Loyalty Programs Model

This project studies loyalty business model as an issue of global capitalism. It aims to collect and analyze data on loyalty programs. This data will be helpful to determine their impact on modern society and development contribution to the new forms of capitalism. Loyalty programs open up a system of interaction between the most important cores of the modern world - trading companies, media technologies, private consumers, social classes and money in their broadest sense. Studying of this system is important for understanding global trends in modern society.

The wide presence of loyalty programs (covering more than 100 countries) and their variability enable to get knowledge on a global scale. Identification of typical features in loyalty programs (card’s activation procedures, processing of personal data, bonus and discount rewards-schemes) provides material for anthropological research as well as for new thinking of the very concept of globalization in the context of (post)colonialism ideas. Looking ahead, the study of local differences in customer’s incentive programs can provide new data to build relevant theories of national mentality.

The methodological framework of this project is twofold: social studies as well as media studies. Modern loyalty programs are impossible without media representation. Therefore, it is necessary to involve media researchers' tools for a comprehensive study of the loyalty model social phenomena.

So, theoretical framework of this project will based on basic media theories as medialogic (D. Altheid) and soft culture (L. Manovich); for the understanding of social order a structural functionalism theory was chosen (with anthropological basis in the work of theorists such as Marcel Mauss). Structural functionalism theory sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. Thanks to this approach the issue of loyalty programs takes into account social stratification, socialization and social control.
The data collected will form the basis of a quantitative study. The obtained information will be used in analytical articles.

Project goal:

Collecting data on loyalty programs. Such database (type, social impact, media representation, popularity (social feedback)) will be an agenda for future research.

Themes of the project:

- Understanding of centralized virtual currencies (of which loyalty programs are part)
- Analysis of the Nudge theory
- Impact of loyalty programs on the formation of new forms of capitalism
- Modern Monetary Theory: Decentralization vs. Centralization
- The role of satisfaction in social structures and it’s relation to identity.
- Prospects for development of loyalty programs
- Factors of effectiveness of loyalty programs and their dependence on global social trends
- Consumption capacity factors
- Interpretation of loyalty programs: kickback and tribalism
- Modern technology and its impact on changing loyalty programs
- Media logic of loyalty programs: shareability, scalability

Project stages:

2020 - 2023 data collection, analysis of media representation of loyalty programs.

Website structure:

The materials of this site will be presented in two main parts:

- pages about loyalty programs, which will be the basis for a catalogued database. Each page contains such sections as: type of loyalty program (supermarket, food, sport, clothes, pharmacy, transport, fuel station, bank, health goods, media),type of purchasing (online, offline), used by (company name),model of loyalty program (discount, rewards schemes),type of medium (card, promo code),rewards schemes: (rewards point, prize, discount, cashback, other), additional perks, type of membership (free for the asking, fee-for-membership), type of card (barcode, magstripe, chip cards, proximity cards), program validity period (unlimited, limited), rewards points (bonus, other), number of tiers, mobile version, apps, country (region), language,description of loyalty program (info about program), media representation (info about promo, how to activate, registration procedure), options, support, social media, reviews, rate.

- Analytical part (articles, posts)