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In the past, you could rely solely on the quality of your product or service to keep customers coming back. Today, the pressures of commoditisation, globalisation, and a crowded market make it important to include sustainable values. In this article, we'll look at how being environmentally friendly can help build long-term, profitable relationships with customers, specifically when related to a loyalty rewards scheme. 


You’ll Build Your Brand 

Numerous studies have shown that consumers would rather support retailers, service providers, and manufacturers who share their beliefs. You can increase sales and customer loyalty by capitalising on people's concerns for the environment. Use the power of the Internet and social media to get the word out that your company is taking environmentally responsible steps by offering a green loyalty rewards programme. Your company's reputation will soar, and your bottom line will expand if consumers perceive that you're a leader in the sustainable space.


It Can Be Your USP

Every business needs a USP – a unique selling proposition – to help it stand out in a very large crowd. With a sustainable loyalty rewards programme, you can take this idea and run with it, ensuring that you deliver on the eco-friendly promises and message you put out there. 


Having a USP means easier marketing and better branding, and you can stand out above your competitors who may not yet have understood quite how important this way of working can be. By offering a rewards programme that acknowledges this, you can prove you’re doing all you can – and more – to be environmentally conscious. 


Align With Your Customers’ Values 

People like to buy from people. They also like to buy from people like them. If you can show that you are an environmentally friendly business through a variety of means, including your customer rewards programme, you will find you can more easily align yourself with your target market’s principles, giving you a much better chance of not only finding new customers but keeping them. 


With a sustainable rewards programme that offers rewards such as one that offers incentives for customers who recycle and reuse or who opt for in-store shopping rather than having their goods delivered, for example, you can show what you believe in and gain customers because of that. 


To win and keep clients, a green position is going to be more and more essential. It will become crucial to incorporate this into your loyalty marketing system. In reality, it will rapidly become essential, especially for sectors that are thought to have a major influence on the environment. If you are on the fence about starting up a loyalty scheme and you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing, this should help you see why it’s so crucial. 


Collinson Group research has revealed that just 38 percent of bank and financial service customers in the UK feel rewarded for their custom. Customers are looking for more opportunities to earn loyalty currency and more choice when redeeming their points.

Reward and recognition are becoming increasingly important for customer retention and revenue growth. As regulators encourage greater competition in the financial services market, new competitors emerge and consumers are given more opportunities to compare and switch services. Brands must consider how best to remain attractive to this sophisticated set of consumers who have a greater access to information and are always after the best value for money.

The Collinson Group research with 2,250 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and the UAE revealed that more than three quarters of respondents (77 percent) look for loyalty programmes with a greater choice of rewards. Furthermore, four in five respondents (82 percent), said that the value of a programme decreases when there is only a limited range of rewards available.

In the UK, research respondents cited three ways that financial services loyalty programmes could be improved: the ability to combine points with cash (37 percent), have a larger selection of rewards (37 percent) and a simpler user experience (33 percent). This indicates that usability and accessibility of rewards are top of mind for financial services loyalty programme members.

Two of the strongest categories of reward that are most popular with global financial services customers are travel and leisure. In the UK, customers consistently place a high value on benefits such as airport lounge access, concierge services and unique social and cultural leisure experiences[1]. Collinson Group research reinforces that customers value products and experiences offered outside of company core inventory as part of a financial services loyalty programme.

Respondents also expressed a desire to have more redemption opportunities. In fact, 66 percent of global financial service customers said that they specifically look for a loyalty programme that has both in-store and online redemption capabilities. This capability does not currently feature in many financial services loyalty programmes, with 70 percent of UK respondents revealing that they would like the opportunity to redeem in-store. An enhanced redemption experience is delivered through a programme that offers the customer the ability to redeem in both retail outlets and leisure stores, as well as an e-commerce platform. Survey respondents were clear that the value of a loyalty programme decreases if points cannot be redeemed in physical retail outlets, with 51 percent in the country agreeing.

Christopher Evans, Director at Collinson Group said:

“Traditional financial services models continue to evolve, with a focus on improved digital services and experiences, but a key area brands need to consider is how they recognise and reward existing customers. Other sectors such as travel and retail are demonstrating new ways of offering more personalised, timely and relevant rewards.

“A key element in enabling this is providing customers with more ways to earn and redeem loyalty currency. Offering the opportunity to ‘spend’ points against non-financial products such as travel, leisure or more altruistic rewards is increasingly attractive to programme members. The chance to redeem points in physical stores such as retailers and to part-pay with loyalty points and cash all make programmes more relevant and therefore more valuable to consumers.”


[1] Collinson Group mass affluent research – rethinking the customer relationship:

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