KFC's Parent Takes Us On A Loyalty Journey

On Tuesday, the audience at MediaPost's Brand Insider QSR Summit heard a thorough presentation from Ashley Travis, Director of Digital Strategy, Yum! Brands, who has also worked at Starbucks and Amazon.

She reviewed the loyalty programs of days gone by, including punch cards and key cards and noted how overwhelming it all is for customers today since everyone has a loyalty program now. "So why are we doing this?" she asked, then providing some ways companies are managing their loyalty programs today.

Removing friction for consumers is at the top of her list. When she was at Starbucks and it offered customers the ability to order ahead, the deaf and non-English-speaking customers sent emails to founder Howard Schultz, thanking him for the program.

Capturing cravings is next, Travis showed a video that showcased an Australian KFC team that won awards for "being considered the best loyalty program you never you were a part of." There, the staff hacked the menu and hid these items deep in the app, on KFC's digital channels and elsewhere until "eventually someone cracked the code." It led to 400 million impressions and happens every time they update the menu.

From her days at Amazon, Travis knows that the brand's home page looks different for each person because Amazon "is anticipating your needs, putting solutions in front of you."

Finally, motivation for buying rounded out her list. This involves a lot of legwork and behavioral science. At Starbucks, it took the form of creating a game at the holiday season to create a "sense of escape and hope." This led to summer games and bonus star bingo games.

Four things keep her up at night, she said. Understanding the business ("the whole franchise aspect is new, hard, really hard"); thinking globally, acting locally; keeping employees at the heart of what it does; and balancing customer needs.

Find this session — and more — at our Brand Insider QSR Summit Agenda page

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