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LOYALTY PROGRAMMES

Why Africa’s consumers are ready to be rewarded for their loyalty

By our News Team | 2022

The continent has huge potential for the development of loyalty programmes – providing the rewards are relevant and meaningful.

Having long been overlooked as a region, Africa’s rapid economic growth and the large-scale adoption of hand-held technology and associated fin-tech solutions mean that consumers are ready to be rewarded for their loyalty to brands – if those rewards are relevant and meaningful. 

 

Loyalty Programmes

Photo by Jack Sparrow on Pexels

Preneshen Munian, CEO of TLC Marketing in the Middle East, Africa and South

East Asia, believes the outlook is extremely positive for the growth and popularity of loyalty and rewards programmes on the continent, as having such an offering makes simple business sense for brands.

Most companies agree that retaining existing clients is more cost effective than acquiring new ones, noting that two-thirds of their business comes from those existing customers. Even more important is that 75% of customers favour companies that offer rewards. 

“Consumers are also more likely to recommend a brand if it has a good loyalty programme, and, importantly in the context of emerging fin-tech solutions in Africa, 95% of loyalty programme members want to engage with brands’ programmes through new and emerging technologies,” he says.

Among Munian’s recommendations for brands developing loyalty programme strategies on the continent:

Keep it simple, stupid

The actions expected of customers to access rewards need to be simple and consistent, with bite-sized behaviours being ideal. Adding hoops and hurdles to the rewards journey make it onerous for consumers to engage and they’ll quickly lose interest – and loyalty too. 

Many brand-rewards programmes offer financial reward via a brand-specific ‘currency’ rather than using the currency of the local country. Each year – sometimes more frequently – the rules of earning and engagement change, with the value of the currency decreasing and the places to spend it reducing. 

Why must customers ‘pay to play’?

It also makes no sense for brands to expect their customers to pay for the privilege of joining a loyalty or rewards programme, as this takes the shine out of the relationship. Those consumers are already paying for the brand’s product or service … expecting them to pay more to access rewards is effectively ‘double dipping’ into the consumer’s pocket. And many people are street-wise enough to realise this.

Create a meaningful offering

Where meaningful rewards mechanisms don’t yet exist, it’s a good idea to create them. This is why TLC, for example, established a partnership with an online education platform that offers free access to more than 200 courses on skills as diverse as customer services and massage therapy as a reward for purchases. 

These are meaningful rewards that can lead to specific and measurable improvements in a person’s life and circumstances. 

To read more about loyalty programme strategies in Africa, go to page 22 of the latest issue (Issue 2 2022) of Strategic Marketing for Africa, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation. You can access the Digital Edition here.

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