Pathmark’s Advantage: A Loyalty Program That Works
Loyalty programs are not uncommon these days, so creating one that will stand out in the crowd demands rewards that are truly appealing to customers.
For example, grocery stores offering special discounts to program members are a dime a dozen. So when Pathmark—a grocery chain with stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware—set out to inspire loyalty from its customers, it took the discount-based incentives a step further. Its program, More Savings at More Places, established an exclusive benefit in the Pathmark Advantage Club by providing savings at other stores where Pathmark consumers shop heavily.
PowerPact, the multiservices marketing agency that developed the Pathmark program, researched and signed 10 premier program partners including Bennigan’s, Jiffy Lube, Carnival Cruise Lines and SuperCuts. “You have to use various data sources to construct a profile of your customer, and look for their unique interests,” says customer relationship management strategist Mary Doris-Smith of PowerPact. Your rewards, she suggests, should tie in to those interests.
These discounts can only be obtained through Pathmark’s program and are available at locations where Pathmark customers already shop, so customers are quite likely to take advantage of the rewards. Both of these criteria are essential to a successful effort, suggests Doris-Smith. You have to “understand consumers’ wants and desires … to create a reward structure that has relevance and some level of exclusivity.”
Pathmark’s program aimed to keep the Advantage Club card “top of wallet,” so customers would be thinking about Pathmark even when they weren’t thinking about groceries. Tens of thousands of people took advantage of the program, and the savings from the partners added up to almost a million dollars, says Doris-Smith.
Mary Doris-Smith can be reached at MaryDS@powerpact.com.