Loyalty and reward programs have always relied on tried-and-true products that appeal to a wide variety of people: vacations, large TVs, and swanky home goods. But the popularity of digital media like e-books and games points to a new direction for these programs, and
is leading the way.
Started in 2010, the company takes digital assets and prices them in a way that's customized for a specific reward program. For example, an airline might assign a penny-and-a-half value to each of its miles. PointTunes works with that point value amount and determines how assets like online games can be awarded to customers with an appropriate level of points.
The company works with rewards administrators, and even handles the shopping experience, notes Bill Cunningham, PointTunes founder and CEO. His deep roots and experience in the rewards industry go all the way back to age 16, when he started working for Carlson Marketing Group.
"In 20 years in the business, I was seeing that not much had changed," he says. "Rewards administrators were still tied to physical rewards, while the rest of the world had gone digital. That pushed me toward founding PointTunes."
The rewards and loyalty industry is poised to explode in the next year or so, he notes, and the Millenials who are now getting jobs and starting families are expecting more digital options when they sign up for these types of programs.
"They want to be able to download immediately, and be engaged with those brands," says Cunningham. "At the same time, retiring Boomers are downloading more books and movies, and they have those same expectations of being able to take advantage of their reward points immediately."
That shift should bring more robust growth to Minneapolis-based PointTunes, Cunningham notes.
Source: Bill Cunningham, PointTunes
Writer: Elizabeth Millard