The value exchange is alive and well

The value exchange is not a new concept in marketing, however, BP’s latest loyalty offering demonstrates that perception is still king.

The petrol giant has been slammed for its new reward programme which dictates customers must spend over £1,700 on fuel before they can claim the cheapest gift on offer (a thermal coffee mug). Seems a bit steep for a branded product that probably cost less than a £1 to manufacture!

Clearly there is a big disconnect between the value BP places on its points and the value their customers place on them. This serves as an important reminder that consumers do place a value on their loyalty and on their data (see our recent blog on Cash for Data) and if organisations misinterpret this value the relationship fails.

Direct mailers have long understood the power of the value exchange – customers are happy to receive well targeted mail, and often welcome it (Tesco Clubcard vouchers or a personalised holiday brochure) but are not happy if they deem the mail irrelevant, impersonal or incorrect. In fact this unhappiness in some instances translates into brand damage. For example our research amongst the bereaved shows that the costs of sending mail to people that have passed away equates to almost half a billion pounds of lost revenue every year. Ultimately, it is crucial in any marketing transaction that the value is not eroded and often it’s the simple things, like data hygiene, that can make all the difference.