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CPG brands take customer loyalty into their own hands

Loyalty programs are a key way for CPG manufacturers to connect with consumers and gain valuable insights.

4 min read



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Recently, several consumer packaged goods brands have taken a greater interest in customer loyalty for their products. PepsiCo has its own Tasty Rewards program, Mars partnered with digital rewards app Fetch Rewards for its loyalty experience and General Mills launched the Good Rewards program, also in partnership with Fetch. The latter is the first-ever loyalty program for General Mills, which operates via consumers scanning their receipts in the Fetch app to earn points for gift cards, merchandise and more.

“From a loyalty and rewards perspective, we have always had very strategic programs running to deliver value to our consumers, but they’ve mostly been short-term in nature,” said KC Glaser, senior manager of loyalty and rewards at General Mills. “We recognized a long-term loyalty opportunity, as well as an opportunity to educate consumers on the breadth of our portfolio to truly start using the power of all of our collective brands to intentionally and meaningfully solve problems and deliver joy for our consumers.”

A consumer-first approach

Glaser emphasized that Good Rewards spans all of General Mills’ products, meaning that the program allows the company to use its entire portfolio to offer the best deals to customers as well as focus on problem-solving. 

“By offering consumer-centric solutions, we are not only educating the consumer on the power of our portfolio, but we’re also encouraging behavior change and that loyalty, we believe, will translate to higher lifetime value and spend on General Mills products,” he said.

The Good Rewards program has seen activity across its product categories, but cereal, yogurt, refrigerated baked goods and dry baking have been especially popular, likely due to seasonality and overall product value. Glaser added that while the CPG company is well-known to most shoppers as a cereal brand, the program has helped more consumers learn that Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are General Mills brands as well.

According to a survey by retail technology platform Swiftly, 83% of respondents are currently depending on loyalty programs, rewards apps or coupons to purchase their groceries. In the current economic environment, inflation will continue to spur consumers to seek out deals on essential goods and the need for loyalty programs that prioritize saving consumers money.

“We saw an opportunity to help from a food accessibility perspective,” said Glaser. “Anything we can do to help put food on the table is something worth doing, from our perspective. 

The Fetch app also enables users to find savings where they are needing them most. The ability to redeem gift cards not only from General Mills gives consumers the option to focus on deals that are best suited to their lives. Good Rewards is looking to expand its benefits in 2023 to free delivery on direct-to-consumer promotions or exclusive access to limited-time product releases, according to Glaser.

“We want to ensure that our loyal customers are rewarded for being loyal to General Mills with unique, exclusive experiences.”

The value of loyalty program data

“[Good Rewards] is data-rich, allowing us to learn and optimize making offers more compelling to consumers while also making them more efficient for General Mills,” said Glaser.

That data can often be key for CPG companies and collecting it can be a challenge. Imteaz Ahamed, director of performance marketing for Reckitt, recently talked about that challenge during a panel on consumer loyalty. Making a value exchange with shoppers is the most successful way to gather this data.

“When you have that permission from them and you’re giving them something of value, when you enrich that experience with further information … that’s when it becomes meaningful and that’s when you’re adding that incremental value to the consumer’s life, and that’s enriching,” he said.

Instead of developing a proprietary platform for a loyalty program, General Mills chose to collaborate with Fetch in order to launch the program quickly and leverage the app’s built-in audience. Those two components made Fetch an ideal partner and helped General Mills “focus more on the consumer experience than on strictly user acquisition at the outset of the program,” according to Glaser.

“Our plan is to continue to use the data we get from Fetch to optimize the experience,” he added. “The more we learn, the more we can continue to optimize the value of the Fetch offers for both the end user (the consumer) and General Mills.”

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