Breakthrough COLLOQUY Research Reveals Canadian Participation in Loyalty Programs Outpaces U.S. By More Than 50 Percent



    With Surge in CDN Dollar, Canadians Bank Even More In Loyalty Currencies

    CINCINNATI, November 13 /CNW/ - A remarkable 86% of Canadian consumers
identify themselves as participants in loyalty marketing programs, fully 51%
higher than their U.S. counterparts, according to a newly released study by
loyalty industry expert COLLOQUY.

    The COLLOQUY study is a demographic analysis that featured research on
the loyalty participation and perceptions of Canadians in key market segments.
By segment, Canadian loyalty participation ranked as follows: Affluent 96%,
Core Women 95%, Seniors 90%, General Adult (control group) 86% and Young Adult
78%.

    In contrast, a U.S. market loyalty demographics survey COLLOQUY published
earlier this year found that only 57% of the General Adult segment identified
themselves as loyalty program participants. A loyalty program recognizes and
rewards the best customers of a business.

    "Coalition loyalty marketing in Canada is the difference maker," said
Kelly Hlavinka, COLLOQUY director and co-author of the Canadian loyalty study.
"Canada's loyalty landscape is heavily influenced by the presence of the AIR
MILES Rewards Program, a national loyalty coalition that accounts for a 70%
penetration level among the nation's households. No such national coalition
exists in the United States," she said.

    "Additionally, the U.S. market is characterized by a more fragmented
national brand presence in key loyalty sectors such as grocery, retail fuel
and banking," Hlavinka said. "The result is greater concentration of market
share among major Canadian brands than exists in the United States."

    COLLOQUY's findings are presented in a white paper titled, The Canadian
Difference: A Comparison of Loyalty Marketing Perceptions Among Specific
Canadian Consumer Segments. For the analysis, COLLOQUY and its research
partner gathered 2,550 interview responses from Canadian residents, including
550 from the General Adult group and 500 each from the four other demographic
cross sections. The report identifies specific trends, attitudes and
differences within the Canadian demographic segments across retail, travel and
financial services.

    Some of the key contrasts between Canadian and U.S. loyalty program
participation habits include the following:

    --  Canadian consumers are more active in loyalty programs. Approximately
75% of Canadian consumers actively participate in loyalty programs vs. 39.5%
in the United States.

    --  Canadian consumers are more patient. They're more willing to
accumulate points and miles that yield free travel, in-store merchandise or
free reward catalog redemptions. General Adult respondents said that 69% of
the programs they participate in offer points, as opposed to only 39% for
Americans of the same group. Conversely, U.S. consumers remain hungry for
cash-back programs, citing almost 55% of the programs they belong to offering
cash-back rewards.

    --  Canadians are more generous. With the exception of Young Adults,
they're about twice as likely as U.S. consumers to redeem a reward for someone
other than themselves. While U.S. redemption statistics point to
self-gratification, Canadians are likely to share rewards with friends and
family.

    --  Canadian consumers are more savvy loyalty players than their U.S.
neighbors. Canadians are more likely to belong to and participate in competing
programs. Marketers are therefore pressured to create unique, differentiated
offerings for the discriminating Canadian loyalty audience.

    --  Canadian financial and travel programs lag behind their U.S.
counterparts. General Adult redeemers said they burned their points an average
of one time in the past year for credit card and other financial services
programs and an average of less than once for travel programs - considerably
below redemption averages reported for U.S. consumers.

    The COLLOQUY white paper contains the following key findings about
loyalty trends across Canadian demographic groups:

    --  Canadian Affluent are approaching universal loyalty program
participation rates, with 96% of respondents participating in at least one
loyalty program. This is an uber-saturated market. Growth rates are likely to
slow.

    --  Surprisingly, Young Adults do not engage with loyalty programs
through electronic channels more than direct channels. Young Adults ranked
lowest of the five segments (26%) when asked if they were engaged in receiving
special offers via email. Core Women led the way, with 40% claiming extreme
involvement with loyalty programs via email.

    --  Canadian consumers belong to an average of 2.5 retail programs, 2.0
financial programs and 1.5 travel programs.

    --  Canadian Women participate at a level of 61% in travel programs and
45% in financial programs, but these rates lag significantly below
participation of the Affluent group. The gap presents Canadian marketers an
opportunity in both sectors.

    --  Retail is driving the loyalty bus in Canada. Comparing redemptions in
the financial and travel sectors to those in retail, retail programs are
providing the most rewards to members regardless of demographic segment.

    --  Canadian Women reported the greatest gap between their desire for the
special access and member-only privileges associated with loyalty offers and
the actual delivery of these "soft benefits" by loyalty programs.

    --  Young Adults, at 48.4%, are the most likely Canadians to recommend a
business due to its loyalty program.

    --  Only 38% of Canadians read their loyalty program statements.

    COLLOQUY's Canadian demographic segments are defined as follows: General
Adult (control group); Affluent - heads of households with annual incomes of
$125,000 or greater; Young Adults - any respondent 18 to 25 years of age;
Seniors - any respondent age 60 or older; Core Women - any female respondent
age 25 to 59 with annual income between $50,000 and $125,000.

    COLLOQUY's Canadian loyalty demographics white paper is available free of
charge at www.colloquy.com/whitepapers. COLLOQUY is a loyalty marketing
publisher and consulting firm. It belongs to the family of Alliance Data
Loyalty Services companies that also includes the AIR MILES Rewards Program,
ICOM Information & Communications and Precima.

    About COLLOQUY:

    COLLOQUY comprises a collection of resources devoted to the global
loyalty-marketing industry. The flagship resources are COLLOQUY Consulting, a
loyalty consulting practice, COLLOQUY(R), a magazine serving the
loyalty-marketing industry since 1990, COLLOQUY.COM, the most comprehensive
loyalty web site in the world, and COLLOQUY's Research and Education
divisions. Together they provide a worldwide audience of 28,000+ marketers
with consulting, news, editorial, educational and research services across all
industries and around the globe. COLLOQUY magazine and email subscriptions are
available at no cost to qualified persons at www.colloquy.com or by calling
513-248-9184.

    MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE:
http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5542833




For further information:

For further information: COLLOQUY Tim Sansbury, Public Relations,
513-231-5115 tim.sansbury@colloquy.com or Will Sikes will.sikes@colloquy.com


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