Today, it seems that every retailer has a loyalty card leading to wallets stuffed with plastic and the potential for confusion. Cincinnati startup LOC Enterprises
hopes to replace all those cards with the launch of its Loyalty One Card
The LOC Card is the first truly universal loyalty card that will not only allow consumers to stop carrying around handfuls of cards, but it will also allow them to manage all of their loyalty programs on one website.
While holiday shopping for his now 12-year-old son in 2011, LOC’s CEO and founder Jack Kennamer realized the problems of loyalty cards.
“I was standing in line at a sporting goods store, and I heard the cashier ask customer after customer if they had the store’s loyalty card,” Kennamer says. “Most people didn’t want one, but one lady decided to sign up for it, and I could see the guy behind her huffing and puffing while she filled out the registration form. And when the guy in front of me was asked if he had the store’s card, he held up his keychain and said ‘No room for you.’ I figured there had to be a better way.”
After that experience, Kennamer spent hours researching loyalty cards and programs, and found that there wasn’t a “universal” loyalty card.
“Consumers love to feel special and get free stuff and discounts, but it’s getting to the point where they have to work so hard to participate in loyalty programs,” he says.
Kennamer’s company developed a 100-percent consumer-centric card that allows consumers to tailor how they want to engage with each retailer. For example, a consumer may want to interact with Kroger one way and Best Buy another, so they can pick and choose which retailers with which to share their email address.
When a consumer signs up for the LOC Card, they’ll set up an account online, and anytime they go to a retailer that accepts the card, they swipe it once and they’re enrolled in that loyalty program. LOC’s website manages all of the loyalty programs for the consumer, so there’s only one email address and password instead of 100.
LOC is working with the companies that handle the analytic side of loyalty programs to better service consumers. The company is also building relationships with individual merchants and getting great feedback about the LOC Card.
The LOC Card isn’t just tailored to large businesses, though. “The problem small businesses have is they don’t stand a chance because they’re so far down the totem pole when it comes to loyalty,” says Kennamer. “With the LOC Card, you swipe your card at the retailer once and you’re signed up for their loyalty program. After that, it’s up to the consumer to come back, and the retailer can reach out and give the consumer personalized offers to start repeat behaviors.”
The LOC Card isn’t available to consumers yet, but you can pre-register on LOC’s website
Writer: Caitlin Koenig
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