Where does your Loyalty Lie?
Last night I had a (long overdue) purge of my handbag and purse. I will never fully disclose everything I found in there but thank goodness the contents hadn’t ever spilt out in public. Anyway. In doing so I discovered that I am a member of at least 38 loyalty clubs. That’s the minimum by the way. I know it’s the minimum because I found 38 membership cards. So there must be more. Not everyone gives you a card. Is that a lot? It feels like a lot. Everyone seems to have a club now. A club which promises a genie-in-the-lamp world of opportunity, gifts, milk and honey in return for an email address. But with most of these clubs one needs to spend every penny one earns in said shop just to amass enough points to buy a pint of milk and a jar of honey, never mind getting access to the land where they flow. Now and then there are some marvellous exceptions though. A couple of weeks ago I was shopping in Waitrose and about to pay when the lady behind the till started asking me if I’d like to join their membership scheme. I was in a bit of a rush so had already said no when the most extraordinary two words came out of her mouth: “Free coffee.” I stopped in my tracks and asked for clarification. The clarification came and I was clear. Free tea or coffee every morning. SIGN ME UP IMMEDIATELY. I didn’t shout at the poor girl but I wanted to emphasise how much I wanted this membership card in print. She smiled to herself, clearly smug, and why not? Waitrose has given her this superpower to get the sign ups and signs up she was getting. I could see the rest of the queue discussing it and salivating. Sorry Starbucks, one free coffee for every fifteen isn’t going to cut it anymore. This represents a serious saving for me. Three pounds a day, 15 pounds a week, 60 pounds a month… you get the idea. I have no idea what else I get but I’m certainly going to be investigating and if all else I get is a bag of air and a carton of dust I’ll not care a jot. Because this is a practical, useful thing they’ve given me.
Practical is something the airlines are good at too – I value my airline memberships with British Airways, Qatar and Cathay Pacific – all of which I can cash in the much coveted Avios and Asia Miles. As a frequent flier the benefits do start to add up.
I like my SLH Club benefits too. Why? Again, practicality. Room upgrades, free nights, early check-in, better prices… all stuff I can touch and enjoy. Because I don’t want the vague scent of something extraordinary from my clubs. I want the promise of something ordinary. Tangible, practical, helpful, sensible.
Having said all that if I’m not sure how sensible I would be if offered a choice between my boyfriend and the elusive Net-a-Porter VIP club membership…
After all, I am in dire need of a new handbag. 😉