CAMPAIGN DIRECT: ON THE RECORD - How does Equity, Orange’s customer loyalty drive, set it apart from competitors? Eleanor Trickett finds out

Orange’s Equity loyalty programme is billed as the first standalone loyalty programme for mobile phone users. One-2-One doesn’t have a scheme (yet ...), Cellnet is linked to Shell Smart, and Vodafone is linked to Air Miles.

Orange’s Equity loyalty programme is billed as the first standalone

loyalty programme for mobile phone users. One-2-One doesn’t have a

scheme (yet ...), Cellnet is linked to Shell Smart, and Vodafone is

linked to Air Miles.



The element that really sets Orange apart is the inclusion of free talk

time in the rewards package. Phil Hendey, head of brand management at

Orange, explains.



Another loyalty programme, eh?



The programme has been in development for two years and two test

periods.



The other mobile phone loyalty programmes didn’t look at what their

customers wanted. Over the two years, we revised our offers and our

approach, so that when we went live, it worked straightaway.



But free talk time? I thought the last thing companies gave away was

their own product.



Originally, free airtime wasn’t included in the package, but the

customers asked for it. It seems an obvious thing to offer, but it’s

always quite painful to give away the core product.



What about the other rewards? Where are the Berni Inn vouchers?



We have a nice mix between instant rewards and the ’dream’ stuff you

wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. The rewards start at film

processing, and go through to archery lessons, hang-gliding and

scuba-diving.



What, no Orange key-ring?



Well, we do give away Orange accessories, too. The customers have asked

for them, and we’re quite transparent about the fact that if the

customer has a car kit, say, they are probably going to use the network

more, and then earn more points.



So, how do you earn these points?



There are three ways to earn them; you get one point for 60 seconds of

normal calls, two points for text messages or roaming calls (from

abroad), and three points for international calls. You start getting

free calls at 200 points.



What do you get for 1,000,000 points?



There are three rules for a loyalty plan. One, the rewards need to be

achievable through day-to-day usage of the product. Two, they need to be

realistic - therefore a million-point prize is silly. Three, they have

to be relevant to the lifestyle and behaviour of the customers, and that

is a key point.



How long will it take for customers to have earned enough points to

start claiming?



We’ve had more than 1,000 redemptions in the first week already.



Blimey! Some people never get off the phone, eh?



Well, customers get 100 points just for joining the scheme, and the

minimum reward only ’costs’ 200 points. With normal use, everyone will

be able to redeem in the first six weeks. That puts us near the top in

terms of instant benefits for customers.



Will Equity help prevent customers switching from network to network as

the tariffs change to suit them?



That’s called ’churning’. Equity is only one part of our relationship

marketing. Based on our tests, and looking at loyalty programmes offered

by other service providers, we’ve exceeded all our targets.



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