Even I’m not immune to the power of loyalty cards.

There’s a chapter in the Money Diet called “Forget Loyalty”. I’ve ranted about it on telly and radio countless times, yet I must admit, even I’m not immune to the power of certain loyalty marketing promotions.

GM-TV is filmed at London Television Studios. On a Tuesday I go in for 7.30, do my live slot and then wait three hours to do a second, pre-recorded one. During this time, I often head down to one of the on-site catering facilities that has its own internal Starbucks. This is great; because it’s an internal franchise, it’s roughly half the price of a normal Starbucks for the same product. I often have a decaf latte as a poncy treat.

Yet this branch has a “Buy 8 speciality coffees/teas & get the 9th free” promotion; each time you buy a coffee you get your little card stamped. And I have to confess, there’s something deviously tempting about that when I’m choosing where I go to have breakfast; often the thought of it plays on my mind and I want to go have it stamped some more.

Worse still, if I see someone else’s card while I’m in the queue, I find myself checking to see if they’re further along than me (a symptom of my dreadful competitiveness!).

I do fight these impulses, asking “is it rational? Is it constructive?”, a simple mantra I often use when I need to make a decision unswayed by emotion (ok and I know using it on a coffee is perhaps overkill); yet I feel just for my reputation alone I have to fight being drawn down the marketing path.

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