It looks like Microsoft is going the Club Nintendo route and will be implementing an affinity program in the near future. Such programs can be used effectively to retain customers and build brand loyalty. Kotaku got its hands on one of the invites for the pilot. Here’s an excerpt:
This is an exclusive pilot rewards program. That means that the people who get in get stuff. Cool stuff. You want cool stuff, right? Sure you do, we all want stuff. Especially cool stuff. Well, you’ve only got until October 21, 2009 to let us know you want cool stuff, because after that, the doors close and someone else gets the cool stuff.
I’m an absolute sucker for affinity programs. Whether it’s fast-food joints, grocery stores, airlines, etc., I almost always get a card and almost always spend more than I ought to trying to gain points. There’s a 99-percent chance that Microsoft will sucker me into this one too.
What do you think of programs like this and Club Nintendo? Do they make you more loyal to the company? Do you think Microsoft will loudly introduce some really cool benefits so that it can quietly raise the price of Xbox Live?