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Loyalty Limelight: My Coke Rewards

Loyalty Limelight (light)-01The Initiative: New My Coke Rewards, with two ways to earn

In a nutshell: My Coke Rewards launched in 2006 as one of the first consumer packaged goods programs. Based on a traditional points-accumulation model, it grants members a range of points for every Coke-branded product code entered online, which could then be redeemed for a wide selection of rewards. In late January, Coca-Cola updated the program to include a second, tiered path to earning rewards through activities.

Features: The new My Coke Rewards continues to offer members its traditional model of accumulating points through product purchases, but has complemented it with a second way to earn, and gain status, throughactivities. Members earn points by playing games, listening to music, completing surveys, watching videos, communicating through social media and participating in other activities. For example: Share a Coke experience with five people and get a free 20-ounce Coke product at Target.

All members, including existing members, start out in the bronze tier. Activities, not purchases, will earn them status toward the silver and gold tiers, though gaining silver status requires members link their social media accounts. As they earn their way up to the silver and gold tiers, members have access to a wider portfolio of rewards, from a broader range of egift cards to Shutterfly photo blankets.

The added features are essential to meet the evolving needs and expectations of Coca-Cola customers and partners, said Kim Gnatt global group director of digital marketing forCoca-Cola North America. “We needed a way to reward members for engaging with us in the social space and sharing our content; the status allows us to do that in a sustainable, scalable way.”

The Takeaways: Coke has grasped the effectiveness of activities in keeping members engaged with the brand for longer periods of time – and more time spent translates to more insights and opportunities to foster loyalty. Further, by encouraging members to share their Coke experiences, My Coke is setting a wave effect into motion, exposing the program and brand to a widening consumer group. Among the best practices:

• Tailored offers: Coke uses activity data and insights to better customize program experiences and rewards. If the member exhibits an interest in food or dining, for example, she might get a restaurant certificate.

• Surprises: Certain activities can unlock surprise catalog rewards and badges, lifting expectations and creating memorable moments. And marketers know that memorable brand experiences are more likely to be shared socially.

• Higher capture rate: By enabling existing members to continue earning points through purchases, My Coke has managed to introduce change without requiring it. Members who eschew social media can continue to earn by purchasing Coke products.

One caveat: Even the most active users of Facebook and Twitter may not be comfortable linking their accounts to a brand. My Coke’s team should be prepared to hear from those members who feel this requirement is a barrier to entry.

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