We gave United the tools it needed to create a more personalized loyalty program.


With an astounding 52 million members, United Airline’s “Mileage Plus” had quickly become the second-largest loyalty program in the industry. Customer feedback, however, showed that members found the program complex, inconsistent and hard to use. They didn’t feel special, and they didn’t understand all the benefits available to them. United needed to improve both its communication style and its method of information delivery.


Through intensive research, we discovered that members were overwhelmed and confused by mixed messages and conflicting voices. Even worse, United spoke to its members as a generic whole rather than as unique individuals. While Mileage Plus collected a lot of data, it wasn’t using that data intelligently, and there was no overarching communications strategy. To remedy this, our team created a branding blueprint that illustrated how all interactions could be aligned with member preferences and could embody at least one of Mileage Plus’ four strategic pillars—Show me, Encourage me, Help me and Recognize me.

To combat complexity, we simplified the program’s long list of ambiguous terms and developed voice attributes to help all employees communicate in a voice that is uniquely United. As for the most frequently used channel, MileagePlus.com, we created a completely new look and feel that offers a more personalized experience, recognizes individual’s achievements, and provides useful and relevant information on the program’s offerings.


The new MileagePlus.com launched with unanimous positive feedback, and the whole United team is now energized and confident that they can continue to speak to members in a more personal way. And no matter what medium delivers the message—from call center to kiosk to website to direct mail—the experience will be consistent, engaging and easy to understand.

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