Enjoy the Journey with JOURNIE Rewards
By Tania Moffat
Loyalty programs are touted for their ability to boost revenue by increasing customer retention and engagement. Typically, they are set up as a reward system that sees clients earn, save and use points they’ve accumulated from purchases. Creating the perfect program for your customers, however, isn’t just a plug and play exercise. Parkland Corporation, a leading convenience and fuel marketer with operations spanning 25 countries, wanted to create something more in-tune with their customer’s desires.
“JOURNIE Rewards is different by design. We knew from our research that saving money on fuel was the number one thing our customers wanted from their loyalty program but we felt it was important to introduce convenience-related rewards as well. Our team developed a high-frequency micro rewards program with a fuel discount as the big prize,” says Steve McClelland, vice president, loyalty programs and partnerships at Parkland.
Parkland’s JOURNIE Rewards began launching in March 2020, however that was interrupted when the Covid-19 pandemic hit North-America. After a brief pause on the release, JOURNIE Rewards was successfully rolled out a few months later. By the end of June 2020, customers were collecting and redeeming their fuel savings at over 1,000 participating Chevron, Ultramar and Pioneer stations across Canada.
Creating the perfect JOURNIE
Working on a 300-point cycle, JOURNIE Rewards provides members with a seven-cent fuel discount (up to 100 litres) at completion. To assist with forecourt and backcourt conversions, additional convenience store rewards are given along the way at 75 and 150 points, which allows for customers to receive a reward every two to four fills, creating the high-frequency program Parkland was after. A carbon offset was added in 2021 to the redeemable options for their more environmentally inclined customers. Instead of choosing a c-store item such as water, pop or chips, members are able to offset the carbon from 45 litres of fuel.
“Introducing the carbon offset was more than just a way to introduce a new benefit for interested members. We wanted our customers to see that we are listening them and adding new features as we go along,” explains McClelland.
Customer response to Parkland’s JOURNIE Rewards program has been overwhelming, accumulating thousands of new members daily. “Our operators have done an amazing job embracing the program. After just one year, we are the fourth largest fuel loyalty program in our category by site count, with approximately two million members. JOURNIE Rewards is right up there with the majors, right beside Esso, Shell and Petro Canada,” McClelland shares.
Parkland’s established alliance with CIBC provides another benefit to members with a CIBC account. By linking their personal CIBC debit and credit cards to their reward account, customers receive a three-cent discount on every fuel purchase when they pay with that card.
Building new partnerships
“We developed the program to be different and you can see that reflected in the partnerships that we have developed along the way. Golf Canada and CanaDream represent two large customer groups that are perfect for us. They are outdoor, adventurous and journey-related,” says McClelland of their newest partners.
Teaming up with CanaDream, Canada’s leading RV rental and sales operator was an ideal pairing. All CanaDream guests renting or purchasing an RV are given access to an exclusive JOURNIE Rewards card which entitles them to receive a fuel discount for the duration of their trip. Existing JOURNIE Rewards members are also entitled to save five per cent off their rental charges.
“It’s a perfect partnership. RVs are thirsty vehicles, and their renters typically drive 1,000s of kilometres, so the savings is impactful. Travellers can also save on snacks and drinks they purchase along the way. We are proud to be able to offer savings for a family adventure like this so that more Canadians can explore our great country,” McClelland adds.
As the official fuel and convenience store partner of Golf Canada, Parkland Corporation is also helping people fuel their trips to the golf course this summer. By inviting Golf Canada members to be part of the JOURNIE Rewards loyalty program, Parkland hopes golfers make their way to even more courses this year. After 25 rounds, members are entered to win a destination golf experience at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria.
Forging into the future
There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for the JOURNIE Rewards program. Now that it has been fully launched in Canada, Parkland is looking to expand the program to its US and Caribbean customers. “The programs will likely differ somewhat as we want them to be reflective of the market they are serving. Parkland plans to introduce our JOURNIE Rewards brand in the US later this year. After that, we will look to open it up in some of the 23 countries in the Caribbean that we serve,” McClelland says.
In the meantime, Parkland will continue to look at new partnerships and new ways of engaging with their existing partners to provide members with unique offers. “We love the JOURNIE brand because it speaks to life being a journey and we want to make that journey a little bit better for all of our customers with the program,” shares McClelland. At the rate the program is growing, it would seem their customers agree.
Tania Moffat is a freelance writer, editor, publisher and photographer. She has worked in the publishing industry for the last 16 years on a wide variety of B2B and consumer publications, both in print and online. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org