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Real rewards, everyday value rank highest among loyalty card users

Rite Aid tops Recommended Index

CHICAGO — With many businesses implementing customer reward programs to drive sales, it seems that the ones that promise everyday value and rewards fare better than their counterparts, according to new research.

The Recommendation Index, conducted by marketing agency Zocalo Group and M/A/R/C Research, analyzed 1,000 reward program participants, who were asked about brands they most often positively and negatively recommended, and the attributes they used to make their recommendations.

The research found that words associated with the most favorable aspects of reward programs — "actual rewards," "cash back," "free" and "discounts" — led to positive recommendations. One of the biggest recommendation drivers were programs that rewarded consumers for everyday purchases.

Another conclusion reached was that the most positively recommended rewards programs by consumers were those in the retail space — the top 10 recommended reward loyalty programs were Rite Aid, which captured the No. 1 spot, with CVS coming in at No. 4. Rounding out the index was Kroger (No. 10).

"The Recommendation Index makes clear what drives discussion, recommendations and criticisms in the reward card market," said Paul Rand, Zocalo Group president and CEO. "Marketers spend so much in this area that gaining insight into what really makes a program highly recommended can offer a huge advantage. Consumers are very clear about what they value — and recommend.

"What this tells marketers of reward programs is that it becomes essential to find ways to actively build more everyday reward programs," Rand concluded.

More information about the Recommendation Index can be found here.

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