DiscoverLeaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360
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Leaders in Customer Loyalty, Powered by Loyalty360

Author: Loyalty360

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Loyalty360 is the association for customer loyalty. We bring together the best loyalty-focused professionals from technology and service suppliers and brands under one roof. Through Loyalty360, these professionals find invaluable resources, networking opportunities and guidance provided by internal thought leaders and brands/suppliers on the cutting edge of customer loyalty.
335 Episodes
For brands with loyalty programs, customer interaction is an integral part of the total customer experience. Brands benefit when their programs are easy to join, and customers can effortlessly earn and use rewards. vPromos works with clients to minimize barriers to program participation by simplifying the loyalty experience for brands and their customers. Loyalty360 spoke with Peter Vogel, Chief Revenue Officer at vPromos, about how payment terminal technology can improve program performance, facilitate customer communications, and open the door to innovation.
Dan Evins founded Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee. Over the next 50 years, Cracker Barrel evolved into a restaurant with a popular retail store and has taken the brand into the digital space with its online store. Within the brand’s “old general store,” customers can purchase everything from apparel to candles to vintage candy to music. Around the holidays, the store is decorated with trees, and a Christmas theme fills the aisles, from stocking stuffers to thoughtful gifts. The welcoming atmosphere extends into the restaurant. Guests dining at Cracker Barrel find familiar Southern favorites on the menu. The fireplace is likely to be lit, a checkerboard awaits, and families can enjoy the brand’s famous Peg game — a triangle block is located on every table. Cracker Barrel endeavors to offer a unique customer experience from the moment guests cross the front porch and enter the building.  Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Amy Barnett, Vice President of Marketing, Loyalty, and Digital Experience at Cracker Barrel, about collecting valuable input from employees and field operations, rolling out the new Cracker Barrel Rewards program, and partnering with an American music legend.
Hooters, founded in Clearwater, FL, in 1983, is now one of the largest employers of women in the service industry. With 198 corporate stores and approximately 370 stores in total, including domestic and international franchisees, and a footprint encompassing 42 U.S. states and 29 countries, the brand is celebrating 40 years of delivering memorable guest experiences. The I AM initiative recognizes the women who have “worn the orange shorts” — the Hooters Girls — and empowers employees through educational initiatives and tuition reimbursement. The brand boasts a 70% female demographic within the organization and supports employees as they develop the competencies and skills to build successful careers. Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Cheryl Kish, Chief People Officer at Hooters, about collecting valuable employee feedback to drive successful training programs, the I AM initiative, and the brand’s HootClub Rewards program. Read the full interview on Loyalty360 here:
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of independent hotels worldwide that offers travelers a wide selection of luxury stays with a focus on leisure. Guests can choose from a handful of distinctive collections to create the aspirational trip of their dreams, including locations that focus on sustainability or even deliver a touch of history. Preferred Hotel Group, the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, rebranded in early 2023 to Preferred Travel Group. Today, the I Prefer Hotel Rewards loyalty program counts over 4.5 million enrolled travelers globally.Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Lori Strasberg, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, about its loyalty program, strategic partnerships, and how AI might drive changes in how people research and plan travel.
Publix was founded in 1930 in Winter Haven, FL, by George W. Jenkins and is one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country. The brand’s retail sales reached $54.5B in 2022, and Publix is expanding into new markets, with stores opening in Kentucky and enlarging the supermarket’s footprint to eight states.  Employee-owned, the company is both customer- and associate-centric. A commitment to caring for and serving the communities in which stores are located is demonstrated through the brand’s focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR). This year, Publix donated $10M to charities dedicated to alleviating hunger. Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Maria Brous, Director of Communications at Publix, about the Club Publix customer loyalty program, customizing the shopping experience through personalization, and the brand’s goal to always evolve.  
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a topic of conversation for marketers this year. With its ability to enhance personalization, tailor rewards, and make product recommendations, the technology has wide implications for customer loyalty. Even so, many marketers are struggling to wrap their heads around AI — how to define it, what it means for their brand, and the best way to implement platforms that leverage AI.Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson recently spoke with Andy O’Dell, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Clutch, about the current role of AI in customer loyalty, potential uses of AI going forward, and how brands can implement the technology to reimagine the customer experience.
For marketers and customer loyalty professionals, creating authentic emotional connections between the brand and consumers is vital to success in today’s competitive marketplace. Consumers are seeking more value beyond the transaction, and if they don’t find it with one brand, they’ll swiftly switch to another.  Doug Zarkin is the Chief Brand Officer at Good Feet Worldwide and is an experienced marketing leader with a background spanning from advertising to fashion and beauty and now to health and wellness. His new book, MOVING YOUR BRAND OUT OF THE FRIEND ZONE, comes at a critical point for those immersed in the customer loyalty industry. Zarkin describes how brands stuck in “the friend zone” may be perceived by customers, what their value proposition should be, and how they may be able to reinvent themselves.     Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Doug Zarkin about The Brand Value Equation, the Art of Sacrifice, and “thinking human.”  
Data leads the way in modern marketing, serving as the foundation for informed decisions at every turn. Today's customer loyalty strategies rely on an intricate network of gathered and analyzed data points. These insights are then harnessed to craft personalized communications, offers, rewards, and experiences for a brand’s loyal customers.The science of data is a passion of Michael Snyder, Senior Solution Consultant for Loyalty and Experience at Comarch. Loyalty360 recently had the opportunity to sit down with Snyder and gain insights into how Comarch is embracing data-driven customer loyalty techniques to create meaningful customer interactions and generate measurable results for clients.
In a rapidly evolving marketing landscape, where engaging and retaining customers is an ongoing challenge for many brands, the concept of gamification has emerged as a captivating solution. By incorporating elements of play into their loyalty efforts, brands have found a powerful means to not only acquire new customers but also keep those customers interested and engaged.Loyalty360 recently delved into this topic with Aaron Lobliner, Chief Client Officer at CataBoom. We asked him what gamification means to CataBoom, how clients are embracing gamification techniques, and the role it plays in customer loyalty.
Capillary Technologies, has made waves in the loyalty industry, thanks to its recent acquisitions of two prominent companies: Brierley and Tenerity's Digital Connect Assets. Since its inception in 2012, Capillary has served companies worldwide with its customer data platform. Through the utilization of its AI-powered loyalty management platform, Capillary can enhance a brand’s loyalty program to improve the customer experience and enhance program strategies.In an exclusive interview with Loyalty360, Don Smith, the Global Consulting Officer and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Brierley – Capillary, gave an inside look at Capillary's recent acquisitions. Smith also delved into the concept of generative loyalty and the potential impacts the latest technology will have on the future of the loyalty industry.
At Home is a retail superstore focusing on holiday, seasonal, and decorative items for the home. The company was first established in South Texas in 1979 under the name Garden Ridge Pottery. Popular in the south and southeast, the number of stores grew to 50 over the course of the next three decades. In 2012, company leadership changed, and by 2014, the name evolved to At Home.Now with 267 stores, At Home specializes in product categories ranging from furniture, rugs, curtains, wall décor, bed and bath, and more while promising customers “new thousands of lower prices storewide” every day. For Insider Perks members, the brand offers exclusive low pricing on select deals, receiptless returns, and sneak peeks for special promotions and events while adding on special gift eligibility and the opportunity to become a VIP and enjoy additional benefits.Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Susan Rodgers, CMO of At Home, about the brand’s customer loyalty program, the importance of delivering a true value proposition, and how the co-branded Synchrony credit card affords members easy access.
Familiar to marketing, sales, and customer service teams globally, Salesforce supplies cloud-based solutions to support its clients’ customer loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies and programs. The company’s signature software bundle, Customer 360, provides brand teams with a shared view of customer information at every phase of the customer journey, allowing clients to enhance customer relationships, streamline sales and marketing efforts, and scale to accommodate business needs.Loyalty360 recently spoke with two Salesforce associates, James Murphy, Senior Manager – Retail Industry Advisor, and Sara Fefferman, Product Marketing Manager. They discussed how Salesforce is helping brands leverage technology to build and maintain customer loyalty
For the past 20 years, Bounteous has established itself as a co-innovation partner for numerous brand clients. The company’s core mission as a technology-agnostic agency is to assist clients from a wide range of industries in selecting, implementing, and optimizing their technology, as well as bring loyalty experiences to life through strategic consulting, mobile app design, website development, creative, analytics, and more.Loyalty360 CEO, Mark Johnson, spoke with Ellen Green, Vice President of Loyalty Strategy at Bounteous, to learn more about her experience in consulting and how Bounteous partners with brands to build successful customer loyalty strategies.
The company that would eventually become Kum & Go was founded in 1959 by Tony S. Gentle and William A. Krause in Hampton, Iowa. That first humble location in the middle of the Iowa countryside has grown to 400 locations across 13 different states in the Midwest, and today, Kum & Go brings A Fresh Perspective™ to the customers and communities it serves.The brand’s purpose to make days better for customers can be found in its broad range of products offering more than traditional convenience store fare. Whether it’s freshly brewed coffee or fresh hot food that’s made to order in each store every day, Kum & Go has created a place where customers can fuel up at the pump and fill up in-store.Kum & Go’s &Rewards program allows members to earn at the pump and in-store. Points can be converted into fuel discounts or cash. Redemption starts at 100 points. Exclusive member-only deals on food, beverages, fuel, and more offer customers additional incentives to enroll in the program through the app, via the brand’s website, or even in-store.Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Matt Riezman, Director of Brand Marketing, Matt Anderson, Director of Digital Customer Experience, and Matt Weber, Director of Business Insights & Analytics at Kum & Go, about the brand’s &Rewards program, the impact of the electronic vehicle (EV) market on loyalty strategies, and how the pandemic forced Kum & Go’s team to become more agile in leveraging technologies.
Thirty years ago, AIR MILES® launched its Reward Program, essentially inventing the coalition loyalty concept. Over the course of three decades, the Canadian program has pulled together over 300 brands and thousands of retailers and service locations, offering collectors — the program’s members — a massive amount of choice encompassing everyday and aspirational products, travel options, events, and attractions. Today, AIR MILES is making a resurgence as brands come together to share customer relationships, data and insight, and the power of the network. It’s a perfect time to re-energize the AIR MILES brand, making the most of its assets, including its nearly 10 million collector base, a mountain of data, and most importantly, the value the program brings to Canadians.  Uniting a coalition of brands together under the auspices of AIR MILES created a powerful program not only because of how collectors can earn rewards points but also because of how they can be used. There’s real power in giving people more choices and allowing them to earn and redeem wherever they shop.  Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Shawn Stewart, President of AIR MILES, about the recent acquisition by BMO Financial Group (BMO), changing strategies to better serve the brands utilizing the program, and leveraging data to increase personalization. 
PDI Technologies has decades of industry experience, gathering customer data and providing expert consulting to fuel stations for increased efficiency and profitability.Adapting to new changes in the industry, like electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainability, PDI Technologies has supported clients in their loyalty strategies to attract all kinds of customers — and drivers — to make the most use of their space, bringing shoppers from the fuel/charging stations to inside the convenience stores.Loyalty360 spoke with Brandon Logsdon, President of Consumer Engagement Solutions at PDI Technologies, about his experience within the loyalty industry, new trends in sustainability, and how brands can leverage data to support customer engagement. Logsdon has over 20 years of customer loyalty experience under his belt, adopting innovative strategies to shape customer loyalty programs for various brands.
Teriyaki Madness is the result of a mad passion for teriyaki that came to life for brothers Rod and Alan Arreola, and their cousin, Eric Garma, while living in Seattle, WA. As the three fine-tuned their appetite for Asian cuisine, working in mom-and-pop shops during college, a vision was born: introduced Seattle-inspired teriyaki rice bowls to the rest of the world.  By 2003, the first fast-casual Teriyaki Madness restaurant was opened in Las Vegas, NV. The company began to offer franchising opportunities in 2005. Now with more than 130 locations, Teriyaki Madness can be found in over 30 states and in Mexico and Canada. In recent years, the company has seen marked growth. Teriyaki Madness opened 10 new restaurants and awarded 45 units in 2023, and the company has observed a 21% year-over-year systemwide sales increase. Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Jodi Boyce, CMO of Teriyaki Madness, about the Mad Rewards program, the integration of new technologies into its app, and meeting evolving customer expectations.  
Jenna O’Connor, Director of Loyalty Marketing, has 14 years of tenure at GNC, with a focus on the member marketing strategy and management and direction of the loyalty program. She has been an industry leader in loyalty management and has developed a successful deployment of GNC’s multi-tier loyalty program to give shoppers more ways to save and boost customer engagement. Loyalty360 interviewed O’Connor to talk about the journey of developing GNC’s new loyalty program, managing long-term projects and brand consistency while finding the best strategy to innovate in a growing, evolving loyalty industry.
Mastercard® has been a leader in payments since the late 1960s. Over the past decade, the company has evolved its suite of services to help customers make smarter decisions with improved outcomes. When it comes to consumer engagement, Mastercard works with brands to deliver better experiences and ultimately drive long-term loyalty.   Kyle Clark, Senior Vice President of Merchant Loyalty at Mastercard, has seen many changes in consumer behavior, especially in recent years as consumers increasingly shift to digital. Clark’s focus is on supporting brands across industries to build loyal relationships with their consumers.  Loyalty360 sat down with Clark to talk about recent news and developments in the customer loyalty industry.  
In 1919, Conrad Hilton was on his way to buy a bank in Cisco, TX. When the price was raised at the last moment, Hilton left the deal on the table, quickly pivoted, and purchased the 40-room Mobley Hotel located in the same town. This decision would forever change the world of hospitality.  It wasn’t until 1925 that the first hotel bearing the name Hilton was opened in downtown Dallas, TX, targeting business travelers while also offering downtown shoppers a place to stay. This was the first newly constructed hotel for the brand, with exciting amenities such as elevators and laundry chutes. Forward-thinking design helped combat the heat of the hot Dallas sun; no guest rooms were built on the western-facing side of the building. Innovation, embracing new technologies, and a passion for delivering exceptional stays to guests continue to fuel the purpose and vision of today’s Hilton. Its award-winning Hilton Honors loyalty program leads the industry in creating seamless digital experiences while rewarding members early with valuable points earning and redemption opportunities. Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Brad Anderson, Vice President of Hilton Honors Program Strategy at Hilton, about the program’s built-in customization and flexibility, technology enhancements to ensure guest experiences are valuable, and collecting customer feedback on active products.  
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