Priority Club Rewards has released its 2004 survey data voluntarily submitted from members revealing how they earn and redeem their reward points for free travel and merchandise.
Using the Points Psychology survey for the third consecutive year, Priority Club Rewards polled its members to reveal the primary categories of behavior. The survey provided respondents with an analysis of their personality type and tips on making the most of loyalty programs they may join or already belong to.
The survey divided member personalities into six types: the Sherlock, the Swinger, the Stasher, the Snob, the Slacker and the Shepherd.
The plurality of respondents (32 percent) turned out to be Sherlocks – bargain hunters constantly searching for the best program. Priority Club calls these members the “true loyalty program players.” Sherlocks were advised to select a program with frequent bonus promotions and a large partner pool, or one that offers the ability to purchase additional points or combine points with those of a spouse.
Coming in a close second at 26 percent were the Swingers – the savvy points users who want both points and miles. Their advice? Join comprehensive programs offering everything from hotels to flights to merchandise – anything that will let members earn points or miles, and doesn’t require them to cash either in right away.
A full 18 percent of respondents were listed as Stashers. These members tend to save for a rainy day, and aspire to a dream vacation. A Stasher’s best bet is to pick a program with no point expiration, and join a program with personalized services.
Snobs – those who feel they deserve recognition, special service and upgrades – made up 11 percent of respondents. Snobs, according to Priority Club, should opt for programs that count points – not just nights or stays – and that focus on elite-level perks.
Rounding out the respondents at 6 percent each were the Slackers and the Shepherds.
Slackers, who don’t care much about earning points, are advised to select a program with immediate perks, like extended checkout or a weekday newspaper.
Shepherds are interested solely in airline miles, and are therefore advised to choose a program with multiple airline partnerships or that allows the conversion of points into miles.
“As we continually improve and tweak Priority Club Rewards to be more valuable to our members, we find it helpful to determine the patterns for how they earn and use their points,” said Steve Sickel, senior vice president, Loyalty Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group.
Based on answers to questions like “what’s in your wallet?” or “why do you participate in loyalty programs?” respondents were placed into one of the six distinct behavioral classifications, similar to the well-known Myers & Briggs personality test often used in the workplace for team-building and management training.
Dr. William G. Emener, a licensed psychologist and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida who assisted Priority Club Rewards in developing the Point Psychology survey, evaluated the initial member responses and helped create the behavioral classifications.
“Behavior patterns exhibited in the personalities of Sherlocks, Swingers, Snobs, etc., will occur elsewhere in these members’ lives as they make important, everyday decisions like how to spend their money,” explained Emener.
Priority Club reviewed thousands of members’ responses as well as patterns of points and miles collection and redemption, and then categorized the respondents.