Digital. It’s how we listen to music.  Understand current events. Communicate with friends.  The world has changed and if we want to be successful in our understanding of and engagement with our customers – digital is the foundation from where our loyalty programs need to be built. Today’s forward-thinking brands have figured out how to move from the physical/analog world to digital interactions with their customers and the value they are obtaining from this move is enormous.  

Programs that provide value, to both the brand and the consumer, are multi-faceted, content-centric and offer engagement across all touch points.  Engagement pre-, during, and post- transaction is now table stakes to staying relevant to the consumer. It’s no longer sufficient just to track points and give rewards for point accumulation.

Here are two examples of brands breaking out of the box with digital loyalty programs that deliver real value:

Thinking beyond the classic points system.

GreenTree Inn’s membership eschewed the classic points and stays program with a membership program similar to Amazon Prime. For a small, annual membership fee, GreenTree members can book discounted room rates on their mobile and web apps; thereby, encouraging members to stay loyal to the GreenTree brand, while reducing booking fees to third-party websites. It’s a win-win for the members and the up-and-coming hospitality chain.

Getting (and staying) interactive.

The Kansas State Lottery has deployed an array of digital engagement tactics to both keep players excited about the lottery and to aid the Lottery in understanding its playing behavior. For example, it lets players  scan tickets to enter into high-value drawings to understand players’ frequency, and also utilizes location-based promotions via mobile GPS to incentive players to check-in at retail stores and special events.

Combining  targeted communications about new tickets, community events, and push messages about huge jackpots – the Lottery is engaging, gathering data, and increasing its loyalty program value with each consumer touch.  And with all this first-party data, the experience and satisfaction for players and the brand are increasing with each drawing.

Click here to learn more about how the Kansas Lottery is executing its digital transformation by going beyond just a simple points and rewards program.


As we move into the next generation of loyalty and consumer understanding, simple point-based, “earn and redeem” programs aren’t enough. Today’s consumers expect a more experiential program and are bored with plain vanilla ones that were established years ago. The Stellar Loyalty Platform includes hundreds of loyalty and engagement tactics that are available out-of-the-box for brands to use.  If you’re ready to start talking about how to take your loyalty program beyond the basics.

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Brad Marg
Brad is a VP and the GM of the Lottery Industry for Stellar Loyalty, a silicon valley-based technology platform that powers the Kansas State Lottery.