Best known coalition programs
Probably the best-known example of a true coalition program is Nectar, the U.K.-based program that launched in 2002. According to the company’s press release from March 28, 2007, Nectar is the largest loyalty program in the U.K. Half of all U.K. households hold a Nectar card, and 16 companies participate in the coalition.
Coalition programs are popping up around the world, from South Africa to South Korea and India. eBucks, the South African coalition, reported that its members spent the equivalent of more than $6 million in eBucks points during the 2006 holiday-shopping season, according to Wise Marketer. However, we’ve seen very little activity on that front in the United States.
One company looking to change that is Alliance Card, Inc. (ACI). It is piloting several coalition programs in Minnesota and looking to expand further across the United States. The company’s concept ties customer rebates to nonprofits designated by the retailer or the consumer. This is a nice tie-in, given the “greening” of America.