Loved walking into M&S about 18 months ago to see Little Shop a collector based reward program adding theatre to their food halls. This was a relatively new foray for them and the fact that they are currently running Little Shop 2 means that it certainly must have pushed both frequency and spend during the campaign.
These kind of reward programs add a great deal of theatre to the shopping experience and often drive frequency and spend based on a mixture of community collecting and of course "pester power".
We don't see to many of these in UK supermarkets, although Morrisons ran a Disney based collector card program in 2011 and further one in 2012 to coincide with Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary. Other retail promotions have focussed on large sporting events and the last sporting medal collection that comes to mind was the France 98 World Cup collector set.
Its a shame as these programs provide high levels of theatre and excitement and deliver customer loyalty and sales uplift.
As an M&S card holder, I've benefited from their loyalty program for nearly two decades, collecting points and earning money vouchers to spend in the store. I never really quite got Sparks when it was introduced, but I did keep receiving the voucher, all be it not as many.
So it is great that M&S are revamping their program (Marketing Week 2nd July) and it makes perfect sense for it to be a digital-first strategy. But what really inspires me is that they are embracing various loyalty tactics at the same time to drive their business. A loyalty program at the core of their business, coupled with tactical in-store reward programs such as Little Shop 2 to drive frequency and spend during a key trading period.