Accountability, Empathy and Fraud: Takeaways from the Loyalty Expo



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Recently, I had the opportunity to mingle with some of the brightest minds in the loyalty and rewards industry at the 2024 Loyalty Expo in Orlando. It was exciting to see brands like Target, Hilton, and Subway, along with vendors like Kobie, Phaedon and CataBoom, and many others, share their latest innovations and success stories. Here’s a breakdown of the key themes that struck a chord with me, shedding light on where loyalty strategies are heading: 

  • Customer Empathy and Transparency: One key takeaway was the emphasis on being genuinely empathetic and transparent with customers. Award-winning loyalty programs are now focusing on making it simpler for customers to earn and use their rewards. Companies are stepping up, addressing issues even before customers spot them, and being clear about the perks and savings involved. This open approach is not only boosting customer satisfaction but is also driving greater engagement and sales. 
  • The Importance of Communication: Communication really is everything. The best loyalty programs thrive on robust communication strategies that cover everything from educating consumers through media and ads to training store staff so they can effectively communicate the program’s benefits. A seamless integration of messages across various channels (and partners) ensures that customers receive a consistent and clear understanding of what’s on offer. 
  • Financial Accountability in Loyalty Programs: With budgets tight, loyalty program managers are now on the hook to demonstrate that these programs are essential tools for attracting and keeping customers, not just nice extras. They need to show hard numbers and ROI to finance teams to prove that loyalty programs are worth the investment. 
  • Addressing Loyalty Fraud: With great value comes great risk. Loyalty programs, like any system that stores value, attract fraud. The industry faces challenges like account takeovers and identity theft, but loyalty programs are not always monitored as rigorously as other business areas. With the loyalty market ballooning to an estimated $42.8 billion by 2028, it’s crucial that these programs protect their integrity.
  • Composability of Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs are becoming increasingly modular, built from components sourced from different partners. This means they need to be flexible and easily integrate with various systems, including CRMs and marketing tools, to meet changing business demands and consumer expectations. 

At The Fletcher Group, we excel at guiding loyalty, reward, and incentive brands through these complex trends, helping them stand out as thought leaders. If you’re looking to boost your brand’s presence and influence, we’re here to help you make some noise in the industry. Email us at to chat.