Content and COVID: How thought experiences fuel new conversation between companies and consumers

Updated: Jan 21

The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the dilemmas faced by credit card companies whose aspirational rewards programs struggle in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s changes to our travel and spending habits. Other media outlets have asked this question: What does the pandemic mean for the relationship between companies and the customers whose loyalty they need now more than ever? Rewards that once gave customers valuable perks and a sense of status no longer hold the same value. So, what earns loyalty in a society evolving as rapidly as ours?

According to Northwestern University professor of marketing and integrated communications Dr. Candy Lee, meeting the newly established need for connection and personalization is the key to retaining loyalty mid-pandemic.

“I think trust is established in a variety of ways,” Dr. Lee muses. “Being able to give content that is engaging to the reader that says, ‘this is something that I know you want’ is important.”

Dr. Lee maintains you can’t place enough value on that kind of content during the pandemic because consumer habits are changing, and personalization is becoming both more necessary and easier to provide. And that’s precisely why eMags Rewards offers unprecedented variety in the best entertainment and news content with no obligation to customers. Trust, the vital precursor to loyalty, has never been this solidly deserved.

“eMags Rewards provides infinite possibilities for personalized, positive engagement,” eMags Rewards President Larry Nichter says. “We have created an opportunity for customers to choose from the best digital content, with no additional commitments, beautifully delivered to their phones, all wrapped in our client’s branding. Oh, and the gift keeps giving with a full year of updated content, again, courtesy of your brand.”

For years, eMagazines (parent company to eMags Rewards) has cultivated relationships with the industry’s most respected publishers to bring magazine content to life in the digital space as it’s never been done before. On the digital shelf are all the heavyweights of the magazine industry in the United States. eMags Rewards provides the ability to offer a huge choice of digital subscriptions to magazines that go with with you anywhere, accessible and readable even on a plane with no internet connection.

With a simple touch, you can travel again, connect with the world again, and enjoy a gift with no strings attached. Our rewards provide what Dr. Lee calls “thought experiences,” and they are redefining engagement in the pandemic.

“Engagement [in today’s climate] might be how I think about my relationship with a brand,” Dr. Lee says. It’s not necessarily about a purchase need anymore. It’s deeper than that.

Providing thought experiences like the entertainment and news publications offered by eMags Rewards unveils a profound opportunity to connect with customers in the age of COVID-19. Meeting customers in the unique situation we find ourselves in is the only way to nourish a relationship where both loyalty and trust can be cultivated, earning loyalty motivated by positive interactions. It’s fundamentally changed the conversation between consumers and the companies who provide rewards.

“I think it’s made it more relevant,” Dr. Lee asserts.

eMags Rewards gives customers valuable thought experiences in the form of consumer-friendly digital content that requires absolutely nothing from them but enjoyment and an open mind.

“Who wouldn’t want to give your customer joy?” asks Nichter. “And every time they receive a new edition, who will they think of? You.”

We’re at a crossroads in the way we communicate and establish relationships with each other, as well as how we say thank you to our customers. eMags Rewards is offering what no one else is right now- a glimpse into the future of marketing, consumer relationships and rewards in a world gripped by uncertainty. Safe, personalized content starts a conversation in the best possible context, opening the door to positive engagement and loyalty that lasts.


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