Virgin Australia and the Baltic Miles programme were among the loyalty programme initiatives recognised at this year’s Loyalty Awards held in Amsterdam last night. The awards, presented last night during the sixth Airline Business/Global Flight organised Loyalty event, recognise leading initiatives among loyalty programmes.
Virgin Australia led the way in the technology category after being recognised for introducing a pre-paid payment card in its home market. The dual card links the airline FFP membership on one side and a pre-paid payment capability on the other, incorporating NFC technology to open up new opportunities.
“We see the global wallet as a way of engaging our membership. Its an evolution. To start with we have taken it to the market as the other side of your membership card,” explains Stuart Dinnis head of commercial at Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer scheme.
“We launched in in six months and we wanted to make sure we were in the market before our competition,” he adds, in a market where local rival Qantas has also been developing a pre-paid card concept. “Were were the first to market in Australia with a points-earned proposition. and the first with the mobile app,” says Dinnis, which can be used to top up the card.
The BalticMiles programme, which is operated by Coalition Rewards and has grown out of the Air Baltic programme, was recognised in the management category for its Burn the Miles campaign, adding a social responsibility component to the loyalty game. Through the campaign, members were challenged to earn miles by burning at least 1,000 calories during the month.
Coalition Rewards head of international marketing Eriks Nelsons says: “We believe if you really want to advance emotional loyalty with your customer you need to think wider than just making a double points or triple points offer.”
Irish gas station operator Topaz Energy picked up the customer relationship management award – the first time the award has been given to a non-travel sector firm. It impressed the judges by opting against a traditional earn and burn programme, instead launching its Play or Park loyalty game.
“We needed to focus on participation. Instead of being a passive member of a programme, it would encourage engagement,” says Topaz loyalty manager Laura Murphy. “We are the first programme within loyalty to use gaming as ongoing mechanic of the scheme.” Under the programme points collected can then be exchanged for the chance to play for a big prize each month, while also being rewarded with a guaranteed small prize.
The awards are judged by a panel of loyalty management specialists. Click here for more information about the awards and the Loyalty 2014 event.