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Building brand webs: customer relationship management through the Tesco clubcard loyalty scheme

Rowley, Jennifer (2005) Building brand webs: customer relationship management through the Tesco clubcard loyalty scheme. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 33 (3). pp. 194-206. ISSN 1758-6690

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Abstract

Abstract: Purpose – This article undertakes a case study-based analysis of the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme that seeks to re-conceptualise the role of loyalty schemes by focusing on the role of loyalty schemes in branding and brand webs. Design/methodology/approach – The article takes a case study-based approach. Tesco Clubcard has been chosen as the case under study, because it is a significant scheme, and because Tesco have a reputation for innovation in relation both to the use of technology and to approaches to delivering customer value. The analysis describes the features of Clubcard, with specific reference to the network of relationships facilitated through the scheme and the actual or potential value that Tesco and its partners, be they customers or other organisations, derive from the scheme. Findings – Tesco Clubcard builds relationships on additional dimensions, through: the option to collect Clubcard points through transactions with other retailers; the option to use reward points with a range of leisure and associated outlets, and, the e-loyalty element of the scheme accessible through the internet. This multidimensional approach to relationships builds a visible relationship web that is central to marketing communication and brand building associated with the Tesco brand. Both brand perceptions and experiences are built as customers make choices regarding the paths through which they will travel. The brand web operates at the three levels of experience, community, and customer data and knowledge. Originality/value – The research question, “Do loyalty schemes work?”, needs to be reframed to encompass this extended model of the role of loyalty schemes, to surface questions associated with the effect of loyalty schemes on brand perceptions and associated consumer behaviour.

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