Steve Schroeder is the founder and CEO of Twitter Fundraising, Smart Community Technologies, DeCoy (Decentralized Customer Loyalty) and FAAST (Fundraising as a Service Technologies). All companies are focused on expanding the bitcoin ecosystem around the world. Steve has been in the customer loyalty space for over 20 years. Long before Bitcoin, Steve was devising a custom currency in the form of USD rather than points, miles or stars but after learning about Bitcoin the asset in 2019 and then spending considerable study on the subject over the past 3 years, Steve’s passion is helping others and using his past experience to create a fun, easy, and lucrative way for people to secure their own digital asset and learn how to hold property rights for their families which can’t be confiscated or inflated away.
In the ever-evolving world of commerce, customer loyalty programs have become a pervasive tool for businesses seeking to foster enduring relationships with their clientele. From frequent flyer miles to points accrued with each purchase, these programs permeate our everyday transactions, ostensibly offering value in return for loyalty. However, upon closer inspection, one begins to discern striking similarities between these loyalty programs and the broken fiat system, our prevalent monetary order.
This article aims to unravel the complex web of customer loyalty programs, highlighting their inherent confusions and the way they subtly mirror the defects of the fiat currency system. Just like how the value of fiat money is vulnerable to shifts by monetary decree, loyalty points and miles suffer from analogous fluctuations, often leaving consumers in the dark. This uncertainty and inconsistency reflect a kind of ‘hidden inflation,’ where the actual worth of these points becomes an enigma wrapped in convoluted math.
Moreover, the opaque, closed-source nature of these systems draws another parallel, reminiscent of our conventional financial world, where transparency is often sacrificed for control. The conundrum is further complicated by data privacy concerns, as instances of data theft and misuse become increasingly commonplace.
Lastly, we delve into the limitations that inhibit the optimal use of these loyalty programs, from the inability to transfer or share benefits with others, to the absence of a streamlined communication channel with the specific business locations, and even the insufficient training provided to employees expected to assist customers navigating these intricate systems.
Join us as we delve into the intricacies of these loyalty programs, shedding light on their systemic flaws and offering thought-provoking comparisons with the global fiat system. We invite you to embark on this critical exploration, challenging you to reconsider the true value of your points and miles, and to question the systems in which we place our trust and loyalty.
The Case for Brand-Specific Currency Over Points, Stars, or Miles
Imagine a world where, instead of earning points at Chick-fil-a, you accumulated Chick-fil-a money. Envision a scenario where Starbucks didn’t reward you with stars, but with Starbucks currency, and United Air Lines compensated loyal customers not with miles, but with a dedicated airline currency. What difference would this shift make, and how might it revolutionize our engagement with customer loyalty programs?
One immediate and significant change would be the elimination of the all-too-common confusion surrounding these programs. Take, for example, the present scheme at Chick-fil-a: for every dollar spent, you earn 13 points. But it requires 800 points to redeem an eight-piece order of chicken nuggets. The math involved in calculating your spend-to-reward ratio can be mind-boggling and certainly isn’t consumer-friendly.
Now, let’s reimagine this scenario. Instead of accruing points, each purchase earns you Chick-fil-a currency, usable only at Chick-fil-a, just like the points system. The difference? Transparency and simplicity. For every $10 spent, you receive $1 in Chick-fil-a currency, instantly comprehensible and easily comparable to your cash spend. No more complex conversion rates, no more confusion.
Before we dive deeper into the dynamics of customer loyalty programs and their striking similarities with the problematic fiat system, let’s pause and reconsider our rewards experience. Let’s explore the possibilities of transforming the space with a focus on clarity, straightforwardness, and user-friendliness, by adopting a brand-specific currency model over an ambiguous points-based system.
The Intricacies of Current Loyalty Programs: Unmasking the Lack of Transparency
Why, then, have we not already seen this shift towards a straightforward, transparent approach to customer loyalty? The answer lies in the inherent opaqueness of current systems and the advantages it provides to businesses such as Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, or other entities employing point, star, or mile-based systems.
This veiled complexity allows these companies to obscure the reality of how they value their customers. Concealed within a labyrinth of points, stars, and miles, they create the illusion of value, masking the minimal rewards they’re actually offering in exchange for customer loyalty. The truth, when laid bare, may appear less than flattering, even insulting, considering the term ‘customer loyalty.’
The current system thrives on its confusing redemption strategies, creating a smoke screen that cloaks the actual value of rewards. Consequently, what is marketed as a customer loyalty program might be providing you with far less than you assume. Faced with intricate calculations and a lack of viable alternatives, customers often settle for these confusing rewards, unable to discern their true worth.
However, the landscape is changing. For brands that genuinely value their customers and wish to set themselves apart, there are far more effective and straightforward reward mechanisms in the offing. These are not only simpler and more valuable for customers but could potentially be less costly for the business compared to the existing convoluted systems.
Introducing the Currency Revolution in Customer Loyalty Programs
Picture this – you’ve just received Chick-fil-a currency as a reward for purchasing chicken nuggets. Now, instead of trying to decipher the value of 85 points or 75 stars, you have a straightforward $5 in Chick-fil-a currency. But that’s not all; you can convert this currency into actual money via the lightning network. Sounds futuristic? It’s closer to reality than you might think.
Here’s how it works. Instead of dealing with arbitrary point systems or fluctuating star values dictated by brands, you have an easily understandable currency that holds consistent value. The rewards become tangible, quantifiable, and more significantly, convertible.
This new format offers additional advantages. Firstly, brands like Chick-fil-a could collaborate with other businesses – a local Hobby Lobby, for instance – to make their currency mutually acceptable. This partnership allows customers to spend their Chick-fil-a currency at both venues, extending its utility beyond one single brand.
Secondly, customers have the freedom to transfer their Chick-fil-a currency to anyone, anywhere in the world. Imagine earning currency from Chick-fil-a in the U.S. and being able to convert it into a digital currency that translates into local currency in Africa, for example. With instantaneous, virtually fee-less transactions, this system opens up global possibilities and redefines the concept of customer loyalty.
You might wonder, can businesses afford to allow so much value to be used outside their domain? Who would bear the cost of these value transfers? The answer lies in the strategic application of emerging monetary technologies. By developing circular economies with digital currencies, businesses can create in-app ecosystems where transactional value is borne by a third party who benefits from the exchange. These systems can utilize the Bitcoin lightning network rails, enabling instant, virtually free global transactions without the burden of credit card fees or chargebacks.
Does it sound too good to be true? It isn’t. This is the future of customer loyalty programs, a future where technology and innovation are transforming how businesses appreciate their patrons. Welcome to the era of LOYALA, where we strive to make this transformative vision a reality.
In drawing to a close the first part of our exploration of the customer loyalty space, it’s important to circle back to our central theme – the way in which the flawed fiat system has muddied the waters of customer loyalty.
The parallel we’re drawing between the opaque value system of fiat currency and the complex structures of points, miles, and stars in loyalty programs is clear. Just as the wider financial system prefers to shroud the dwindling value of fiat currency in complexity, so too do loyalty programs veil the true worth of their rewards in confusing point structures and redemption policies. The lack of financial education in our schools echoes this intention to keep the majority in the dark.
Inflation, often termed as the ‘invisible tax’, mirrors this deceptive practice. The gradual erosion of the purchasing power of money – your money – disproportionately affects the less wealthy. It’s a slow drain of wealth from the many to the few, and the damage is often overlooked due to the convoluted nature of the financial system.
This isn’t merely an accident or an unfortunate byproduct of complex systems. It’s a strategic decision taken by the privileged classes to maintain their dominance. By weaving a tangled web of confusing terms, fluctuating values, and shifting rules, the elite class keeps the everyday person disoriented and, crucially, compliant.
It’s high time we brought an end to this top-down obfuscation. Transparency and honesty should be the guiding principles of any system, financial or otherwise. By shedding light on these murky practices, we can build systems that are both equitable and comprehensible to all. We all deserve a fair deal – it’s time we demanded it.
So, prepare to welcome a new era of customer loyalty, where clarity, value, and respect reign supreme. Welcome to LOYALA.