TORONTO–When it comes to loyalty programs, Canadians seem happiest with providers of small rewards such as free movies and groceries rather than those who promise dream vacations, according to an independent national study released today.
According to the Argyle Public Relationships Index™, the annual study by Leger Research and Argyle Public Relationships, Canadians’ satisfaction, trust and overall relationships are strongest with the Scotiabank/Cineplex Scene program and the new PC Optimum program, rather than those focusing their rewards on travel. The survey has no affiliation with any company offering a loyalty program.
In general, Canadians have strong relationships with their preferred loyalty program:
79 per cent are very or somewhat satisfied with the program they use the most;
76 per cent trust their loyalty program;
73 per cent believe the loyalty program takes care of people likely to use it;
70 per cent believe the loyalty program is committed to meeting their expectations;
60 per cent see the loyalty program as concerned about “people like me;” and
41 per cent believe they can influence the decisions or direction of their main loyalty program.
“While Canadians are loyal to their loyalty programs, the ready reward of the free movie or groceries seems to be winning our hearts more than the elusive dream vacation,” says Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch, a leading international expert on public relationships and reputation management. “The recent controversies about the future of Air Miles points, and about Aeroplan’s future, may also be factors in the slight edge gained by those offering smaller, simpler rewards.”
Public relations research suggests there are six dimensions of relationships between brands and their publics: trust; satisfaction; perceived commitment to meet expectations; caring for customers (“exchange relationship”); concern for people like me (“communal relationship”); and people’s perception of their ability to influence the brand. The Argyle Public Relationships Index™ averages public ratings of how the brand they know best in each sector performs on the six dimensions.
Among loyalty programs, the survey reveals average-to-strong relationships between most major programs and the public:
Scotiabank Scene 70
PC Optimum 69
Air Miles 67
RBC Avion 67
TD Rewards 66
The survey also shows that just over two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) are interested in having relationships with the brands they buy and the service providers with which they do business, down from 73 per cent a year ago. Seventy-nine per cent are more likely to do business with a brand that builds a relationship with them, and 80 per cent are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends.
“In two years of working with Argyle on this research, it’s clear that the health of a company’s relationships with the public correlates strongly to the health of its brand,” says Lisa Covens, Leger’s Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. “Whether it’s their products, their communications, or both, the loyalty programs offering these simple, everyday rewards are earning stronger relationships with the Canadian public.”
About the study
This loyalty study of the Argyle Public Relationships Index™ is based on a survey of 1,591 Canadians, completed between January 22-25, 2018, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. The margin of error for the study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90%. Argyle expresses its appreciation to Dr. Alex Sevigny, Director of McMaster University’s Master of Communications Management (MCM) program, for his counsel in the development of the study. Argyle helps major brands and respected organizations build and strengthen their relationships with the stakeholders who drive their reputations, brands and business success – across Canada and beyond. For more than 35 years, Argyle has been chosen by some of the world’s biggest brands, put big ideas onto the public agenda, and become one of Canada’s largest independent communications firms.