- Position rewards as additional perks that are provided to loyal customers at the company’s expense (O’Malley and Prothero, 2002).197
- Use progress trackers, which highlight the progress made towards the completion of a goal and unlocking of a reward. Despite the need for a member to make further transactions, the progress tracker enables communications to be framed as a gain (e.g. earn just 200 points more to unlock a free flight) rather than a loss (e.g. $200 spend is required to unlock a free flight). The goal may be access to a reward product or the achievement of a status tier.
- Tailor messages to loyalty program members to emphasise their special status and acknowledge the importance of the relationship with the brand (Shugan, 2005).198
- Implement a points plus pay option as part of the standard purchase flow, allowing members to reduce the amount of cash they spend by subsidising the cost with points. Examples include airlines which allow members to reduce the total cost of the fare by paying with a combination of cash and frequent flyer points (a positive frame). Drèze & Nunes (2004)199 conducted research which delivered a mathematical proof that a combination of cash and points can be superior to a standard, single-currency price by lowering the psychological or perceived cost.
Returning to Levin and Gaeth’s study on lean vs fat beef, they reported that the magnitude of the framing effect lessened when subjects actually tasted the meat, suggesting a diagnostic product experience dilutes the impact of framing. This is an important consideration which cautions that while consumers may be influenced by framing, they will be influenced more by the actual experience of consumption. A focus on delivering a customer experience that is consistent with, or exceeds, expectations must be a priority in the pursuit of genuine member loyalty.
Dosh200 is a card linked cashback program based in the US with over 1,000 affiliate partner stores and restaurants. Members can link their credit or debit card to the Dosh app, and when they make a purchase at a partner store with the linked credit card, ‘Dosh’ (a cashback percentage of the purchase) is automatically applied.
By magnifying the gain (cashback), rather than the loss (financial), Dosh are framing the program as positive (i.e. their website states it as ‘the easiest money you’ve ever made’).
Watching the Dosh add up on the cashback counter in the app over time, members are constantly presented with the positive effects of their amplified ‘gains’.