George Stevens, Country Manager Visible Results USA, said the opportunity to work with a renowned brand like Virgin Megastores has provided an exciting illustration of how a loyalty program can successfully integrate with a retailer’s whole-of-business approach to customer engagement, and contribute to differentiating that retailer even in challenging economic times.
"We have enjoyed being a partner with Virgin Megastores since their program launched in October 2006. The Virgin Megastores marketing team has really been focused on making the in-store experience fun and relevant to their customer base since the program went live," said Stevens. "Virgin Megastores has shown immense loyalty to their own customers and in my opinion that’s been the key to their success, not just within their V.I.P. program, but across their entire business."
The financial success of the Virgin Megastores V.I.P. program is all the more impressive against a massive 15% decline in industry sales of traditional music formats, such as CDs and LPs in 2007 compared to 2006, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
As a forward-thinking retailer the Virgin Megastores implemented a diversification strategy for its merchandise in 2002. Along with music, DVDs and books, Virgin Megastores introduced fashion, electronics, pop culture items, and consumer electronics.
Explaining Virgin Megastore’s resilience, Dee Mc Laughlin, VP of Marketing for Virgin Entertainment Group, North America said the V.I.P. program has been a very important ingredient; when combined with the diversification strategy, the dedication of store staff and the brand’s successful partnerships with its vendors and other suppliers.
Mc Laughlin said the real wow-factor for members are the prizes, points and privileges. "We saw we could integrate what we were already doing, such as live in-store events and competitions, with the Visible Results program. The card has taken our activities to a new level — it’s not just a card, it’s an experience."
Stevens adds, "Programs like V.I.P. allow retailers to build an insightful database that measures the real impact of all of their marketing activities. Leading retailers, such as Virgin Megastores, are using the information generated by their loyalty programs to make sure the money spent on customers is both targeted and effective. I am pleased that Visible Results has been able to play a role in their current success and I look forward to what lies ahead for V.I.P. members." [August 11, 2008]
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