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The Associated Press reports on how dunnhumbyUSA, which is co-owned by Tesco and Kroger, “has gone beyond gathering and mining Kroger loyalty card and survey information to provide consulting for retail clients including The Home Depot Corp. home improvement chain, Macy's Inc. department stores, electronics retailer Best Buy Inc., Panera Bread cafes, and car parts chain AutoZone Inc. It also provides information for some 150 consumer products clients, including Procter & Gamble Co. and Campbell Soup Co.”

Here’s how dunnhumbyUSA CEO Stuart Aitken describes the approach that has helped “Kroger weather the recession better than other grocers”:

“"I liken it to a bucket,” he says. “Let's pretend you have a bucket of customers. Many companies are focused on finding another faucet to fill that bucket, while Kroger focuses on plugging the hole in that bucket.”

And while he won’t give specifics, Aitken says that this same approach is being used in the work that dunnhumbyUSA is doing for other clients.
KC's View:
From my perspective, the most important thing that they’re doing is starting from the right premise. The story notes that dunnhumby co-founder Clive Humby expects the enterprise to keep growing “behind its statistical insights into consumer behavior and focus on ‘the retailer learning to be loyal to its customers’.”

That last line is the most important one. The best loyalty program is one that consistently demonstrates the retailer’s loyalty to its customers, as opposed to just throwing coupons at them in the desperate hope that they’ll be loyal to the retailer.