Fighting for Loyalty

Fighting for Loyalty

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have developed their own ways to encourage brand loyalty.

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No brand deserves Loyalty.

Each product must be judged on its own values or we will just be moving backwards.

Draech:
No brand deserves Loyalty.

Each product must be judged on its own values or we will just be moving backwards.

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

The exception to the loyalty scehemes like this would be if you owned one console. Or say two very different consoles. Say a Wii and an Xbox. Then its highly unlikely the loyalty schemes would influence your purchases.

captainfluoxetine:

Draech:
No brand deserves Loyalty.

Each product must be judged on its own values or we will just be moving backwards.

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

Binnsyboy:

captainfluoxetine:

Draech:
No brand deserves Loyalty.

Each product must be judged on its own values or we will just be moving backwards.

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

Aye exactly, and had you owned a loyalty card you'd have been less likely to have tried Nero. Loyalty cards only give you any rewards when you are totally loyal, i shop in various shops for food M&S, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. They all have loyalty cards but none of them would get me any tanglible rewards unless i shopped at that one shop week in week out. I dont like having my choices restricted.

Binnsyboy:

captainfluoxetine:

Draech:
No brand deserves Loyalty.

Each product must be judged on its own values or we will just be moving backwards.

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

I swear to God, I can't tell if you guys are joking. By all means, though, keep it up. I'm enjoying this exchange tremendously.

OT: I only have an Xbox360 of the current consoles and feel they do a piss-poor job of inspiring loyalty. If anything, I've been moving more to PC gaming in the last year precisely because I'm sick of dealing with Xbox Live. That they're finally going to be allowing actual money to be used to buy stuff instead of MS Points is too little too late.

EDIT: Balls. Once again, I've failed to notice the link for the next page on the bottom and thought I'd finished a surprisingly short article. Having read the page about MS rewards, I can't say it changes my opinion on the matter at all. As the article says, the rewards are "functionally useless." Combined with the age of the current consoles, I don't feel like I could build up any usefull reward and thus have no interest. I don't suspect they'd be generous enough for rewards to carry over to the next console.

SwimmingRock:

Binnsyboy:

captainfluoxetine:

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

I swear to God, I can't tell if you guys are joking. By all means, though, keep it up. I'm enjoying this exchange tremendously.
.

I really don't get how this conversation could be a joke.

captainfluoxetine:

SwimmingRock:

Binnsyboy:

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

I swear to God, I can't tell if you guys are joking. By all means, though, keep it up. I'm enjoying this exchange tremendously.
.

I really don't get how this conversation could be a joke.

I've never heard of Costa coffee nor Café Nero and it was an almost instant derail. I didn't mean any offense, but between the "let's ignore the article and talk about coffee places" and mention of fruit coolers at coffee places (whthf?), I couldn't help but laugh.

captainfluoxetine:

Binnsyboy:

captainfluoxetine:

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

Aye exactly, and had you owned a loyalty card you'd have been less likely to have tried Nero. Loyalty cards only give you any rewards when you are totally loyal, i shop in various shops for food M&S, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. They all have loyalty cards but none of them would get me any tanglible rewards unless i shopped at that one shop week in week out. I dont like having my choices restricted.

I might get a Subway loyalty card, though, as there's not really another franchise like it.

SwimmingRock:

I've never heard of Costa coffee nor Café Nero and it was an almost instant derail.

We haven't made up the names, just google them

I like to think Valve has the best loyalty program with Steam. One major thing that comes to mind is the Steam Treasure Hunt/Great Gift Pile. The idea of buying a game on sale (or playing a game you already bought at an earlier time), earn an achievement from said game, then be rewarded with a new game, a coupon, an in game item, or entry into a draw which could be crafted into one of the previous stated prizes, provides a great sense of value to your purchase and use of the service. However I see Steam as a whole as the greatest loyalty program because of the consistent sense of value Valve brings to their users each day.

Note: You can safely call me a Valve fanboy if that somehow helps make the argument less valid.

Ya want to know who has a really good loyalty program? Gamestop. Initially it does cost 15 bucks for a one year membership but the rewards are actually pretty decent. You get 10% off used games and accessories and you get so much extra off of strategy guides as well. Plus I'm always getting buy two get one free coupons about once a month or so in my email. On top of all that you also get points for each dollar you spend that you can cash in for coupons or posters or other kinds of video game swag.

The other program I like that's not so much a loyalty program more so than a service you pay a monthly subscription for is Playstation Plus. For signing up you get all kinds of free or discounted PSN Games and PS1 classics as well as backgrounds, avatars and the like. They add new stuff every Tuesday and you literally get your money's worth multiple times over in free content from the get go.

The main issue with Gamestop is since they generally charge more for their games, your discounts aren't substantial enough to make up for it anyway. They also offer lower trade in values than other used stores (however this tends to be counteracted by lower used prices than those stores). The rewards they offer are almost always available through other means and are just a lure to get you to waste your points on something stupid that you could have bought with relative ease, and then miss out on some limited edition swag they provide later on; however, this swag is relatively rare to come across and runs out fast.

Amazon tends to offer better deals overall that reward you with stuff you may want (like substantially large credit towards more games) right away without any kind of point saving, and they don't make you sign up for membership to anything, other than an account which you need to order things anyway. However they will make you wait for shipping sometimes.

Gamestop's main strength is the physical locations, and exclusive swag, although they do tend to lose the exclusive to others more often now, and judging by some testimonials, swag may not be a priority at the Gamestop you go to...

I think if somebody could provide a better array of swag offerings than the Nintendo Club, that would be the ideal situation. Not cheap stuff like stationery or containers, I'm talking about adorable plushies and figurines, good quality bags and hats, clever shirts, that kind of thing. And they have to be EXCLUSIVE. People would be going for points hand over fist for that.

The microsoft points thing is such shit though. It requires for those actions to be done during the time the program is running. I added 2 years of live to my account and it didn't give me any points since it is waiting till the current year ends for the activation to count.

Another problem is that you can only use the points once you've accumulated 100 points. So if I go from 80 points to 180 in one month, I now get the balance given to me. Unfortunately, the next month when I get 20, I can't do anything till I hit the 100 mark again. It would be good if they say I have to wait till I get 100 points but I could choose to cash out when I want to.

They say that you can get points for your first purchase on live. What they don't tell you is they mean first purchase EVER. Its to entice new people to buy stuff (and points). Unfortunately, most people that are in this program probably have bought things on the Live marketplace.

Finally, it seems the program is ending this year and so you have to spend all the points that you have earned by the end of the program or they rescind the ones in your account

I'm not loyal to any of those three (or four) mentioned companies. If they want me to buy their games, they should make them worthwhile.

As for merchandise, I don't give two shits about that either.

I was once loyal to microsoft, but the amount of bs involved led me to forsaken them (i still think they have great games... they just don't interest me anymore).

Sony was there since the beggining. I loved it.... till they decided to do remakes and kill my childhood heroes (still great games, but it no longer interests me).

Nintendo has been there has the second game system i ever played with (first was mega drive).
They have never forsaken me, or killed my childhood heroes (except samus... but she was never my hero). I loved the games of nintendo, they always tagged along my aging and after so long they still are able to release incredible games.

But it doesn't matter what i chose or decide my hero will always be the Pc.

I started playing there the old prince of persia, and the other gems of those days.

And i still play with great games such has Half Life 2 or Starcraft, or even Diablo.

So if i had to chose it would be Pc. No going around that decision!!

Xanthious:
Ya want to know who has a really good loyalty program? Gamestop. Initially it does cost 15 bucks for a one year membership but the rewards are actually pretty decent. You get 10% off used games and accessories and you get so much extra off of strategy guides as well. Plus I'm always getting buy two get one free coupons about once a month or so in my email. On top of all that you also get points for each dollar you spend that you can cash in for coupons or posters or other kinds of video game swag.

The other program I like that's not so much a loyalty program more so than a service you pay a monthly subscription for is Playstation Plus. For signing up you get all kinds of free or discounted PSN Games and PS1 classics as well as backgrounds, avatars and the like. They add new stuff every Tuesday and you literally get your money's worth multiple times over in free content from the get go.

Also gamestop offers one of the better gaming magazines for free with it's membership, or for $15 bucks which is still cheap for a year subscription.

I have no problem with loyalty systems if they want to give me something extra for something I was already buying, I'm good with that or if I can save a few bucks in the long run I'm also good with that.

How about just making decent games at a decent price without all the BS DRM encumbrance and questionable DLC shenanigans? Would that go further toward garnering customer loyalty?

ADDENDUM: as a corollary to that, contrary to the distortion that is often present in the gaming press, not every game has to be this AAA epic of 100+ hours of gameplay and content. Short and sweet is also allowable. In fact, I think developers would do better to diversify to more smaller projects that can be completed in 1-2 years and leave the AAA games as occasional 5+ year projects. A single AAA game takes a lot of time and resource to accomplish; so, it's not something that is reasonable to gamble on doing year after year.

I don't care if they're offering Nintendo-brand fleshlights for 50 coins, Club Nintendo isn't going to suddenly make me forget about all the extravagant 3rd party franchises that I couldn't play for the past six years because no developer wanted to develop games for the technologically crippled industry joke that is the Wii. Because of the it's lack of software, I've decided to become a PC Gamer next generation and consider the next Xbox/PS4, and the Wii U can go to hell.

Nintendo can consider the Club Nintendo tote bag I ordered from them my last regards, and with that, the loyalism I had for Nintendo my entire gaming life can be considered OVER.

One small fix: you actually do get more Club Nintendo coins if you purchase a game within a few weeks after launch.

The fact that I was able to get Majora's Mask for 150 coins really undid any gripes I ever had with Nintendo.

Freakin' Kool-aid points are a better system than any of these!

If game companies want customer loyalty back, they need to treat customers better again.

captainfluoxetine:

Binnsyboy:

captainfluoxetine:

Indeed. I never use loyalty cards. I normally buy Costa coffee, but owning a costa loyalty card would actively give me a reason NOT to try somewhere else. I don't like feeling my behavior is being dictated like that.

That's how I feel. That said, I went to Cafe Nero recently, and their fruit cooler is far inferior to Costa Coffee's...

Aye exactly, and had you owned a loyalty card you'd have been less likely to have tried Nero. Loyalty cards only give you any rewards when you are totally loyal, i shop in various shops for food M&S, Tesco, Sainsburys and Morrisons. They all have loyalty cards but none of them would get me any tanglible rewards unless i shopped at that one shop week in week out. I dont like having my choices restricted.

I have a loyalty card for pretty much everywhere so no matter where i go i collect points.

Something I thought was hilarious was that each ambassador game was worth like 20 coins or something. 10 coins for for completing the "purchase" survey and 10 coins for the post-play survey. We got 20 free games, and ended up with 400 free coins.

I really am a fan of Nintendo's club program and have gotten a bunch of stuff from them since I registered. I got the 25th anniversary Zelda poster set, the giant double sided AR card, club nintendo messenger bag, and like 3 or 4 games.

That isn't to say I only buy Nintendo games for the rewards. The rewards are just a bonus on top of already amazing titles. For a while I tried Square-Enix's rewards program, but just felt that they didn't have enough games to justify having their own club thing and I know that Ubisoft has the uPlay points thing for completing games and you get free stuff for it. Again their stuff is like random exclusive in-game content, or random themes. Nothing that really blows me away, but it is nice to get free random stuff on top of fun experiences.

Now if they had some sort of monthly activity check where if you have no point changes in a month or something you lose points, then I would have a problem with it. I know the club nintendo points expire in June or something, but you are given the opportunity to get an larger free reward and the reset is for everyone, and it isn't that hard to get platinum status.

I gotta question the premise of customer loyalty programs with game consoles. Effectively, once a consumer has bought a console, their loyalty has been fairly established (see, for example, raging console wars online). Compared to the cost of a game, the cost of a console is huge. I own a PS3 and if I decided I wanted to go with the 360, I would have to spend $300 - the equivalent of five new games, to make the transition. That's an easy financial decision to make. Unless I am having severe trouble with my current console, I won't consider buying another (excepting the possibility of the Wii which has fundamentally different games).

Let's compare this to loyalty programs in the airline business. When I am looking to buy tickets to fly to San Diego, I can find the best price without any penalty. I haven't bought a special device that allows me to fly American Airlines. I just buy two tickets. Without some barrier to entry, there is no reason for me to buy the most affordable tickets I can get. This provides a clear example of where a loyalty program pays off. If I get skymiles, this makes me invested in the company. If I fly so much with them over the course of a year, I can get a free trip.

While loyalty programs can be popular with console companies, I don't know that they are actually accomplishing anything.

 

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