U.S. Bank and RecycleBank Round Out the List of Distinguished Recipients.
The Only Awards Determined by Thought Leaders in all Loyalty Sectors.
Some of the nation’s biggest names in finance, retail and travel, including Citi, Godiva, U.S. Bank, RecycleBank and Hyatt, have been named winners of the inaugural COLLOQUY Loyalty Awards, a contest that salutes the most transformative, customer-focused loyalty initiatives in North America.
COLLOQUY (colloquy.com), a global provider of loyalty publications, education and research, launched the awards as the first of their kind, with members of the loyalty industry — through COLLOQUY’s almost 40,000 subscribers — voting for the winners. The event is the capstone of a yearlong celebration of the 20th Anniversary of COLLOQUY, a LoyaltyOne company.
The winners were each selected from a group of three finalists in four loyalty categories. A fifth category recognizes the Master of Enterprise Loyalty — that company whose corporate-wide loyalty strategy improved both financial and customer performance. The winners were presented with engraved plaques of Tiffany crystal at an awards ceremony Sept. 16, during the 8th Annual COLLOQUY Loyalty Summit in Phoenix.
The winners are:
• Master of Enterprise Loyalty Award:
Citi, for its ThankYou Network: Voters chose Citi for the robustness of its loyalty strategy. The ThankYou Network rewards customers for doing what they normally do, like paying bills online, using their credit card or having direct deposit. The program spans the entire Citi enterprise, allowing customers to earn points on credit card use, by shopping at Citi’s online mall, or through a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney account. Members can redeem rewards for cash, gift cards or at such sites as Amazon, they can donate their points to charity, or they can use them toward mortgage payments. ThankYou membership rose to 12 million from 5 million in 2004.
• Loyalty Innovation in Financial Services Award:
U.S. Bank and its U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa: U.S. Bank was selected for its pioneering approach to overcoming the challenge of losing significant membership to an industry merger. U.S. Bank launched FlexPerks after its carrier partner, Northwest Airlines, merged with Delta Air Lines and moved its credit card business to American Express. U.S. Bank designed a suite of FlexPerks Visa products that would answer the unmet needs of credit card customers, with features ranging from no blackout dates to baggage fee allowances. Under the plan, U.S. Bank exceeded its retention rate goal by more than 50 percent. It also beat its email penetration rate goal by 46 percent.
• Loyalty Innovation in Retail Award:
Godiva Chocolatier’s Godiva Chocolate Rewards Club: Members picked Godiva for creating a sensible loyalty initiative that is integrated and highly data driven — yet simple and straightforward. The program is developed to track customers no matter which channel they shop, while also training employees on program benefits. The rewards are sweet: More than 2 million shoppers have signed up for Godiva’s Chocolate Rewards Club since May 2009, and more than half of its sales are associated with the loyalty account. Best of all, the average loyalty sales transaction is 20 percent higher than non-loyalty transactions.
• Loyalty Innovation in Travel/Hospitality Award:
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, the Hyatt Gold Passport/The Big Welcome Back: Voters applauded Hyatt’s creativity in crafting a loyalty program that put member rewards into the hands of its staff, and during a down economy. Hyatt anchored its Hyatt Gold Passport in one key idea: Offer big generosity at a time when guests needed it most. This ranged from free Internet service to suite upgrades. But Hyatt took it a step further and empowered employees to lavish guests with complimentary services such as dinner, laundry or a massage. Members checked it out and then they checked in: Overnight visits among Diamond members rose 41 percent in 2009 over 2008.
• Innovation in Loyalty Marketing Award:
RecycleBank: Social responsibility was the key for voters choosing RecycleBank. The program is designed to encourage people to recycle by awarding points redeemable at more than 2,600 retailers, restaurants, grocers, and more. Participants simply put tracking devices on their recycle bins and trucks retrofitted with RecycleBank technology collect the waste. The weight of those recyclables is converted into RecycleBank Points. Since 2005, participating communities have salvaged almost 300,000 tons of material, helping to save close to 131 million liters of oil and 4.2 million trees. Municipalities participating in the program have saved millions of dollars in landfill diversion fees.
"Attaining Enterprise Loyalty means unlocking the potential of a company’s greatest asset — its customer data. It represents an evolution from viewing loyalty as a narrow functional task for the marketing department into a pursuit throughout the entire enterprise to transform the consumer experience," said COLLOQUY Managing Partner Kelly Hlavinka. "These awards celebrate those strategies that recognize members in a way that is relevant, that fosters long-term relationships among all of a company’s key stakeholders."
The awards were determined in a three-step process. First, members of the loyalty industry, through COLLOQUY membership, submitted nominees. Next, 15 finalists were selected by a jury of 10 thought leaders in the loyalty industry, media and academia. Jury members were recused from voting for programs that presented a conflict of interest.
Finally, COLLOQUY subscribers, voting online, determined the winners.