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The Future of Customer Rewards: Card Linked Offers

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Every customer likes receiving a discount at the till.

Not surprisingly, businesses like customer rewards programs as well – they can be a way to drive loyalty, get repeat business, and ultimately increase customer retention.

But there’s one problem: creating a quality loyalty program has been traditionally quite expensive, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses. After all, most companies do not have the clout to market a proprietary rewards app like Starbucks, so how can customer rewards be tackled more cost effectively in the digital era?

Introducing Card Linked Offers

Today’s infographic comes from Mobi724 and it explains the concept of card linked offers (CLOs), as well as the benefits they confer to consumers, retailers, and even payment processors.

The Future of Customer Rewards: Card Linked Offers

As brick-and-mortar businesses look to the potential of the smartphone economy to help retain customers and increase store traffic, card linked offers (CLOs) present an interesting opportunity.

Card linked offers are relevant, personalized, and easy to redeem. Further, they ultimately create a flawless and convenient experience that can help increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

How Card Linked Offers Work

Card-linked offers (CLOs) are a card-linking technology enabling operators to link a special offer or coupon to a consumer’s debit or credit card.

  1. Retailers and/or banks target a consumer with relevant ads
  2. The closer the recommendations are to the consumer’s preferences and geolocation in real time, the higher the chances are for redemption
  3. Offers can be redeemed with usage of the linked payment card at point of sale (POS)

Combined with the effective use of proximity marketing, CLOs can help reach customers at the right place and at the right time. In return, operators see an increase card usage and spending at participating stores, while creating a unique opportunity to actively engage customers.

A Booming Market

In recent years, CLOs have become one of the most widely used online-to-offline (O2O) technologies.

Card linked offers are already a multi-billion dollar market, and a recent industry survey found that transactions are growing at a rapid pace. Impressively, 62% of CLO users that responded to the survey saw their transactions increase by 100% or more in the last year.

What else is driving growth in this expanding market?

1. A Shift to Cashless
The world is embracing a cashless economy, as the popularity and convenience of using cards and mobile payment apps increases. CLOs are poised to benefit from more cashless retail transactions, which are growing at 20% per year.

2. Changing Consumer Behavior
Research shows that having an immediately gratifying rewards experience is more important to consumers than the monetary savings they get in the process. This creates a positive feedback loop with every experience.

Gauging Success

Truly successful card-linked offers must reach consumers where they are, provide personalized offers, and enable O2O – an online-to-offline redemption experience – for the customer.

If used correctly, card-linked offers can transform massive cost burdens and a lack of efficiency into new incremental revenue streams, providing a seamless user experience for all parties.

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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)

This stunning animation shows a dramatic change in the world’s most valuable global brands. Watch tech companies like Apple shoot up the rankings in style.

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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)

Time travel back to the early-2000s, and a list of the world’s most respected brands might be surprising.

Tobacco company Marlboro is still one of the top 15 global brands with a value of $22 billion, while companies like Nokia and AT&T also help to round out the group.

Aside from Microsoft, the tech companies at the time were mostly focused on hardware and services. HP was considered a top global brand at the time, and even IBM was still making PCs until the year 2005.

The Platform Revolution

How times have changed.

In today’s animation from TheRankings, you can see how the list of the top 15 global brands has evolved over the last two decades or so.

The visible shift: as soon as Google hits the rankings in 2008 (2:21 in video), it becomes clear that the money is on the software side – particularly in coding software that ends up as a dominant consumer platform.

Shortly after, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon enter the fold, quickly climbing to the top. Here are the final numbers for 2018 in terms of brand value, with data coming from Interbrand:

Top 15 Global Brands in 2018

The Problem with Hardware

What’s the difference between the big hardware firms of old, and the successful ones that dot the list today?

From a business perspective, hardware companies need to have a bold and accurate vision of the future, constantly taking innovative strides to beat competitors to that vision. If they can only make incremental improvements, the reality is that their competitors can enter the fold to create cheaper, similar hardware.

Samsung, which finished 2018 as the world’s sixth most valued brand, is a good example of this in practice. The company has had the top-selling smartphone for every year between 2012-2018 – an impressive feat in staying on top of consumer trends and technology.

Despite Samsung’s success, it remains stuck behind four other tech brands on the list – all companies almost exclusively focused on platforms: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple.

Why are Platforms so Dominant?

Constant innovation is a good barrier to entry if you can keep doing it – but the platforms have an even more bulletproof strategy: being everywhere at once.

Facebook uses the powerful network effect from billions of people as a moat, and then it buys up-and-comers (Instagram, WhatsApp) to cover even more ground. As a result, competing with Facebook is a nightmare – even if you could theoretically acquire new users at $1 per user at a ridiculous scale, it would require a marketing investment of billions of dollars to make inroads on the company’s audience.

Microsoft owns various platforms (Windows, Xbox, LinkedIn, Azure, etc.) that help insulate from competition, while Google’s strategy is to be everywhere you need to search, even if it’s in your living room.

Because platforms have massive scale and are ubiquitous with consumers, it gives them the ultimate pricing power. In turn, at least so far, they have been able to establish the world’s most powerful consumer brands.

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Meet Generation Z: The Newest Member to the Workforce

As Millennials enter their early-30s, the focus is now shifting to Generation Z – a group that is just starting to enter the workforce for the first time.

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Every generation approaches the workplace differently.

While talk over the last decade has largely focused on understanding the work habits and attitudes of Millennials, it’s already time for a new generation to enter the fold.

Generation Z, the group born after the Millennials, is entering their early adult years and starting their young careers. What makes them different, and how will they approach things differently than past generations?

Meet Generation Z

Today’s infographic comes to us from ZeroCater, and it will help introduce you to the newest entrant to the modern workforce: Generation Z.

Meet Generation Z: The Newest Member to the Workforce

There is no exact consensus on the definition of Generation Z, and demographers can differ on where it starts. Some have Gen Z beginning as early as the mid-1990s, while others see it starting in the mid-2000s.

Regardless, Generation Z is the group that follows the Millennials – and many Gen Zers are wrapping up high school, finishing up their university degrees, or looking to get their first real jobs.

Millennials vs. Gen Z

While generational differences cast a wide net and don’t necessarily apply to every individual, here is what demographers say are some key similarities and differences between Gen Z and Millennials.

MillennialsGeneration Z
Raised by Baby BoomersRaised by Gen Xers
Grew up during an economic boomGrew up during a recession
Tend to be idealisticTend to be pragmatic
Focused on having experiencesFocused on saving money
Mobile pioneersMobile natives
Prefer brands that share their valuesPrefer brands that feel authentic
Prefer Facebook and InstagramPrefer Snapchat and Instagram

Generation Z tends to be more pragmatic, approaching both their education and career differently than Millennials. It appears that Gen Z is also approaching money in a unique way compared to past groups.

What to Expect?

Generation Z does not remember a time when the internet did not exist – and as such, it’s not surprising to learn that 50% of Gen Z spends 10 hours a day connected online, and 70% watches YouTube for two hours a day or more.

But put aside this ultra-connectivity, and Gen Zers have some unique and possibly unexpected traits. Gen Z prefers face-to-face interactions in the workplace, and also expects to work harder than past groups. Gen Z is also the most diverse generation (49% non-white) and values racial equality as a top issue. Finally, Gen Z is possibly one of the most practical generations, valuing things like saving money and getting stable jobs.

You may already have Gen Zers in your workplace – but if you don’t, you will soon.

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