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Paying for loyalty?

27 March 2024

When it comes to customer experience, there is no better sector to take as inspiration than the hotel sector. One of the concepts I have long wanted to experience is Mama's Shelter. A scion of the Accor group. Mama's Shelter aims to give guests a home-away-from-home feeling, combined with vibrant communal spaces and striking contemporary design. And admit it, no better place than at Mama's by the fireplace surely?

A paid loyalty programme

The loyalty programme at Mama's Shelter is paying. A concept you usually come across in exclusive hotels and hotel chains. You pay an annual membership fee and in return receive exclusive benefits. This concept can also be found at, for instance, Amazon (Amazon Prime).

Why are people willing to pay for a loyalty programme?

  • Exclusive offers and discounts: paying loyalty programmes provide larger discounts or exclusive offers compared to free programmes, making them attractive to customers who value saving and benefiting.

  • Access to premium services: these loyalty programmes offer premium services or amenities, such as priority customer service, expedited shipping or access to VIP events, that customers consider valuable enough to pay for.

  • Higher perceived value: paying for a loyalty programme creates a higher level of engagement and exudes exclusivity. This reinforces the sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘status’ and allows the brand to create a community.

Whether a loyalty programme is free or not ultimately depends on the company's objectives, target audience and competition.

Both free and paid loyalty programmes are a means of meeting customer needs.

Free programmes can serve to attract new customers, while paid programmes generate revenue and encourage deeper engagement with existing customers.