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“We are confident that our V.I.P. program will offer unique premiums that will motivate and reward our most loyal customers.”
——VEG marketing head Dee McLaughlin


Customers Will Accumulate Points, Get Special Offers and Receive High-Tech Cards
Here’s something different, and much-needed about now—upbeat vibes from a music retailer.

Virgin Megastores is launching what the chain has dubbed its V.I.P. (for Virgin Important Person) Loyalty Program. Customers who sign up for the free program (which involves filling out a brief application in the store) will get a V.I.P. card entitling them to a points/rewards initiative, special discounts and such perks as concert tickets, backstage passes and instant prizes.

“We know that the market for loyalty programs is competitive, and we also know there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to these types of programs,” VEG Sr. Director of Marketing Dee McLaughlin acknowledges. “However, we are confident that our V.I.P. program will offer unique premiums that will motivate and reward our most loyal customers.”

The program, which gets underway this month, will be based on the GraphiCard technology and CRM (short for Customer Relationship Management) system developed by Visible Results USA. When V.I.P. members insert their cards into a countertop unit during each transaction, the card will come alive—by way of what Visible Results describes as a “cutting-edge thermo-chromic process”—with an updated points tally reflecting the most recent purchase, along with other data customized for each member, e.g., details of special promotions and sales, advertising messages and particulars of instant-win games.

A rewriteable magnetic strip incorporated into the back of the card stores specific data about transactions as they occur. It also enables the back of the card to be rewritten every time it is presented, turning it into a self-contained database that eliminates extensive, costly systems integration while giving customers high-tech rockets in their pockets.

Says VEG North America CEO Simon Wright of the program: “According to expert analysts, retailers that get the most payback from loyalty programs are careful to measure vital metrics, like gross margin per customer and the lifetime value of a customer, as well as getting ongoing feedback from their customers to provide rewards that customers feel are valuable. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our unique V.I.P. program. We have researched the type of loyalty programs that work, and we are confident that the Virgin V.I..P program will add to our success as a music retailer.”