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Meaningful connections through a rewards program

By John Rivera

In a world of instant interactions, we crave meaningful connections. Although technology has brought us new ways to communicate, we still look for connections that make us feel special, the ones that leave a lasting impression.

We strive to make connections that matter - not just in our personal relationships, but in our relationships with businesses, the community and organizations as well.

We interact with businesses and organizations on social media – the same platform that we use to chat with our friends and family - and we expect more than just the scripted responses from the businesses we support.

Connecting with consumers is not just about mere communication. A strong connection is about building strong relationships. Oftentimes, people don’t just want a solution, they want someone to be there for them, too.

You can’t get that through advertising alone. Advertising may provide a surface-level connection, but it doesn’t have the reach it once had. Additionally, as we continue to experience a sluggish recovery following the pandemic, many businesses will likely resort to cost-cutting, and much of those cuts will affect marketing budgets.


Many businesses have resorted to digital advertising and social media to meet budget restraints. However, all the benefits of digital advertising have caused it to become a bit crowded and businesses would do well to consider novel strategies for fueling excellence. Such strategies may include further developing meaningful connections with consumers and even other businesses. Companies that initially grew organically need to look for fresh ways to entice and delight both new and existing customers.

A business can go beyond the standard modes of communication by offering a meaningful connection to consumers through a rewards program. While the savvy consumer understands the benefits of a rewards program, businesses should consider how a rewards program can improve their own marketing strategies.

Consumers are becoming more selective of where they spend their money since they have so many options available online and locally. They look for value and a personalized experience. Rewards programs offer a way to provide this and can be thought of as a more sophisticated way to advertise.


In many ways, rewards can be more effective than ads. Consumers are not only purchasing a brand or product, they are also enjoying an experience. This will lead to a powerful marketing tool: word of mouth. Customers that have a positive experience are going to tell their friends about it, which means the business will grow. We all deserve to eat, drink, Happy!

A rewards program adds even more value to a customer because they can redeem rewards in more places. In fact, it’s not just a rewards program, it’s a rewards network that connects businesses to each other and to customers. It’s a network that provides support for advertising and organic and paid social media.


Rewards programs make customers feel appreciated, especially when they provide personalized offers based on the customer’s shopping behaviors. Through data collected through a rewards program, a business can gain insights into consumers’ shopping behaviors, such as what they find valuable, where they shop, and what they buy.

It's a win-win strategy that benefits the consumer and the business. Rewards programs encourage businesses to adopt a customer-centric mindset. A business must think beyond the transaction.

The goal of any business should be to create experiences that lead to meaningful connections, relationships and partnerships. After all, it’s easier to support a business that supports you. It not hard to see that some things just GO WELL together.

John J. Rivera is director of Human Resources and Corporate Development of Citadel Pacific, Ltd. Rivera has 15 years of diverse experience in public administration, business, and academia.

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