LONDON: A majority of Brits want and expect a brand to reward their loyalty, but their motivations vary and brands need to understand that they may not necessarily be the main attraction – some consumers value partner brands more highly.

According to What the British think of loyalty programmes, a study from YouGov and Mando-Connect, which combined the former’s brand tracking and audience segmentation tools with the latter’s loyalty and partnerships expertise, 77% of British consumers are already subscribed to at least one programme, most likely that of a supermarket (65%).

More than seven in ten (72%) think these are a great way for brands and businesses to reward their customers and almost six in ten (59%) think all brands should offer one.

Unsurprisingly, benefitting from discounts and offers from the brand is the main reason (87%) people join a loyalty programme. But the second most popular reason is to get discounts and rewards from partner brands (55%) – which trumps even free products, services and experiences (52%).

Other possible reasons attracted much less backing: being the first to know about news from the brand (23%), better services from the brand (18%) and being part of the community (6%).

Looking more closely at partner rewards, the study compared those consumers who subscribe to a loyalty scheme to get rewards from a partner brand with those who want rewards from the brand itself.

It found a preference for partner rewards was most marked in certain sectors, including airlines, petrol stations, retail, pharmacies and supermarkets.

This could be because people perceive these types of brands as offering them products and services they need, but do not love, the study suggested.

Loyalty schemes generally are good at driving members’ increased recommendation (38% of members are more likely to recommend) and spend (47% spend more), but building an emotional connection proves much harder; only 28% said they feel emotionally connected to a brand whose programme they are a member of.

A select group of 13% of consumers, however, ticks all three boxes and these “super-consumers” are more motivated than the average, all by the various types of rewards detailed above.

Sourced from YouGov; additional content by WARC staff