Fractional shares are the cross border reward we didn’t know we needed
There is something incredibly comforting about traveling across the world and still being able to enjoy your favorite coffee. No matter how far one is from home, finding a familiar brand naturally draws one in, and provides an element of reliability — especially when it comes to food and one is unsure of the local options. International franchising is like a security blanket: it’s comfortable, and you know what you’re going to get. From a brand’s perspective it also makes a lot of sense, as they are able to bring their product beyond its original borders with minimal risk. Brands spend millions of dollars making sure that there is adequate quality control for a seemingly seamless experience, whether you are in New York City, Tokyo, or Johannesburg. They also greatly value the overall importance of tailored experiences for their consumers, making sure that their locations do not feel like a copy-and-paste, and, if possible, retain a local flavor.
Ironically, consistency is what makes these products international. The brand identity, the marketing message, and the company’s values need to universally shine through in any language and space. That is an interesting exercise for brands, as they need to ensure simplicity, uniformity, and permeability to the local culture. These are all elements that make consumer trust that what they are getting into it’s just like at home — because most people do not feel very adventurous after a 12-hours flight, or when they feel homesick. These are the true loyal consumers, the ones who truly see a brand as “home”.
We asked ourselves why are these most-loyal consumers not getting rewarded for choosing their favorite brands abroad? To us, it seems that these are the consumers one should treasure and spoil, yet the only thing they get is a bad exchange rate. Brands have not fully embraced their inter-nationality through their rewards programs — in fact the majority of reward cards are bound to national borders. This is not too surprising, as often there are local regulations and laws connected to these reward systems. Additionally, as was said in our article on international brands & local rewards, different countries prefer different rewards.
It is indeed time to re-imagine the rewards ecosystem, and include innovative, cross-border rewards that make loyalty an international affair. By using fractional shares, BITS lets consumers enjoy their rewards worldwide — and with that, it lets the brands become truly international. It empowers shoppers to choose their favorite brands anywhere in the world, and allows for brands to provide a frictionless reward system without any additional costs or time. Consumers’ lifestyles have become increasingly international, and a new kind of rewards model is needed to make sure that loyal consumers get rewarded no matter where they are in the world — if they can carry their brand preferences abroad, the least a brand can do is to carry their rewards with them.