root cause to many underperforming programs. Marketing managers are often mandated to launch a program in tight timelines, and do so without sufficient consideration given to design. They end up with copy-cat programs borrowing rules and principles that are not optimal.
What is also often overlooked is that Loyalty program design is more than a conceptual framework; it is also about the rigor of setting rules, writing processes, of building scenarios, of budgets and software specs. Given the strategic nature of a loyalty program, it is this rigor that ensures longevity.