The Virgin Group looks like it is finally getting serious about customer loyalty with the expansion of the Virgin Red scheme – first launched in 2015 and relaunched in 2018 and 2020 – with plans to scrap its invitation-only ethos to roll out the programme to an estimated 20 million group customers.
The move follows the appointment of two marketing agencies, brand engagement specialists Glow London and creative agency Truant London, to handle the roll-out, following a four-way competitive pitch. The business is claimed to be worth £3m in UK media billings.
Virgin Red will work alongside the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and cover all UK Virgin branded companies, including Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Active, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Hotels, Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Balloon flights, Virgin Vouchers, and Virgin Money and also includes non-Virgin companies as well.
The scheme offers members five categories, including with what it calls “everyday treats” such as drinks and snacks, “travel and adventure” on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Voyages, and “extraordinary experiences” from Virgin Experience Days and EMI Records.
In addition there are “points for good” giving members opportunity to donate to charity via Virgin Money Giving and “everyday living”, where customers can earn Virgin Points on from a range of high street and online retailers including Marks & Spencer, Boots, B&Q, John Lewis and Partners and Just Eat.
At the most recent relaunch, in November 2020, Virgin Red chief marketing officer Kelly Best said: “Being a member of Virgin Red is not just about earning Virgin Points – it’s about helping members live a life more Virgin by discovering all of the amazing products and services the Virgin companies offer.
“Virgin Red has been built by understanding what our members need, want and love and creating a club that revolves around them. Virgin Red has been designed to help members collect Virgin Points on their everyday spend so they can save for the things that really matter to them – from everyday treats and extraordinary Virgin experiences to supporting the build of carbon removal technology or donating points to local charities through Virgin Money Giving.
“Virgin Red exists to reward and recognise its members – so we will always listen to them to ensure we evolve based on what our members tell us they want as well as responding to the challenges everyone is facing at the moment – to ensure our rewards stay relevant no matter what the future may hold.
“This is another reason why we’re inviting small groups of members to join Virgin Red over the course of several weeks – as we embark on our very own test and learn phase ahead of our open-market launch next year. Launching in a controlled way like this, helps us refine the programme and ensure everything is working as it should.”
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