Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Panera's Loyalty Program

Panera Bread recently launched a loyalty program to reinforce brand choice and patronage. When I stopped in yesterday to get small decaf, I was handed a plastic card and keychain tag. "Just go online to register and you'll start earning rewards right away!" the cashier said--so I did. In some Panera locations, management has set up a computer to encourage immediate enrollment and allow members to check their accounts/rewards on the spot. Great idea to get customers registered and involved right away!

It's easy to click and check my offers earned, rewards waiting, etc. Apparently Panera will offer periodic surprise rewards, in addition to a sign-up reward and a freebie on each member's birthday. This is an example of intermittent reinforcement, which is effective because participants never know exactly when they'll receive a reward or what it will be, so they continue the desired behavior in hopes of obtaining the reward.

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