It's hard to deny the sweet temptation of a loyalty programme. But how many people actually buy enough coffees to get a free one or spend enough money to earn a voucher? Vodafone decided not to follow this tack with its Fantastic Fridays programme by making all its customers eligible for a reward and replacing the loyalty card with an app. Now, it's celebrating 10 million giveaways.
The loyalty scheme launched in 2014 and was a first for Vodafone. It offers customers access to exclusive music, movies, prepay deals and sports rewards, including two-for-one movie tickets, sports events and behind the scenes access to international artists.
Despite its name, Fantastic Fridays offers deals every day of the week. Consumer director Matt Williams says research showed customers loved getting that “Friday feeling” and Vodafone wanted to deliver that to customers every day of the week.
Today, its following sees 500,000 deals redeemed by customers every month, with many using the programme multiple times.
Williams credits its success to its simplicity. There’s no point scoring, no card to carry around and there’s no time delay. Instead he says the rewards are instant, with all Vodafone customers qualifying for them.
Williams says Vodafone had high aspirations and targets for Fantastic Fridays, and the speed at which those have have been achieved is a “very pleasant surprise”.
“We’ve been really blown away by how popular Fantastic Fridays has been with our customers… We knew we were offering something really unique and different when we introduced it, but it’s really exceeded all our expectations.”
Fantastic Fridays is promoted directly to Vodafone customers through traditional and new media channels, depending on the reward. To date, the programme has focused on three key areas, music, movies and sport.
Williams says the company works hard to understand its customers, taking into account their preferences, including the type of reward they might enjoy, the timing and location.
“We do this based on the segment they align to, where they live, and how they behave. It’s quite the science, but worth it to see our customers enjoying Fantastic Fridays and being with Vodafone.”
Williams says its brand partners also see the programme as a reputable promotional and distribution channel, with it raising the profile of the featured events.
While the programme is first and foremost about engaging and rewarding existing customers, just as its main competitor Spark does with its Thanks programme, Williams says Vodafone’s research shows that non-customers are impressed by it and see its value alongside Vodafone’s mobile plans.
Since the initiative launched in the My Vodafone app in December last year, 65 percent of Fantastic Fridays reward redemptions traffic now comes via the app.
Williams says a lot has been invested in making sure the user experience is real time, while being intuitive, streamlined and interactive.
Now, Vodafone is working on developing a new suite of rewards and experiences.
“We’re continually optimising and changing things as we go. People have really enjoyed being able to buy cheaper tickets, and now we’re looking at what else we can offer to add to their experience. The options are endless.”