CRM For Suppliers: A Hard Task
This is a great example of a customer relationship management program established by a supplier in order to get rid of the retailer’s mastery. Indeed, suppliers spend a lot of effort trying to retain customer loyalty, but they don’t have a direct link with customers. They must go through a retailer to get customers data and to be able to set efficient promotions.
More and more, thanks to vouchers and coupons, either distributed on pack or via Internet, they succeed in triggering sales from loyal customers. But the concept is biased, and online coupons are targeted to a very specific type of clientele.
This is the reason why Nespresso has such a strong CRM program: they master the whole distribution channel, which gives them an exhaustive picture of their customers. A highly valuable asset.
I have helped a friend of mine with the Shisheido reward program, which actually find it pretty well done (I don’t have inside data if it works or not though).
Nestlé, A Cup Of Rewards
In Australia, Nestlé has created a new program named Cup Of Rewards, which goals is to reward loyal customers with everything from discounts in toys stores, to movie theater tickets and so on.
When you purchase a pack, you log on the website, and type the code in. Then it gives you points, which allow you to pick a gift.
It reminds me of what Carrefour has implemented not so long ago. Thanks to its wide range of loyalty card holders, Carrefour has negotiated from external partners discounts. The idea is to go beyond rewards simply based on your products. Hence, Nestlé owns more than 65% of market share on the instant coffee market.
It is a very interesting idea. Now, I believe it is also very important to remain focused on your positioning, in order to propose some gifts which make sense. Now Internet gives a fantastic opportunity for suppliers to create their own customer relationship management program, and by it, to get some leverage out of the retailers, even though retailers' customer data base remain the best customer data available.