Dear all brands and marketing teams.
Here is a money back guaranteed piece of free consumer insight: WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER LOYALTY CARD. My wallet is currently bursting at the seams and sadly not with the half hand full of muesli that I have leftover from my December paycheque, but with cards of all shape, colour and genre.
How can I possibly get excited about another card that promises me a whopping one cent back on every rand I spend? That’s right my friends, spend ONE THOUSAND RAND at Pick ‘n Pay and they will give you ten whole rand back… to spend at Pick ‘n Pay… on a muffin perhaps. Yes, you are a Smart Shopper now.
There is only one way to make this work. I submit the following scenario:
As I approach Pick ‘n Pay a gentle murmur will begin to brew from some women who appear to be a group of Swedish swimwear models, “murmur murmur… It’s him… murmur murmur… It’s really him… murmur… almost sufficiently endowed… murmur murmur… size isn’t really all that important to me… murmur murmur.”
As I cross the store threshold I am confidently greeted by the store security guard, “Mr. Ferguson, welcome back Sir” and with that a slow clap begins, breaking the deafening silence of anticipation. The ruckus spreads from Lotto counter to deli where the deli staff halt mid chicken tetrazzini to come together (with the bakery staff) in a perfectly choreographed one minute rendition of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.
I must become the Lord of the Dance.
Fortunately my exceptional lack of talent is disguised by the exploding fire works against the back drop of ten thousand white doves in aisle 7 (toys and stationary). As I crest the wave of Michael Flatley’s masterpiece I make my way to the tills flanked by flick flacking midgets and other suitable circus folk. My basket of soda water, 4 soft rolls and small packet of Big Corn Bites is handed to me… by the Archangel Gabriel. As I reach the counter the cashier, Natalie Portman, gently but assertively whispers in my ear…
“YES! YES Natalie! I have a Smart Shopper card! I am so psyched to get one cent back on every rand I spend at Pick ‘n Pay, thank you Natalie! Thank you Pick ‘n Pay!”
Now, potentially I am asking too much of the retail sector, but is it really any more ludicrous than thinking another mother-phunking loyalty card will excite customers? So here is your challenge, an imposed New Year resolution for marketing and brand people to use or ignore. Please excite us this year, somehow, anyhow, please, I’m begging you. Give us a real reason to be loyal. I know you can do it. Get Natalie Portman involved.
Here’s a clue, it’s not a loyalty card, or a flash mob. It might start with something as simple as actually keeping the most basic of promises, for example putting at least the marked 40 grams of O’Grady’s into the packet.