Scotiabank is set on making a Scene+

The bank has big plans for its merged loyalty program in 2022, but first it needs to get its 10 million members on board with new features.

The team behind one of Canada’s largest loyalty programs will be spending its time in the coming weeks briefing its members about all of the changes that will result from the merger of Cineplex’s popular Scene program with Scotiabank’s Scotia Rewards to create Scene+.

The first priority is making sure existing members are well-informed and keep them engaged during the process – an astute approach, since not doing so has caused headaches for other merged loyalty programs in the past.

“We’re going to be going through a series of onboarding programs to bring the richness of the new program to life and introduce all of our members to all that they can look forward to with Scene+,” says Matthew Seagrim, managing director of the new program. “Scene has received a lot of recognition over the past few years for the sophistication of our onboarding programs, and we’re looking forward to bringing that experience to bear with this new program.”

The campaign will kick off in earnest in 2022, he notes, leveraging email as well as the program’s new website and app to connect with its more than 10 million members.

The goal is to give them a “thorough introduction” to the new benefits they’ll have available, including enhanced travel rewards through a partnership with Expedia, integration into Apple and Best Buy’s ecommerce platforms, and a new agreement with cash back retail platform Rakuten that will give Scene+ cardholders expanded opportunities to earn points.

“From a member’s perspective, they no longer have to choose which program they want. They have much more flexibility as to where they can earn and what they redeem for as well,” says Clinton Braganza, SVP of customer loyalty and sponsorships with Scotiabank.

Then comes a bigger push to expand membership, with campaigns planned for the general public.

A stronger loyalty program is of benefit to Scotia, because “loyalty is very important from a banking perspective,” says Braganza. “We see very strong evidence that if you have a compelling offer from a loyalty program perspective, it can have a direct impact on your business,” he adds.

Scene was already the leading specialty retail loyalty program in Canada, according to Bond Brand Loyalty. According to the team’s own research, “Scene is a beloved and well-known brand that doesn’t have any baggage associated with it,” hence the decision to maintain the new program’s ties to what already existed.

“We’ve been building a pretty meaningful-sized program in Canada, but as the value of the program increases, we believe the membership count will grow as well,” explains Braganza. “We believe we’re leveraging the equity in the [Scene] brand name, but also with the Plus, we’re giving a nod to this being a better program than it has been in the past.”