It’s really elementary — we are a nation in search of the best bargains, and customer loyalty programs are no exception. Priority Club Rewards, InterContinental Hotels Group’s loyalty program re-released its “Point Psychology Survey,” which was designed to help people uncover their loyalty program earning personalities, determine which loyalty program features are most important to them and determine how to maximize the benefits of these features.
Based on their answers, respondents were placed into one of six distinct behavioral classifications: Sherlock, Swinger, Snob, Stasher, Shepherd and Slacker. Dr. William G. Emener, a licensed psychologist who aided Priority Club in formulating the survey, evaluated the responses and helped create the behavioral classifications.
“Point psychology reveals behavioral tendencies that surface not only in point collection but in everyday situations,” explained Emener. “The inherent trigger that makes the Sherlock search seven different stores for the best deal on a new suit also prompts him to check the Web sites of each major hotel program for the best point promotion before the next trip.”
So, which are you? We’ve listed the categories, the percentage of respondents who fall into each category, a description of the personality type, and some suggestions for each.
Sherlock (32 percent): Bargain hunter; constantly searching for the best bonus program; true loyalty program player. Select a program with frequent bonus promotions and a large pool of earning options — such as airlines, credit cards and online banking companies — or that offers you the ability to purchase additional points or combine yours with your spouse’s.
Swinger (22 percent): Wants points and miles; point connoisseur; savvy points user. Join comprehensive programs offering everything from hotels to flights to merchandise — anything that will let you earn points or miles, and doesn’t require you to cash either in right away.
Stasher (22 percent): Point hoarder; aspires for dream vacations. Pick programs with no point expiration, and join a program with personalized services, like a personal shopper or travel planner.
Snob (10 percent): Perks professional; deserves recognition; desires special service and upgrades. Opt for programs that count points (not just nights or stays) toward elite status and offer complimentary arrival perks or guaranteed room availability for top-tier members.
Shepherd (6 percent): Miles junkie. Wants all their programs to provide airline miles. Choose global hotel programs that offer multiple airline partnerships or that allow you to convert points into airline miles while taking advantage of double- and triple-point offers.
Slacker (5 percent): Indifferent; doesn’t care about gathering points; sees most programs as too much hassle. Select a program with immediate perks — like extended checkout or a weekday newspaper — and look for easy-to-understand programs with low redemption levels.