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SUBCARD: The Ultimate in Sustained Success
Channel - Best Loyalty Programme Gold
Subway Restaurants
Entrant Credits
Monique Ferguson, Lou Kivell and Allie Hogan
Nominee Credits
Jo Reynolds and Michelle Johnson
Entry Rationale
Injecting some Kiwi fun

Launched in 2006, SUBCARD was the first, and still remains the only, loyalty programme in the NZ quick service restaurant (QSR) sector.  Anecdotally, it is understood that it has set such a high benchmark that some leading competitors have been persuaded to not launch weaker me-too programmes until they can leapfrog it.  This in turn has driven an ongoing push for innovation within SUBCARD to ensure it maintains leadership.

SUBCARD, as a rewards-earning loyalty programme, provides SUBWAY with more frequent, higher spending customers, plus a cost-effective channel to communicate directly to customers via eDM, receipt, SMS and mobile messaging.

Any programme operating in its seventh year of existence needs to consider some key challenges:
  • wear-out in terms of formats
  • boredom from both business owners and customers
  • and generally, lack of change

All SUBCARD creative needs to conform to the SUBWAY brand, but they do have licence to be just that little more Kiwi, injecting fun into their creative for point-of-sale and eDMs. It is extremely important that this programme is appealing. Every SUBWAY customer should want to be a part of the programme, so the aim of all communications is to be positive, fresh, energetic and straightforward.

Key objectives entering into the FY11/12 period were multi-pronged:
  • increase customer engagement – increase registered user base by at least 20% and ensure email open rates remained over 30% (higher than industry average of 25%)
  • drive sales from existing and new channels – increase sales of registered base to at least 3x unregistered; make the smartphone App SUBWAY’s biggest store
  • develop new technology to improve the customer experience.

But what makes this story a great one, is that sustained success hasn’t come from just one kick-ass promotional activity, but from a marketing strategy that has deployed numerous tactics to reinvigorate SUBCARD and make it truly the best loyalty programme - setting it up for further value growth in the next 12-24 months.