Nectar, the British electronic loyalty card programme backed by a number of major retailers and consumer services - is set to move into the business-to-business sector as of next week.

Nectar for Business will ape its established sibling by enabling B2B marketers to offer incentives to customers. Among the early adopters of the new scheme are Dulux Decorator Centres, EDF Energy, Hertz, Magnet Trade and office supplies vendor Viking Direct.

The launch will be supported by a regional radio and press drive breaking January 24. Its basic message ("Turns the things you need into the rewards you want") could alternatively be expressed as "Spend your firm's money, line your own pocket". One ad shows an office chair changing into an airline seat.

Some observers see the move as an attempt to shore-up Nectar's less than scintillating performance to date. UK tabloid the Mail on Sunday reported last fall that at least two major participants were reconsidering their membership of the scheme [WAMN: 26-Oct-04].

According to the newspaper, sponsors were unconvinced that the card had sufficient positive impact on sales to justify the costs of participation.

Among the companies participating in the consumer scheme are Barclaycard, supermarketeer J Sainsbury, department store chain Debenhams, Vodafone and the petrol retailing unit of BP.

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff