Traditional loyalty programs are expensive, heavy, and ripe for disruption. Social media can help blow away existing paradigms and replace them with simple, inexpensive “Fan Clubs”.
Loyalty programs have not changed much since the first airline loyalty cards took off more than 30 years ago. Sure, lots of features were added over the years. Co-branded cards were invented, combining a Visa, MasterCard or American Express payment brand along with a retailer or airline brand. CRM became more sophisticated, resulting in detailed monthly statements and targeted direct marketing. Real-time points and mileage redemption appeared at the POS, first introduced over a decade ago and now going mainstream.