It wasn’t too long ago now that the notion of VIP status was something that only troubled the rich and famous. Those Very Important People enjoyed the very best that life had to offer. The best seats in the theater, priority service and free gifts are just a handful of the perks that life’s VIPs used to enjoy…
And then the internet came along.
The ability to instantly compare one service against another, view hundreds of hotels and flights simultaneously and know instantly whether a product is cheaper elsewhere, without a doubt, completely changed the way businesses operated.
Don’t believe us? A 2018 study found that 88% of consumers pre-research their purchases online before making a decision.
Put simply, loyalty can no longer be taken as a given. In that sort of landscape, businesses have two choices; they can race to the bottom in terms of pricing, or they can find a way to reward loyalty.
For companies which have chosen the latter option, the VIP scheme has become the #1 way to build loyalty in an age of comparison.
Of course, VIP loyalty schemes aren’t a new invention. The first loyalty schemes appeared in the late 18thcentury, with American retailers handing out copper tokens with purchases. These tokens could then be redeemed upon their next visit for discounted products. Over the next 300 years, the tokens changed, but the formula remained the same – encourage customers to visit time and time again.
Today, loyalty programmes are more important than ever before and they’re appearing in more places than ever before too, thanks to the unparalleled access to comparison tools that consumers like you and I enjoy. Whilst once there may have only been one casino within a hundred miles of our home, there are now hundreds available at our fingertips.
But where are the best examples of these VIP loyalty schemes found, and how can you take advantage of them to live a luxurious, VIP lifestyle without breaking the bank? Join us as we take a look at some notable examples:
Travel & Leisure
There are few industries which have been changed as dramatically as the travel and leisure industries. Mom & pop travel agents have been displaced entirely by travel comparison websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, Kayak and dozens of competitors. It’s meant cheaper flights and hotels, but virtually no loyalty to one company over another.
It’s where VIP travel schemes like TravelSmart VIP come in to play. Combining access to Royalton, Hideaway, Chic, Starfish, Memories, Grand Lido and Mystique resorts, this loyalty program offers award-winning luxury resorts in 6 countries throughout the Caribbean and a travel network covering more than 100 destinations around the world.
The more you stay within the network, the greater access you have to truly exclusive resorts, VIP treatment when vacationing, savings on future holidays and free upgrades to higher-tier rooms when you stay.
It is a promotion that’s machine-tooled to encourage you to stay within the TravelSmart network of resorts, and it’s now being copied by bigger players in the space, like Marriot and their Marriot Bonvoy rewards system.
Entertainment & Gaming
The entertainment and gaming spaces might not seem like the most natural fit for VIP loyalty schemes. After all, we don’t tend to compare the cost of movie tickets or video games, do we?
The answer is, of course, no. But those examples barely scratch the surface of the modern entertainment and gaming landscapes in 2019.
On the PC gaming front, developers like Ubisoft are encouraging loyalty through VIP programmes which explicitly reward playing their games, watching trailers for new games and other interactions with their brand. In return, players get rare, exclusive rewards like in-game weapons, outfits or even
Marvel’s Insider program moves things into the physical realm with points for engaging with Marvel on social media, reading articles on Marvel.com, watching Marvel videos, listening to Marvel podcasts, checking in at Marvel movies or events or taking surveys. In return? Free Marvel swag-like shirts, posters, toys and more. For those who build up truly impressive numbers of points (750,000), you can even be drawn inside an upcoming Marvel comic book. Rather than building loyalty, Marvel’s VIP scheme creates brand ambassadors.
Perhaps the best examples of entertainment and gaming loyalty schemes though exist in the online casino space. Online casinos face a near-constant battle not just to attract customers, but to keep their highest value clients. To that end, 888Casino has taken steps to bring the VIP treatment that high rollers in physical casinos receive to the online space. Their VIP Casino Club offers access to special prize draws, exclusive invite-only events worldwide and more. For the loyal online casino player, it’s a hugely tempting offer.