Coca-Cola plans loyalty program overhaul with a digital focus
- On July 1, Coca-Cola is completely reworking its loyalty program, as reported by Bloomberg. On that date, MyCokeRewards.com will relaunch as Coke.com with new ways to get rewarded.
- At that time points accumulated by current participants will become worthless and the revamped program will have a digital focus although exactly what it will look like is currently unknown.
- According to Coca-Cola, it will be announcing new digital engagement platforms later this year.
Although Coca-Cola's loyalty program has been very popular since its launch in 2006, its execution now seems antiquated by requiring participants to manually enter codes found in product packaging such as under bottle caps. Even when Coca-Cola introduced an app for My Coke Rewards, users still had to manually enter the codes. Last year the bottling company altered the program into tiers depending on social sharing by participants but that move didn’t go over well with users.
Coca-Cola may be following the lead of both Pepsi and General Mills, who have turned their respective loyalty programs into versions much more amenable to the digital and mobile-first marketplace. General Mills required people to send in box tops for its program supporting education, but a new app launched last fall lets users upload codes and donate to schools. PepsiCo’s program also required packaging to be mailed in, but its Pepsi Pass app lets users scan codes with smartphone cameras.
By leveraging digital to make it easier for consumers to participate in loyalty programs, this can drive engagement and satisfaction while ensuring brands have a deep set of user data that can be mined for insights. On MyCokeRewards.com, the company says the new program will make it easier and more fun to get rewarded for using product codes.
Coca-Cola faces a challenge in that it is essentially dismantling a program that has proven to be popular, even if it’s a bit clunky, and at the same time the brand is pushing into digital marketing and also revamping its bottling operation. The company will need to tread carefully with the loyalty program revamp lest it upset some of the program's ardent users, potentially sending them elsewhere.