With falling consumer confidence and a slow economic growth outlook, brands are intensifying the fight for consumer loyalty. Mobile is emerging as a powerful enabler – and driver – of brand loyalty in SA. The latest FNB/BER consumer confidence index showed a sharp decline, as fewer consumers expected their household finances to improve in the next 12 months. At the same time, the World Bank has slashed SA’s economic growth outlook from 1.1% to a meagre 0.6%. Faced with customers who have less to spend, brands are investing time and resources in building strong and attractive loyalty programmes that help them retain existing customers. Research by Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention by only 5% led to an increase in profits of between 25%-95%. The cost of acquiring customers is also discouragingly high: according to the Harvard Business Review, it costs between five and 25 times as much to acquire a customer as it does to retain one. Loyalty programmes play a signi...

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