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Marketing & Loyalty Articles

This section looks at a kaleidoscope of marketing and loyalty ideas over the past 20+ years - that are still relevant today. You'll discover that the core principles of marketing remain the same: only the players and their ever-evolving tools change.


Measured/Loyalty Marketing And The Digital Age: Q&A With Brian Woolf

As the digital era changes the very structure of how retail happens, it's clearly time for retailers and brands to rethink their approach to loyalty and personalization...
An article by Bill Bishop Of Brick Meets Click (January 9, 2017)


The 3-Question Marketing Plan

Three simple questions to help you grow customers and sales
An article by Brian Woolf (November 16, 2015)


Manage The Price Gap

... Rather than match the prices
An article by Brian Woolf (June 26, 2015)


Waitrose 'The Uncola' Differentiates Again

Differentiation in a Price-Obsessed Marketplace...
An article by Brian Woolf (June 19, 2015)


Uncopied Excellence

Two loyalty program standouts that were never copied
An article by Brian Woolf (June 18, 2015)


143 - A Dynamic Marketing Metric

Make the trend your friend...
An article by Brian Woolf (June 4, 2015)


Behavior Follows Rewards

We know the principle. Optimizing the practice is the challenge.
An article by Brian Woolf (May 29, 2015)


A Great Program - That Didn't Make It

A unique program that should have been a winner...
An article by Brian Woolf (May 21, 2015)


Some Loyalty Marketing Best Practices

Ideas to help keep you ahead
An article by Brian Woolf (May 8, 2015)


Promotional Intent

What do you intend your promotion to accomplish?
An article by Brian Woolf (May 1, 2015)


Longitudinal Loyalty

Time to reposition from Latitudinal Loyalty?
An article by Brian Woolf (April 17, 2015)


Business is a Game

... once you understand the ways to win
An article by Brian Woolf (April 13, 2015)


The Best Type of Promotions

The best type of promotions are those that customers actively remember...
An article by Brian Woolf (April 7, 2015)


What Makes Costco So Successful?

The worlds largest retailers didnt achieve that honor by chance. Have you ever studied any of them to better your own game? Heres a close-up of one who is probably also a competitor...
An article by Brian Woolf (April 7, 2015)


A High-Octane Supermarket Loyalty Program

What is it about gas prices that make people switch from a more convenient gas station on their side of the street to one on the other where the posted gas price is 1-2c gallon cheaper?
An article by Brian Woolf (April 7, 2015)


Whats Wrong With Loyalty Programs?

Theres no consensus on what defines a Loyalty Program. Or, for that matter, Loyalty Marketing...
An article by Brian Woolf (March 28, 2015)


The Customer 5% Reward Program

A common practice of card-based food retailers is giving benefits (discounts, gifts, etc) to their regular (ie, "better") customers. But how much should be given? How? And to whom? The Customer 5% Program shows the way...
An article by Brian Woolf (March 28, 2015)


How Good Is Your Produce Department - Really?

Heres how you can tell...
An article by Brian Woolf (March 23, 2015)


Brand Value

What does it really mean? How does a retail CEO use it?
An article by Brian Woolf (March 16, 2015)


Life Time Value is A Fabulous Concept

... but there are more practical approaches for retailers
An article by Brian Woolf (February 22, 2015)


Share of Wallet

Share of wallet is a great concept - but, in practice, not a great tool...
An article by Brian Woolf (February 22, 2015)


Today's Peacock Is Tomorrow's Feather Duster

For how long will your company thrive?
An article by Brian Woolf (February 22, 2015)


Baumol's Law

... the foundation shaker of retailing.
An article by Brian Woolf (February 15, 2015)


Marketing Numbers 101

Two useful numbers for marketers and how to calculate them...
An article by Brian Woolf (February 1, 2015)


Marketing Your Story

How well do you tell your companys story, letting the world understand what makes you different?
An article by Brian Woolf (January 24, 2015)


Should Tesco Change Its Clubcard?

Quite simply: yes.
An article by Brian Woolf (November 23, 2014)


Sainsburys Simple but Painful Lesson

Sainsburys has announced they are cutting their Nectar points from 2 points per £1 of spending to 1 point. Customers are mad. What did Sainsburys do wrong?
An article by Brian Woolf (October 19, 2014)


Morrisons New Loyalty Program

Will Morrisons new Match & More card build profitable sales? Management hopes so: its same-store sales were down 7.4% in the recent half year ending 3 August...
An article by Brian Woolf (October 6, 2014)


The Intelligent Loss of Business

What we do well, and what we dont do at all, are two of the most important elements of strategy. Too often, we forget the latter...
An article by Brian Woolf (October 5, 2014)


Its Time to Rethink 1% Programs

The biggest challenge of the standard 1% point-based rebate program is that a lot of the cost is wasted. Refining the program will produce better bottom-line results...
An article by Brian Woolf (September 29, 2014)


Lessons from the World's Customer Retention Record Holder

"Customers are the center of our business" is a common mantra heard from CEOs and CMOs. Given that, why do so few know how many customers they retain? One retailer who does, publishes its result quarterly. Its Retention Rate is an amazing 91%!
An article by Brian Woolf (September 29, 2014)


At Waitrose, Enjoy Every Visit

Your two major competitors have 1% point programs; one has a slogan "Every little helps." You are introducing a loyalty program: do you copy or differentiate?
An article by Brian Woolf (September 29, 2014)


Is It A Loyalty Card?

The question keeps popping up ... is it really a Loyalty Card? Even though many retailers call it such, is it misnamed?
An article by Brian Woolf (August 27, 2014)


Fish ... Where The Big Fish Are

"Fish where the fish are and, if possible, where the big fish are" ... Garth Hallberg, author of "All Customers Are Not Created Equal"
An article by Brian Woolf (August 15, 2014)


The Single Best Way to Increases Sales

One of the greatest insights I have gained from analyzing customer data over the past two decades is that there is one best way to increase sales.
An article by Brian Woolf (August 9, 2014)


The Most Important Number

Imagine your new CEO asking you to provide him with the most important customer number every 4 weeks. You respond "No problem," and then tell him what the number will be and why...
An article by Brian Woolf (August 7, 2014)


The 1% Principle

Is 1% a little or a lot? One of the smartest and most successful food retailers Ive ever known once asked me this question ... and then taught me how to find, and use, the answer.
An article by Brian Woolf (August 7, 2014)


Isnt Our Budgeting Process Backwards?

Ask any retail CEO, CMO, or (hopefully) CFO about their customers and they will tell you how customers are the center, the core, of their business. Im sure you agree...
An article by Brian Woolf (August 4, 2014)


Big Rewards From Small Customers

A simple way to increase loyalty is to start with your smallest (literally) customers.
An article by Fiona Woolf (October 26, 2013)


Thanksgiving Turkeys: A Loyalty Rorschach Test?

Every Thanksgiving, US food retailers exhibit divergent behavior when setting turkey prices. Can we project from their pricing, like projecting from Rorschach ink-blot observations, their real loyalty attitude?
An article by Brian Woolf (October 13, 2013)


Social Media Marketing Opportunities

The average American spends approximately three hours online every day. Nielsen observes that Internet users spend more time on social media sites than any other site type...
An article by Fiona Woolf (October 5, 2013)


Ditch All Your Loyalty Cards

That was the title of an article in Slate several weeks ago. It follows the recent decision by Albertsons new management to eliminate their loyalty card program. Time for a check-up?
An article by Brian Woolf (September 17, 2013)


A Great Marketing Opportunity

Would you like to increase your sales to customers who will promote your company and products? If so, look to your marketing relationship with Millennials...
An article by Fiona Woolf (September 17, 2013)


Measuring Marketing Success

What is the most important indicator of marketing success? How do you measure and track it? Heres one approach...
An article by Brian Woolf (August 20, 2013)


shopkick: Customer friendly? Not quite.

After applauding shopkicks revolutionary, smartphone-based, coalition loyalty program, my attention now turns to four niggling issues using it...
An article by Fiona Woolf (August 11, 2013)


shopkick: A Unique Approach to Loyalty

shopkick is a loyalty program worthy of your attention because of 5 unique characteristics...
An article by Fiona Woolf (August 10, 2013)


shopkick: Where Award Opportunities Keep Appearing

shopkick is an app-based, coalition program with diverse opportunities for earning rewards. Some are advertised and some are unadvertised, appearing with continued participation. shopkick introduces us to a new approach for rewarding the right customer...
An article by Fiona Woolf (August 7, 2013)


The Morning Newsbeat Interview With Brian Woolf

From the 'Interviews with Business Thought Leaders' Series
An article by Brian Woolf (July 31, 2013)


Stop! Nationwide Gas Coalition Ahead

Could gas (petrol) fuel the first nationwide loyalty coalition program? Fuel Rewards Network (FRN) and its national redemption partner Shell think so...
An article by Fiona Woolf (June 14, 2013)


Driving in a Different Direction

In todays highly competitive environment, how are gas chains differentiating themselves to strengthen their attractiveness to drivers? One popular approach is adopting the loyalty model of supermarkets...
An article by Fiona Woolf (May 15, 2013)


Loyalty Marketing: The Next 20 Years

Twenty years ago I had the privilege of spending 6 months researching one question: Why, in those early days of Loyalty Marketing, were a few pioneers experiencing success, many more were failing (losing money), and the rest had ambiguous results?
An article by Brian Woolf (February 22, 2013)


How Successful Was Walgreens Loyalty Launch?

I suspect that most of us interested in loyalty marketing have been keeping an eye on Walgreens balance(TM) rewards program since it launched in September 2012 (the first month of its new financial year)...
An article by Brian Woolf (January 29, 2013)


Reward Total Spending or Spending on Specials?

A comparison of two new loyalty programs with very different reward goals...
An article by Brian Woolf (October 7, 2012)


Customer Pricing: How Dorothy Lane Market is adding more value for its loyal customers

Dorothy Lane Market has broken tradition once again with its July 2012 announcement of putting more value into the shopping baskets of its club members...
An article by Brian Woolf (July 22, 2012)


The Differentiator

Differentiation is a critical element of effective strategy, whether we are talking about a corporation or a loyalty program, and Big Y does it best...
An article by Brian Woolf (June 14, 2011)


A Master at Work

How Tesco, a global Loyalty Leader, commited what was thought to be economic heresy but confounded its critics-and competition-because it truly understands loyalty marketings economics and trade-offs
An article by Brian Woolf (October 9, 2010)


The Loyalty Leaders (5-Minute Video Presentation)

See for yourself how today's Customer Loyalty Leaders are doing it. What's their secret?
An article by Brian Woolf (October 4, 2010)


Turning tactics into strategy

Sometimes we get so bogged down by our competitive tactics (eg, matching competitor ad prices) we are blinded from seeing that we are only one step away from turning our actions into a long-term strategic advantage...
An article by Brian Woolf (March 26, 2010)


Excellence is Everywhere

As I travel the world discussing loyalty, its not uncommon to be asked: Which countries are the most advanced in loyalty marketing? My answer has always been the same: there are no great countries, just great companies...
An article by Brian Woolf (September 15, 2008)


Have you planted any trees lately?

Loyalty isn't just about price but also about emotion. But how important a role does a corporate ecological conscience play in building true customer loyalty?
An article by Brian Woolf (August 31, 2008)


The Triangle of Win

A classic example of Access Pricing - one of the most cost-effective tools in a loyalty marketers toolkit - offering a benefit only to selected, profitable, loyal customers.
An article by Brian Woolf (August 31, 2008)


Loyalty Marketing or Loyalty Selling?

This is the foreword from a special publication celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fly Buys (New Zealand), one of the worlds leading coalition programmes, in which Brian Woolf explains why change is so necessary, yet so resisted...
An article by Brian Woolf (November 11, 2006)


The Beeper Greeter

You want more higher-spending customers, right? So did Vernon, NY-based Katz Foodtown. While many companies profess to be customer-centric, Foodtown truly is. But what makes this 13-unit retailer so different?
An article by Brian Woolf (August 31, 2005)


Access Pricing - The Fourth Way

Pricing strategy has long depended on three key techniques: HI-LO, EDLP, or PUF (profit up front). But now a new Fourth Way, 'Access Pricing', is making an appearance. Brian Woolf explains what it's all about, and why it works so well...
An article by Brian Woolf (April 9, 2005)


Crazy Prices ... And More!

How can supermarket operators differentiate themselves from behemoth discounters, with their low costs and prices? High quality meat and produce? A great bakery? Superior service? Yes! Yes! Yes! But there's far more to it - and here's how...
An article by Brian Woolf (March 26, 2005)


Lessons From Along Loyalty Lane

At the 9th Annual CRMC (Chicago, June 5, 2003) Brian Woolf, author of 'Loyalty Marketing: The Second Act' described some highly successful food retailers who are doing an outstanding job with CRM. This is a summary of his presentation...
An article by Brian Woolf (January 23, 2004)


Five more critical success factors for running a loyalty programme

The final five success factors for customer loyalty, from the third year of your programme onward
An article by Malcolm Fowler, EVP Products and Marketing, Ernex, Inc., Canada (July 17, 2003)


Five critical success factors for planning and launching a loyalty programme

Five success factors for planning your new customer loyalty programme, and five more for launching it
An article by Malcolm Fowler, EVP Products and Marketing, Ernex, Inc., Canada (July 17, 2003)


Seven steps to build sales and profits

One of the biggest mistakes still being made by companies contemplating a loyalty program is that they consider it a clip-on, a fifth wheel, rather than an integral part of the business ...
An article by Brian Woolf (October 6, 2002)


The Bathtub Report

Any company armed with a deep understanding of both its cash and customer flows (both in and out) has a competitive advantage over those who do not - and that's what The Bathtub Report is there to give you.
An article by Brian Woolf (October 6, 2002)


What is loyalty?

A critique of the Harvard Business Review article, 'The Mismanagement of Customer Loyalty'
An article by Brian Woolf (July 30, 2002)


Interview with a pioneer

The Godfather of retail loyalty marketing
An article by Neil Raphel, Raphel Marketing (July 29, 2002)


The Genus Report

A Tool For Category Managers
An article by Brian Woolf (July 29, 2002)


Creating An Holistic Customer Climate

Shifting Your Corporate Focus From A Product And Process Orientation To A Culture Which Drives Customer Needs To The Core
An article by Brian Woolf (July 29, 2002)


The inspiration behind the Super H ""$avings Plus!"" program

A speech given at the NGA's annual convention, January 1999
An article by Steve Burrows (September 3, 2001)


Measured Marketing: An Update, One Year Later

A speech given at the Food Marketing Institute's Marketechnics Conference in Houston (February 1995)
An article by R. Scott Ukrop (August 27, 2001)


Mission Marketing

Transcript of a speech given at the Food Marketing Institute's Editors' Briefing in Chicago (May 1994)
An article by Daniel J. Lescoe (August 27, 2001)


This is a football!

An article written for STORES magazine
An article by Brian Woolf (August 21, 2001)

 
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