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LOYALTY PROGRAMS  -  A legal scam behind consumer marketing

“If you purchase something for $ 750 instead of $ 1000, you did not save $ 250, you spent $ 750.” — Vala Afshar

Companies use loyalty programs to control you.

It’s time to wake up and see the truth behind the shining rewards.

Customer Loyalty Program traps you into your primal desire for instant gratification. The companies that offer them know exactly what they are doing. They want you to come back for more and they will do anything to keep you.

What is a customer loyalty program?

Before we get into the twisted psychology behind these programs, let’s get one thing clear: what exactly are they? At its most basic, a loyalty program is how businesses keep customers coming back.

The principle is simple: you shop, earn points or rewards, then use those rewards to buy discounted or free products.

It’s like an endless loop of endless consumption.

You know what’s worse? It’s not just small businesses that are caught in this scam.

Big companies run their own loyalty programs. Their reward program has lured millions of customers into trap of discount and vouchers.

Clever psychology behind loyalty programs

What makes loyalty programs so irresistible? Simple: They tap into our most primal desires, our need for instant gratification.

Let’s take a closer look at the psychological factors at play.

1) Activates the pleasure center: First, they use reward to activate the pleasure center in the brain. They know that you naturally seek out positive experiences and avoid negative ones. Thus, they offer you rewards for shopping in their store or using their products. It’s like giving a dog a show treat. You keep playing and they keep giving you treats.

2) Get the FOMO flowing: They create a feeling of exclusivity. They offer rewards that are only available to members of the program, making you feel like part of a special group. It taps into your innate sense of place and you keep coming back to maintain that feeling of exclusivity. It’s like being part of a VIP club, but you’re really just a number in their database.

3) Make them feel guilty: They use the principle of reciprocity to their advantage. They offer rewards for your loyalty, which requires you to repay that loyalty. It is a powerful psychological quirk that drives human behavior. When you feel you have something, you are more likely to give back. But in reality, the rewards they offer are often a ploy to get you to spend more than usual.

Thats why loyalty programs have a dark side. Companies can manipulate us into creating an illusion of value with their rewards, making us spend more than we normally would. They can make us feel entitled, and if we don’t get ours back, we leave them to someone who will cater to our every whim. It is a vicious circle in which we willingly fall.

Why do loyalty programs work?

So we know that loyalty programs use powerful psychological drivers, but why are they so effective?

The answer lies in the concept of sunk costs.

When we invest time or money in something, we are less likely to give it up. This is known as the sunk cost fallacy. With loyalty programs, customers invest time and money in order to be rewarded. They have already built a sense of belonging to these rewards and are therefore less likely to switch to a competitor.

In addition to the illusion of sunk cost, loyalty programs harness the power of habit. When we regularly buy from a particular store or brand, it becomes a habit. We don’t even think about it anymore, we do it. It’s called the habit loop, and it’s a powerful force in our lives. By offering rewards for loyalty, businesses can reinforce these habits and build customer loyalty.

Dark side of loyalty programs

Don’t be fooled by corporate manipulation.

The real danger of loyalty programs is that they can be used to manipulate you. Companies can create an illusion of value with their rewards, causing you to spend more than you normally would. They make you feel like you’re entitled, and if you don’t get what you get in return, you leave them to someone who will cater to your every whim. It is a vicious circle in which you fall voluntarily.

Let’s not forget the data. Companies use loyalty programs to collect information about your shopping habits, personal information, and even your location. They know where you are, what you bought and how much you spent. It’s like having a stalker you’re willing to give all your information to.

You think you’re getting something for free, but you’re actually paying for it with your personal information. They use this information to create targeted marketing campaigns that entice you to spend more money. They know exactly which button to press to get more money.

Ultimately, loyalty programs aren’t what they seem. Their trick is to keep you coming back for more, making you spend more money, and keeping you under their control. It’s time to wake up and see the truth behind the shiny rewards.

So what can you do?

The answer is simple: considerate.

Be aware of the psychological trick’s companies use to control you. Make sure you really get what you pay for and don’t just fall for the illusion of rewards. Remember, the real reward is not in the loyalty program itself, but in the satisfaction, you get from spending your money wisely.

It’s time to take control and stop playing their game.

Don’t be a pawn in their plans. Think twice when a company offers you a loyalty program.

Remember there is always a catch.

Thanks for reading…

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