Closing the Loop

Loyalty scheme

Partnered loyalty programs abound, but it isn’t always easy to make the most of them. Recently, though, I’ve found an example that I think works.

The supermarket nearest to my home is Ralphs. It’s a major chain here, so there are lots of locations for me to visit, no matter what part of town I’m in.

The cheapest gas near my home is at one of the local Shell stations.

Several months ago, while filling up my tank, I noticed that the digital screen on the pump said something about the Ralphs Rewards program. I swiped my supermarket loyalty card at the gas pump and saved 10 cents per gallon.

So that’s pretty cool. The only trick was that to get the discount, I had to have “earned” 100 rewards points since my last trip to the gas station. But we buy a lot of groceries, so I was getting the discount more often than not.

Now, there’s a new wrinkle that makes this an even better deal. If I take my Shell receipt to Ralphs and show it to the cashier, I double whatever points I would receive for that supermarket purchase. So I get more points at Ralphs, speeding the pace at which I get discounts there, and it’s much more likely that I’ll reach the 100 points needed for a gas discount every time I fill up.

Nice job, Ralphs and Shell. I’m pretty sure this is what synergy feels like.

Photo by Pigsaw, via Flickr.

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Posted on June 7, 2011, in Marketing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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