Gap Inc: bridging the gap between transactional and emotional loyalty
28 July 2021
Max Savransky

Gap Inc have recently announced the launch of a newly integrated single loyalty proposition called “One Membership. Four Brands.”.

The new program will aim to simplify and streamline how members earn and redeem their rewards within their four brands by combining the previous credit card and loyalty programs under Gap (Gap Good Rewards), Old Navy (Navyist Rewards), Banana Republic (Banana Republic Rewards) and Athleta (Athleta Rewards).

Is this a smart move?   

Absolutely. As part of the new program, members will be able to shop across all four brands and have all of their points in one place, no matter which brand they’re enrolled in or how they spend.

By merging all four programs into one, the biggest opportunity by far is the data insights that can be derived from having a single customer view across the business.

This will in turn open up much better marketing opportunities in terms of cross-promotions, with the potential to significantly increase relevancy of communications.

What are the new benefits?

Like many programs in the US, there are better earning opportunities for credit card holders. Card holders will earn 5 points for every $1 spent across the entire brand portfolio and Rewards members will earn 1 point for every $1 spent.

Members will also be able to redeem rewards in 100 point ($1) increments, rather than the 500 point increments available in the old program. This is a big improvement, which allows for the quicker access of value and will drive sustained engagement.

The new program’s membership tier levels are based on annual spend:

Core ($0 – $500 Annual Spend)

  • Free to Join
  • Double Rewards Redemption Days
  • Bonus Points for quarterly cross-brand purchases
  • Birthday surprise
  • Free 3–5 day shipping on orders exceeding $50
  • Ability to donate points
  • Dynamic in-season promotions and offers
  • Core member only exclusive offers

Enthusiast ($500 – $999 Annual Spend or Card Holder)

  • All credit card holders start at the Enthusiast level (an additional benefit to having a card) and include all Core benefits listed above.
  • Card holder exclusives (No annual fee, zero fraud liability)
  • Enthusiast member only exclusive offers

Icon ($1,000+ Annual Spend or 5,000 points)

  • Core and Enthusiast benefits listed above
  • Free 2–3 day shipping on orders exceeding $50
  • Icon member only exclusive offers

What else?

Glad you asked. The new program also has some brand specific benefits:

  • Old Navy members will be able to convert their unused Old Navy Super Cash to the new program currency
  • Gap members will be able to convert their unused GapCash to the new program currency
  • Banana Republic members will be able to convert their unused Style Cash to the new program currency, and access free basic alterations on Banana Republic merchandise for Icon Members
  • Athleta members will have access to exclusive community experiences and connections with other women

Another key feature of the new program is the “Do Good” component, which gives members the ability to give back by donating their points to one of five funds that support the brand and company core values.

This is really smart, because it ties the donations to something that is contextual and inextricably linked back to the brand – their values. Grill’d does something very similar, which also resonates quite well. This approach is quite different to programs which simply have a donation feature, where points can be spent on a range of charities.

Here’s the five different funds members can choose to donate to:

  • Old Navy: Imagine Mission Fund – Imagining a better future for future generations by creating new job opportunities for youth, eliminating plastic waste, and art programming for kiddos, in partnership with amazing non-profits like Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • Gap: – Activating young people to make positive change locally and globally through campaigns that make an impact.
  • Banana Republic: World Wildlife Fund – Working to conserve wildlife, protect amazing places, and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.
  • Athleta: Power of She Fund – Putting Athleta’s mission to ignite the limitless potential of women and girls into action with grant programs that fuel confidence through movement and connection in partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation.
  • Gap Inc: Equal Justice Initiative – Committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

With more than 37 million members across the member base and credit card holders, Gap Inc. will certainly be in a fairly good position to effect change.

Final thought

Gap Inc did extensive testing with their customers as it built out the new proposition. The new program will make it easier for card holders and rewards members to earn points, allow them to redeem their rewards faster and create opportunities to give back by donating to one of five charitable funds, which we’ve established are truly linked back to the brand.

With significant improvements across the key areas of earn and redemption, as well as the overall consolidation into a single program, there is absolutely no reason why their members wouldn’t be more emotionally connected, turning them into much more valuable customers for the longer term.

This is a company that’s doing it right.

<a href="" target="_self">Max Savransky</a>

Max Savransky

Max is the Chief Operating Officer at Loyalty & Reward Co, the leading loyalty consulting firm. Loyalty & Reward Co design, implement, and operate the world’s best loyalty programs for the world’s best brands. Max has consulted on 40+ projects and has previously held roles at Mastercard Loyalty, Pureprofile and HOYTS. Max leads the implementation and operations business functions, specialising in all aspects of loyalty consulting and program management.

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