Hoyts re-launches its rewards program to counter loyalty program fatigue

Cinema chain re-jigs program to meet customer expectations and desire for instant rewards

Hoyts has redesigned its loyalty program, Hoyts Rewards, to combat the widespread trend of program fatigue among Australian consumers to offer instant benefits and new membership tiers. 

Hoyts attributed its reasons to the latest For Love of Money 2019 report, which found less than half of Australians participating in loyalty programs actively using their card or number when making a purchase in the last 12 months. It's also part of an ongoing drive to improve customer experience in the cinema.

“The old program had been in the market for around two years and we continue to ask our members what they want from a program. What we consistently saw was they wanted more rewards, instantaneous rewards, and they wanted to feel more valued,” Hoyts general manager, corporate solutions and loyalty, Brad Eaton, told CMO.

“We wanted to look at the rewards program and see if what we were delivering in that program matched what we were delivering in the cinema experience. We felt it didn’t live up to that same expectation. So we looked at the customer feedback and what was working in the current program and we worked out what we thought we could deliver to customers to a high level."

The new program now has three membership tiers: A free standard tier; a middle tier with an annual fee of $12, and a premium priced at $50 annually. Instant benefits include free popcorn refills, discounts on tickets and food and drink purchases and earning Qantas points. The aim for Hoyts is to better capture and reward the differentiated groups of cinema patrons.

“We think the new program answers all those tasks in that it delivers access to immediate benefits at a free tier level, and existing offers like a discount movie of the week and improved benefits for customers 65+," Eaton said. "Two new tiers give consumers the ability to earn rewards sooner. And we've included the customer looking for a little more exclusivity with the premium tier. We had a look at that customer and they’re someone who is a movie advocate who loves coming to the cinema and wanted to have something special available to them.”

Eaton said Hoyts built the new program in such a way to “talk to different segments depending on frequency, lifestyle, age demographic and what they wanted out of the program”. 

“What we’re seeing is more people join the plus tier as they see the benefits and more people joining the premium then we were expecting as it talks to what they’re after about experiencing more benefits,” he said.

For Eaton, customer loyalty programs need to be more than just an advertising channels or to promote the business to customers. It’s about letting the customer know they’ve been recognised and rewarded for their loyalty.

“It’s about saying you're valued and we want you to be a member because we want to give you a differentiated level of service because you continue to come back to us,” he said.

Eaton explained to CMO loyalty can be a tricky thing in the entertainment industry but the nature of the business with new movies out every week gives it something fresh to communicate to members, although, like all businesses, its member program needs to stay relevant.

“Our challenge, and the challenge of many businesses, is to keep the rewards program relevant to customers and continue to engage them in ways they want to be engaged. We want to continue to talk to our customers about what they want and continue to adapt the program to give them what they want,” he added.

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