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Last month, I had 4 Starbucks breakfast sandwiches in a week. That’s a personal record! Why, might you ask? Didn’t have enough time for cooking, right? In a hurry to get to work? Because they are on sale? All wrong. It’s because Starbucks was running an offer, giving bonus stars towards free drinks with the purchase of four breakfast sandwiches. To my surprise, in the duration of that offer, I couldn’t buy the sandwich I usually order because they were already sold out– in the morning. I realized there must be many suckers just like me.

When the promotion was over, I saw many breakfast sandwiches available at night. So, was the promotion successful? I would think so, even if it was a short-term boost of buying. Why? Since the promotion, Starbucks offers bonus stars for buying coffee before 11am. Sure enough, my coffee consumption has been up because of the offer.  If Starbucks is indeed good at tracking consumption trends, it likely targeted products to sell at a targeted time frame; after all, big data analysis is a reality now.

When a reward program is established, it has a lot of advantages in promoting other products/services at a given time based on buying records. Additionally, it takes time to set up such a program and that simultaneously creates win-win rewards for the customers. Starbucks’ reward program was introduced at the end of 2009.

Let’s check out a new reward program: AT&T Data Perks. AT&T Data Perks mobile app was released in October 2015 and a new release was launched on December 21, 2016. When an AT&T mobile subscriber installs the app and uses some apps or games, he/she gets free AT&T data. For subscribers who don’t have an unlimited data plan, extra data could be handy; especially if they don’t expire. So I downloaded the Data Perks mobile app and used it to download Amazon shopping cart; I earned 111 MB data effortlessly.

It’s an exciting opportunity for subscribers to earn extra data and for businesses to sell through a mobile channel. Imagine if, in the future, we can exchange AT&T accumulated data to something that can be used by non-ATT subscribers; the app would probably attract more customers and businesses. The future of the mobile app is bright!

Reward programs that give bonuses to its loyal customers can win if a well-defined business strategy is in place and if the product is well-received.

What is your thought about Reward Programs? Are you into some of them?

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