TRAVEL BUDDY: EPISODE 6

Customer Rewards vs. Customer Loyalty

 

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Welcome to Travel Buddy

In this episode of the Travel Buddy podcast, Ian discusses the distinctions between customer rewards and customer loyalty. He explains that rewards are aimed at boosting short-term sales, while loyalty programs focus on fostering long-term relationships that encourage repeat business, significantly contributing to a company's revenue. The hosts also touch on the role of technology and co-branded credit cards in enhancing loyalty schemes. The discussion highlights the importance of aligning business strategies with customer expectations to build and maintain loyalty, especially given the economic impact observed during downturns and the growing array of options provided by technological advancements.

Transcript

James and Ian, welcome to another episode of the travel buddy podcast. And today we are going to talk about travel rewards and loyalty. We’ve talked about some of this in, in earlier episodes, but I know there’s a lot more distinctions to be made between travel and rewards and you know, what’s going on in this landscape because it is a. 

 

Like last time we talked about there’s, there’s wellness and then  there’s perks and all of this. And then you get into some of the travel specific things. And there’s OTAs, there’s direct providers, there’s, there’s just so much going on. So we want to keep teasing that out a bit. Um, and so I think a good way to start would be,  uh, Ian, if you could tell us a little bit about the difference between travel and rewards and, Why the heck companies are wanting to do this anyway, you know, different, different nuances of what we haven’t covered before.

 

Um, maybe some ROI statistics and, you know, the value of travel rewards and all of that. But, but I’ll, I’ll let you take it away on like, kind of summarize that idea for us.

 

Yeah. Um,  so, so it’s an older concept, obviously, uh, between and the differentiation between rewards and loyalty. Right? So, uh,  I think you can think of it most directly in short versus long term, right?  A, a travel rewards or any sort of customer rewards and whatever the industry is generally meant to boost short term sales, right?

 

You’ll see, uh, Buy one, get one weekends or, you know, 50 percent off or whatever the, the, the specific case may be. You’ll, those are meant to encourage sort of boosts over the short term. When we talk about customer loyalty, what we’re, we’re really referring to is that long term Brand loyalty, a buildup that a customer will have over time and that relationship the company will have with a specific customer over time.

 

Um, they’re,  especially the term rewards gets thrown out a lot. And sometimes, um, people mean it interchangeably with loyalty, but they really are two separate things. Separate things, although they’re often, uh, used there. They dovetail together very nicely. Um, you can off, uh, we’ll see companies offering specific rewards to their loyalty members, right?

 

So  they don’t necessarily mean the same thing, but they they can. Uh, uh, work together and are often referred to, uh, in the same way.  Um,  customer loyalty is, is  I think,  as I, as I mentioned, it’s, it’s, it’s a very old idea, but it’s really been.  Kind of focused and studied, uh, only recently, only over the past couple of decades have, have brands really been diving into what exactly is  customer loyalty and that becoming its own, uh, area of study within businesses, um, retaining, uh, Retaining customers is  vital to all companies, right?

 

There’s multiple surveys that talk about, uh, the,  on the low end, you’ll see like 33 to 40 percent on the high end, 70 to 80 percent of a company’s revenue is from repeat business.  Um, and.  Almost always a repeat customer will spend more than a new customer.  Um, and it, it just, it makes, once you kind of stop and think about it a little bit, it makes intuitive sense, right?

 

You you’ve purchased this company’s products before you’ve traveled that airline, you’ve stayed at that hotel, whatever, you know, what you’re getting. You’re willing to spend more, um, to, to, you know, to get the next thing. Okay. So if, if I got. The, uh, the one bedroom suite at, at whatever hotel last time.

 

Well, maybe now, and it was great experience. Now I’m going to be willing to pay a little extra to get the balcony suite or, you know, whatever the, the suite facing the ocean. Um,  you, you have a level of expectation set with that first purchase. Uh, in a level of comfort that you’re willing to spend more. Um, and, and that’s essentially all customer loyalty is, right.

 

Is building that level of comfort with the brand,  getting them to, to recognize.  And expect a certain value from what they’re buying and then, uh, routinely delivering it.  Um,  and like I said, I mean,  Such a large percentage of, of companies profits come from repeat business.  It only makes sense for, for companies to, to focus a large part of their, their marketing and sales budgets toward, uh, reengaging. 

 

Repeat repeat buyers. Um, and that, you know, there’s a, there’s a number of different ways to do that. There’s a subscription programs, there’s long term contracts, there’s, uh, uh, you know,  specific offerings like reward offerings to, to, uh, To repeat business. Um, there are many different ways to kind of  get toward that, uh, engagement with your previous customers.

 

And it’s all about just sort of finding the right mix and balance for, uh, for that particular, for that particular company, uh, one of the most common ways to do that, especially in. The travel industry is through point systems, right? The more you buy, the more points you can build up. And then those points can be substituted to, to make for future purchases.

 

Um, the, the, the point system is ubiquitous throughout the travel industry. Almost every airline will have one. I mean, every major airline will have one most, uh, small and intermediate airlines are starting to have them. Um, hotels, car rental agencies, uh, you know, at theme parks,  almost any sort of,  I mean, heck my, I took my sons and I to a movie, uh, this week and the dirt, you know, during the previews for at the beginning of the movie.

 

There’s a commercial about, Hey, make sure you talk to the people out front to get your card. Um,  for, you know, when you, when you come to the movies, so  up and down the board in the travel industry, you’re gonna have reward systems and, and, uh, loyalty systems. And it’s all about creating an easy way for people to keep spending money at your particular company.

 

And, uh, And, you know, providing incentive for them to do that. 

 

Just to kind of tag on to that too, Ian, um, it’s also a huge ancillary, um, revenue driver looking at some of these like Cobra and credit cards. There’s airlines that make more on their credit cards than flying, which the first time you hear it, it kind of makes your head spin. But I mean, it makes a lot more sense too.

 

I mean, you know, how, how many nights are you going to spend in a hotel? How many flights does the average traveler book? Yeah.  This is a way, you know, a lot of these more innovative vendors are even leaning into like, how do we have a.  Repeat relationship outside of, you know, just the core, um, of the business.

 

Like, I mean, it’s, it’s a pretty recent field too. Um, I think the first Cobra credit card was 89, late 80s. Don’t quote me, um, with American, um, airlines who is also a switchfly customer, um, but yeah, I just had to jump into touch on ancillary revenues. I think that that’s probably a, that is a podcast in and of itself. 

 

yeah, yeah, for sure. And I mean,  now almost every car credit card is some sort of co brand, right? Like there’s some sort of, um, point system. And even if it’s not, even if it’s just through your bank, you’re more than likely going to have, A rewards, uh, uh, system with that bank who has partnerships with external vendors that you can then buy, um, with your, your bank’s credit card points.

 

You can buy, you know, Amazon gift cards or American airlines or, you know,  Chili’s dinners or, you know, whatever, um, partnerships that they develop. So, so I think. We’re just going to keep seeing more and more of that co brand, um, relationship building between companies. There’s a, there’s a book I read, um, God, this would have had to been 20 years ago, at least.

 

But, uh, uh,  when I was thinking about this podcast, it made me think of this book. It’s called Jennifer government. And it’s this weird kind of  dystopian.  Dystopian future, think of 1984, but instead of a totalitarianism government, it’s pure capitalism. Like the government’s been private, privatized. So you have to subscribe to your local police department or ambulance service or things.

 

And, uh,  And it’s, it’s really all about this, this idea of, uh, of co branding and these kind of larger conglomerate conglomerative, uh, corporations just keep working together to build these loyalty programs that end up, uh, competing over, over customers. Um,  yeah, Jennifer government by Max Barry. Definitely a really interesting read of, if you ever get the time, but,

 

Okay. I love 1984. So I have to check this out. I’ve also heard David Foster Wallace did the same thing in infinite jest, where he was like, this is the year of depends underwear in 2024 or whatever

 

Right. The in, in, in Jennifer government, you, your last name is the name of who you work for. So I would be Ian switch fly. Yeah. And, uh,

 

That’s great.

 

it, it is,  it’s definitely a wonderful little quick read.  Um, but I mean, you know, it just, it just another point to like how ubiquitous this is coming throughout, um, throughout business in general and travel and definitely the travel industry.

 

Uh, and I mean, routinely the, the numbers just speak for themselves, right? Like, um,  program owners, I think 90 percent of them in the travel space, according to the, uh, event, uh,  Have positive ROI from their loyalty program. So like 90 percent of people are seeing positive ROI. Um, and that the average is something like 500%.

 

And, uh,  so, and you know, again, when you stop and kind of consider it, it sort of makes intuitive sense of.  It costs less to re engage a previous customer than it does to acquire a new customer, right? You, you’ve already had at least a minimum  of relationship building with them. And that’s all, like, if you,  Boiled all customer loyalty down to like one concept.

 

It is just relationship building and building that, that brand identity with, with your customers of, um,  you know, I, I know what I’m talking about. I offer a good product,  you know,  if there’s problems, you can come to me and we’ll fix them, you know, in a, you know, reasonable manner. Like  it’s just, how can we build that relationship?

 

And, um,  develop that level of comfort to where I’m the first person you think of the next time you want to go purchase the same or similar thing. Um,  and you know, we all have, we all have those, those  relationships. If you want to call them in built into our head that at times we don’t even think of, I go to the same place that changed my oil every time.

 

And one is just convenient. It’s, it’s not far from me. Um, but really it’s cause they do a good job quickly and I don’t have to think about it, right? I just go and they’re within the same driving distance, probably at least five or six other places I could get my oil changed,  but I just  go there. 

 

And that ties into something you’re talking to before we hit record about how there can be a disconnect between the people running these loyalty programs and the mind of the customer, right?  Like,  there was even a stat you were talking about where, like, there’s a delta. And to your point, Ian, like the customer one is always right.

 

But to, um, that experience plays into this loyalty too. Can you expand on that? 

 

Yeah. So customer experience, right. Is, is.  At the heart of it all. It’s, it’s all about, um, you know, you have a certain expectation as a customer doing whatever you’re buying, whether it’s an oil change or a flight to, to Europe, um, there’s a certain level of expectation you’re going into it. Even if you’ve never purchased this thing before, uh, you have an idea of what you’re going to get.

 

And then.  Not only from the company side, not only meeting that idea of what the customer has, but trying to exceed it and make it a better experience, um,  just plays such a heavy part of,  of building that relationship. Um, you know, it’s a word that gets, or a phrase that gets thrown out so often, uh, customer experience or, you know, in the digital space user experience.

 

Um, but. Really, it’s all about how do we make this as easy as possible for them to give you money, right? That’s all this is. How do we make this as super easy as for them to buy what you have?  And that’s  Making it easy for them to actually come find the product they want, identify the value of it and then, and then, uh, make the transaction, but then following through with, with it, you know, providing a good customer experience overall, as far as providing a good product, um,  or, you know, if, if the situation warrants having good customer service, um, to, to,  Mitigate any issues.

 

Uh, and all that, all that leads to making it easy for them to give you money again. Right? And that’s all customer loyalty is, is just building that relationship through a good experience. So then they will continue to give you money. Um, and then providing incentives. Oh, go ahead.

 

I have been reading and writing about customer experience for many years, and that is by far the best definition I’ve ever heard. So thank you.

 

you’re welcome. You’re welcome. I think I read it in a book about a con man. Once, so like, always make it as easy as possible for people to give you money, right? Like that, that’s really all business comes down to, and, and building customer, building a customer loyalty program is just making it easy for them to give you money over and over and over.

 

Um.  And through incentives and through a good customer experiences is how you do that.  Uh, just, just like  researching this, you know, coming across some of the statistics that are out there, it just, it makes it. baffling that people don’t spend more effort on their loyalty programs sometimes just because, you know, the, the, the  sheer amount of, of revenue that is generated through loyalty programs through repeat business is, um, is mind boggling.

 

And like we’ve said over and over the ROI on it is way, way higher than. Generating new business, right? Um, 81 percent of program owners confirmed that their loyalty program was really helpful during the pandemic and kind of post economic downturn, you know, how many companies just think of how many companies went out of business during that timeframe, but how many stayed open because they had.

 

That sort of loyalty built up, right. And, um, we’re able to kind of use that enough to bridge the gap to where, when the economy started turning up again, they were able to then generate more new business. Um,  You know, two times or roughly 200 percent of companies, uh, want to increase their investment in retention rather than acquisition.

 

So it means that, that people are really recognizing this loyalty  and customer retention space, um, and want to focus and invest in their loyalty programs to, to  ensure they’re getting that repeat business.  Um,  yeah, go ahead.

 

I would love to share a stat that’s kind of adjacent, but definitely there is space too, for the, for any organization to disrupt competition. Um, focus, right. One of our, um, travel partners shared a stat companies have a drastically different perception of customer loyalty compared to customers. A 20, 2023 PWC survey found 60 percent of company execs perceive their customers to be more loyal than before the pandemic, what you just talked about. 

 

But sadly, only 20 percent of consumers share that perspective.  Um, and I think that’s a really, not only does experience play a factor there, but there’s definitely a rewards make up part of that Delta too.  Um,  so I think there’s a huge opportunity to continue to, you know, retool.  research and really revisit like,  is our program really up to snuff or are we, um,  are we, you know, kind of setting ourselves up to be disrupted?

 

Um, we’d love to get your thoughts on that.

 

Yeah. I mean, obviously.  Obviously, like as a customer, the customer loyalty is really an odd, uh,  I don’t know, an odd concept in some ways, right? Like if I’m buying something,  why does loyalty to a brand? Why should that matter? You know, if I, if I want a specific thing, why should I care who’s giving it to me as long as it’s, um, at the price point I’m willing to pay and the value I’m willing to get out of it.

 

Like,  what does it matter that I’m loyal to a specific company or not? Um, and I think that’s a lot where the Delta comes from, obviously. Like if, if I have, if I’m running a company and I have, you know, a whole list of, of, uh, previous customers, and then all of a sudden I decide to double the amount,  uh, I charge for my product. 

 

And expect those customers to stay loyal to you, you know, without changing anything else. I’m just going to double the price when I have plenty of competitors out there who charge less, like, why would they stay loyal? You know, that it doesn’t, it doesn’t really make sense. So  bridging that delta between the value that companies perceive, perceive on their loyalty program versus what consumers do is all about, um,  is all about trying to get into that customer mindset of, of, of. 

 

Why should they stay loyal? You know, am I offering a good product? Um, is it providing the value, uh, comparable to, to my competitors out there or better than, you know, what is my value prop and, and, and continually.  You know, reanalyzing, uh, the industry I’m in, what, uh, what my customers are looking for, what consumers in general are looking for, what my competitors are doing, um, and what I do better than my competitors that I can focus on and use as my selling point.

 

Um,  and, and just by taking that mindset of constantly be thinking about the the industry, about the overall space, about my competitors and.  Why would somebody want to buy my, my product? Uh, I think we’ll go a long ways to, to bridging that gap. 

 

in a good litmus test for what you just said is,  is our brand promise relevant and are we leading up to it or living up to it? Excuse me. There’s actually a real time case study in the last couple of weeks, I believe with a Wendy’s or, you know, like they’re, um, Everyone knows them. They’re in pretty much every town in America.

 

Um, but they floated out, I think it was an investor call. They’re talking about dynamic pricing or like the surge type pricing that we see with like some of the ride sharing apps or the ride hailing  and people were livid. You know, this is a brand that our parents grew up with. We, you know, We’ve probably all been to and the idea that I’m going to pay a different price than you or Brandon because I showed up at five minutes before an hour later, like that, you know, that flies directly in front of their ethos and kind of the title back.

 

It’s like, what is the experience you’re providing? And if you’re like,  you know, is your brand, um, matching the marketplace or the customer expectations? Because what I also heard in, um,  the, the feedback you should be in was, you know, kind of the generational differences we’re seeing between the boomers and the Gen X Gen X is a lot more prove it to me and millennials and Gen Z definitely have a little bit of that too, where, you know, going back to the McKinsey study, we always talk about, you know, Like people are willing to make a change and it’s not, you know, like my parents would stick around.

 

Cause you know, they’re loyal to like picking on carmakers. They’re loyal to the domestics.  Up until they tried a Toyota and it was just such a better experience. They moved over to it.  Um, and I think, you know, regardless of the size of the product or purchase, go ahead. 

 

the, so, so something we haven’t talked about yet, but it’s vital to all of this is the technology, right? And the rise of the internet. I mean, how much does the rise of the internet. Play into that, uh, that loyalty mind space that you’re talking about generationally, you know, our grandparents and great grandparents  might’ve had one place that they could get the oil oil changed going back to my,  my theme, the,  where  the, they just did not have the options.

 

Right. You might have back in the day, how many major airlines were there? You had like TWA and, and I know American, I think that was one of the earlier ones, but like, you might’ve had one or two options  now, uh, even if you’re bringing low cost carriers into the mix, you got tons of options, right. Um,  and, and I mean, name an industry that you don’t have more options.

 

Easier at your fingertips, uh, than we did 20, 40, 60 years ago. Uh, and I think that that is really driving that break between,  you know, quote unquote loyalty. I mean, how hard is it to be loyal to the general store in town when they’re the only general store in town,  you know, that customer loyalty is kind of a moot point, but when I can jump on Amazon, when I can, um, you know, jump Walmart plus or whatever.

 

And get, uh,  whatever thing I need, um,  from half a dozen places without leaving my couch, uh, you know, customer loyalty becomes a big deal. A bit more  nebulous, but also more important, right? So, um, more important for those companies trying to make sure that they’re generating that repeat business monopolies have sort of gone the way, way of the Dodo.

 

You know, we,  with like new technologies, like 3d printing and AI and, and stuff that, that we’re starting to see these resurgences of, of manufacturing being brought back to the U S that was divested.  In the seventies, you know, when, when it costs somebody, uh, actually read an article about this,  I don’t know, six, eight months ago.

 

So I’m fuzzy on the details, but, but it was talking about textiles. The textile industry, the U S for a hundred years, between the mid 19th and 20th centuries was, was the world leader in textile industry, right? We had the cotton, um, and large scale manufacturing that most places in the world didn’t have. 

 

Now the 70, you know, 60s, 70s, 80s hit.  Uh,  the, the employment pricing or, you know, cost of employing labor, the, the land value, all this stuff in the U S is really rising. It’s now costing more now we’re exporting, um. You know, that manufacturing across, you know, into Mexico and to China and to other areas, uh,  you know, logistics are then getting good enough to make it a negligible issue of where if your t shirt is made in China versus whether it’s made in Milwaukee or, you know, wherever. 

 

And now with the rise of like new smaller technologies, we’re seeing a lot of that  textile industry, manufacturing industry come back to the United States because before I would have needed to build a  giant plant, these huge carding machines, these huge like knitting machines, like all, I need so much space and so many employees to be able to crank out a thousand t shirts, uh,  We’re  with newer technologies.

 

We can see a much smaller scale, be able to match the production value that a large scale manufacturing plants would have done back in the 70s  and seeing a lot of that manufacturing come back to the U. S. Um,  so how does that  the new technologies?  Then tie into, to this whole nebulous  idea of customer loyalty.

 

Um, obviously the options that provides through the internet, the, the, the fact that we all have one of these. Never more than arm’s reach away from us. That is the most powerful tool ever created in the history of our world. Right. Where all of us at any time can get information on anything. Um,  it’s, it’s, it’s a new world and we have to think about.

 

About loyalty differently than, than our parents and grandparents. 

 

Let the record show that Ian held up a phone, an iPhone for our audio listeners.

 

actually, and my wife, my wife makes fun of me, uh, constantly, cause it’s a phone wallet, you know, I got all my, my cards and everything, and she says, it’s, that’s like your, You’re now old  tool. Like when you start combining those like things and, uh, Oh, you have your phone wallet and I think it’s the greatest thing ever existed.

 

And she goes, Oh, now you’re, you’re clearly that’s, that’s the new line of, this is when you’re old. Used to be like buying a minivan or something, but now it’s, Uh, combining your daily conveniences into one, one

 

Is your AARP card in there? Do you have that?

 

Hey,

 

yet, although I got, I got a mailer, uh, from AARP not long ago, addressed to the lady I bought the house from.

 

So it wasn’t addressed to me, thankfully, but there was a moment before I saw the name that, uh, made me, made me think about it. 

 

don’t knock, um, minivans either. The Toyota Sienna hybrid has 19 cup holders and 35 to the Gallop. Like that’s, those are impressive snuts.

 

always, I always, I always  used to joke that minivans are the Walmart of vehicles. Nobody likes it, but everybody uses it just because it’s so convenient. 

 

Well, on that note, 

 

uh,  the, so one last point, technology wise, the, the, the, um, the reason, you know, Your phone is so important. Obviously, uh, mobile apps are a huge part of, of engagement, how company, virtually every brand you’re buying from has their own app now, um, that you can. Can log into, you can check your points value.

 

You can, can check, uh, any deals or rewards going on. Um,  and it’s all about that idea of making it easier for people to find you and to give you money to buy your product and that customer spirit experience. If you make a good app, that’s easy to use as a nice user interface that, you know, it provides good engagement as far as. 

 

You know, email cadence that, that you’re getting sent the text message.  Text messages they’re, they’re sending out as far as rewards, uh, programs or, um, you know, special deals, things like that, uh, that all sort of ties in to this, this overall concept of building the brand relationship. Um, and it’s just, it’s just going to get, get higher and go faster. 

 

Awesome. 

 

And  anything else we should mention on this? 

 

Yeah. 

 

No, um, assuming this is like dead space or a safe space.

 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll cut

 

Um, I’d maybe, I think there’s some distilling that can probably go on. Ian, you missed your calling as a professor and attorney.  Like, if you got paid per the word, you would be driving a Rolls Royce right now. Um,  that is not meant to be a criticism.

 

Um,  but you know, I mean, I think we can maybe compress some of those monologues.

 

Sure.

 

Yeah, absolutely.

 

other than that, I think there’s definitely some meat there. 

 

Good. 

 

So we just need to get an outro bumper and  we’re all off to our Good Friday Easter weekend. 

 

That’s, that’s it.

 

Ian, that’s not an early release.

 

sorry, no, somebody, somebody booked, somebody booked a 3 p. m. meeting for me today, um, a Friday, so,

 

Um,

 

again? 

 

yeah,

 

done that to some people.

 

I think you have school duty. 

 

that is the, 

 

space. 

 

oh, alright, um,  do you want to ask me just something to wrap it, or, 

 

That’s a brand new question, right? 

 

Yeah, I can close this out.

 

Do I just want to like all like the top loyalty find of the week or, you know, like what’s something interesting you’re seeing. 

 

Yeah. Um, so,

 

Yeah, ask me that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Perfect. 

 

So, okay. So we talked a lot about all kinds of different, uh, you know, loyalty, rewards, definitions, the technologies, use cases, but I’d love to hear from y’all. What is a,  a,  I don’t know, loyalty provider or, you know, brand or experience that you had recently, or that you’ve seen out there in the world that you were like, man, that is cool.

 

Like if my oil change place did that, I’d be a huge fan, you know, or whatever. Like, is there anything like that, that you’ve just seen that’s, man, that’s, that’s super cool. And I think that increases my loyalty to that brand. 

 

So one of the standouts I’ve seen is actually, um, the Delta late baggage guarantee. Um, and that’s a program where if you’re flying on Delta with a checked bag and it takes over 20 minutes from landing for that bag to make it to the carousel, they’ll give you 2, 500 points, which on any domestic legs, you’re probably coming out ahead with  That bag, um, compared to the points accrued or the miles approved occurred, excuse me on your flight.

 

And I mean, literally I’ve had it where it is 21 minutes  and within half an hour, I have those points sitting in my, um,  I mean, you do have to do a like six question form fill. So you do have to take a step on it.  Um, but the fact that one, they’d be willing to do that in the era that it feels like everything, including the seat is an upgrade these days.

 

And most of those carriers, um, it’s just a unique program and it’s one that’s been around for a minute. Um, fingers crossed it stays now that I’m airing it, but, um, you know, just to  like the prices go up, things don’t get cheaper, but, um,  Delta is one of those experiences where. Like, I know I’m going to get my bag.

 

I know they’re going to take care of me if something happens. And you know, that program is another little data point that, you know, they put in the customer first. 

 

I think that’s a great example because it gets the economics of loyalty. Right. It makes the customer happy because they want to get out of there faster, but it also makes the business run better because it’s it’s more efficient and it’s faster and it keeps things moving along and it penalizes the company if they don’t do their job.

 

Well, And so it, it aligns all those incentives, which I think is really cool.

 

Yeah, no, that’s,

 

back to redeem those points.

 

yeah,  exactly. Uh, one, one example, and, and I don’t know, I don’t know if this is a good example or not. I haven’t, I haven’t made up my mind yet. Um, and it’s not, not, not even necessarily a new one, but, um, men Menards, it’s one I have thought about recently because.  There’s a Menards not too far from me, but, uh, there’s some other places closer.

 

So I don’t, I don’t make it there that often, but they still do rebates rather than rewards. Um, and you, you kind of have to print it off and, uh, mail it in with receipts and stuff, so it’s a bit of an extra step in there. And this is what, What causes me to question it is like  everything I’ve been talking about is about making it easier for customers.

 

And this is actually a way that makes things a little bit harder, but it offers a pretty high value. You know, they, they did. I think on the receipt I, I got was like up to 30 percent of a rebate, which is pretty substantial, right? So, um,  making people take that extra step,  uh, but giving a comparatively high reward for it.

 

And.  There’s, there is a trade off there and I’m not sure entirely where I land on that yet, but it is a good example of, of like,  you know, if you provide enough value, people generally are willing to do a little bit more, um, So, you know, I guess it’s working for them or else they wouldn’t still be using it after however many years of their rebate program.

 

But, uh, yeah.  I need a noodle on that one a little bit more. 

 

And for those that haven’t been to a Menards, it’s basically a combination Home Depot tractor supply in the Midwest. It’s literally the country store where you can buy milk to  hammers.  Yeah. It’s a bit of everything, but it, it’s specific to the Midwest. In case anyone is listening from a coast 

 

I have never heard of this, so I’m glad you said that. I had no idea what you were talking about.  Well, I’ve got to go in the opposite direction and say, I just want things done for me. And so my thing, an example is, uh, the venture card from capital one or the American express platinum. Both of them do this, where if I book a travel.

 

Something, you know, travel, like buy an airline ticket or a hotel or whatever. And I accrue my points. I can retroactively, you know, weeks later, go back to that purchase and say, erase from my credit card. And I love how easy that is. And then also American express platinum has one where I get like an entertainment credit.

 

And so audible or New York times subscriptions will charge my card every month and it’ll just take it right off. I don’t pay for it at all. And that’s, that’s a wonderful thing. So.

 

for sure.  Well, cool. 

 

Well, this is great. Uh, as we’ve said before, there’s so much to cover and travel, uh, rewards and loyalty. And so I’m glad we get to tease out all these different nuances and applications that I think are really, really helpful. So James, Ian, thank you for your expertise. And, uh, we will get to you again in another episode next week. 

 

We’ll see y’all.

 

Thanks. 

 

Bye y’all.

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