A generic loyalty card

Caffè Nero runs a loyalty scheme such that every tenth cup of coffee is free. They do this through a card that they keep stamping on each visit. Today, I received my ninth stamp, making tomorrow morning cheaper than it otherwise might be.

Many organisations, or groups of organisations, use loyalty schemes in which you carry a personalised card around with you to swipe whenever you happen upon their store. I carry cards for Boots and Sainsbury’s. (My thoughts on such schemes can be found here.)

What if there were a scheme with a card that was brand agnostic, but which simply identified you as an individual? It would not store any data (except the unique identity of the card), but would allow stores to identify your uniqueness and act accordingly. Caffè Nero would not know who I was, merely that my next latte should be free. Meanwhile, other companies could buy into the card by offering its own small-scale loyalty rewards. I would have thought that the concept would appeal to smaller-scale retailers keen to join the loyalty world without the expense of introducing its own scheme.

I’ve not thought through a cost model yet. It was dreamt up on tonight’s journey home.


4 Responses to “A generic loyalty card”

  1. Rob on October 23rd, 2006 11:20

    So, as a consumer you’d want every establishment to be in this programme, right? I mean, to get your maximum benefit?

    So as a retailer – what’s in it for you? No distinction from your fellow traders and therefore no loyalty from your customers, nothing.

    No Dan, this would never work…

    … as he said thinking about the FlyBuys programme here (but that is limited to certain stores and hence OK, eh?).Rob

  2. Lucius on October 23rd, 2006 16:48

    nero scheme is wonderful in its simplicity – an ever supply of cards on the counter and an inkstamp. Less is more, shame the coffee is crap

  3. Francis Shanahan on October 24th, 2006 00:52

    Checkout Cardspace (http://cardspace.netfx3.com), which is in line with what you are talking about but is a level “up” making it infinitely more useful.

    I wish this comment thing remembered me every time!!!!!

  4. Wedge: the loyalty card : Tangential Ramblings on June 28th, 2009 13:17

    […] seems my idea for a generic, small-retailer loyalty card has been launched, in the form of Wedge.  In a sentence, it’s a loyalty card for […]

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