Fly Buys gives its catalogue a magazine makeover

New Zealand’s biggest loyalty scheme, Fly Buys has given its well-recognised catalogue a face-lift, courtesy of Tangible Media, turning the flyer-fashioned publication into a classy magazine.

The new and improved publication is the first of its kind for Fly Buys. It chose Tangible Media to create a magazine that people would be interested to pick up and read – as well as browse through – to discover the products listed as rewards.

To achieve that, the catalogue features inspirational content areas in which the products are seen in action and supported by information, like recipes, to show customers how they can engage with it.

This is a different approach to the previous reward catalogues, which marketing manager Mary Direen describes as quite little, with lots of products and “not much content”.

Direen says it approached Tangible Media to work on the project after seeing the Toast magazine it created for Liquorland.

“We really liked that balance of content and product and also it’s like a brand piece that still has really strong Liquorland branding.”

The change in content also provided an opportunity to offer product suppliers a bigger range of advertising options within the catalogue. In previous catalogues, the suppliers paid to have the products listed but this time, Fly Buys approached the brands with what Direen describes as a “media package”. This included the opportunity to have the products featured in the inspirational content sections where it could be shown in use, as well as a spot in the shopping pages and the weekly email.

The ability to showcase products in action appealed to suppliers, with Direen saying “it’s a lot easier to sell a product when someone is doing something with it, rather than just a little spot on a page with 25 other products”.

And it’s not just the inside that’s changed. This is the first time in 14 years the catalogue is not square. And in keeping with the magazine feel, the new catalogue is larger and contains a greater number of pages. 

Direen says the square shape had been used as it was cost effective and could easily be put in an envelope to send out to people, however, the change away from it doesn’t mean it wasn’t working.

“It wasn’t like we were trying to solve a problem and things were going bad as a result of the catalogue, we just wanted to improve it further.”

Partnering with a magazine publishing company may seem an unusual step for Fly Buys in an ever increasing digital environment but that’s not the case for the loyalty scheme. Direen says Fly Buys has a huge online presence that will continue to support the print catalogue.

“There’s nothing quite like having something physical in your hands that you can look through and our research shows that families will sit down and go through the guide and circle the things they want and the kids can pick out the toys they might want for Christmas.”

Because of this, she says having something really tangible remains important to Fly Buys’ customers and it is the main prompter to direct them to the website, on which 80 percent of redemptions take place.

Direen says it will consider giving the website a new look should the pilot catalogue be successful and continue as an ongoing project. That being the case, the website could be like the one associated with the Toast magazine, offering a home for the magazine content and allowing the audience to interact with it further.

For now, all the content from the pilot catalogue will be pushed out through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as well and emailed to its base.

There will also be the opportunity for people who are not Fly Buys customers to see the content, as the pilot catalogue is being distributed to 1.2 million households around New Zealand. This is double that of the the previous catalogues which were put into 600,000 letterboxes of customers every quarter.

Direen says the ongoing strategy will be similar, with it being sent only to customers. She says it wants the pilot edition to go as far and as wide as it can, treating it as a brand piece as well as a rewards redemption driver in order to get it in the hands of people who are not using Fly Buys.

“We wanted people to have a fresh look at Fly Buys and go ‘wow I didn’t realise you guys have Fitbits and iPads’,” says Direen. “We just want to showcase all the brands that we do have and maybe that will be an opportunity for people to have another look at the programme and hopefully reactivate.”

Whether or not it will continue to be a quarterly catalogue is unsure at this stage. Direen says there are a lot of things that need to stack up for that to happen and it would probably look to do two big ones a year, a Christmas/summer edition and a mid-year/mid-winter warm up edition. Between those, there will be other direct marketing initiatives with more tailored offers to customers.

With such a big customer base and the resulting data, Fly Buys has the opportunity to join  other subscription services and monetise that data. However, Direen says it is careful about what it collects because its customers trust it to look after it and not sell it on.

“We use the data in our own systems to interrogate and use for targeting but we never sell that on and we don’t outsource that to anyone, it’s all within our own network.”

A new look catalogue is not the only change Fly Buys has seen this year, with its rewards system also boasting new offerings added to make it, and its products, accessible to more customers.

A new points plus cash payment option is now available on the majority of rewards, allowing customers to get any rewards from at least 100 points and top the rest up with cash. Direen says customers are using it to discount products that they might not be able to get a discount on at retail.

“For example the iPhone doesn’t go on special, but if you could put 500 points towards an iPhone, you are getting a discount on it.”

There is also a new points conversion system, allowing customers to turn points into KiwiSaver contributions. So far it’s proven to be a popular reward, in the same way its longer running New World gift card redemptions have.

In the future, Direen says it wants to be able to offer a points conversion opportunity for customers when shopping outside of the Fly Buys Rewards Store, and look to bring in a new travel proposition so customers can use points to access lots of different travel options.

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