Loyalty schemes are almost as old as business itself, but what about turning the concept on its head and rewarding fickle customers?
The idea of encouraging consumers to go elsewhere may seem heresy to start-ups. Indeed, such a strategy would be foolish for most companies, especially in their formative days.
However, an overseas trend of sending customers elsewhere has worked for several start-up businesses.
In London, world barista champion Gwilym Davies is offering a ‘Dis-loyalty card’ to people who visit his coffee bar. The card encourages customers to ‘expand their coffee experience’ by suggesting other quality outlets in the area.
Once customers have tried eight different cafes, they can redeem a coffee back at Davies’ bar. The idea has now been supplanted to Seattle and Toronto, but has yet to make an appearance in Australia.
This business idea isn’t for everyone. But, given the thriving coffee culture in Melbourne and Sydney, setting up a business that positions itself as an expert in the genre could prove profitable. Forging strong links with other cafes could help boost overall coffee drinking and customers will like being ‘in’ on the top coffee bars.