JetBlue says their customer is ‘The Human Class’. They’re not business travellers or holidaymakers. They’re people who just happen to fly for business or leisure. So it’s important to JetBlue that they bring back what they consider to be the human element in the way they treat their customers. For this reason, everyone at JetBlue is charged with ‘inspiring humanity among customers and stakeholders every day’.
To tell us more about what makes this partnership special, meet Scott Resnick, JetBlue’s Director of Loyalty Marketing.
Hi Scott. How does JetBlue reward its customers, and how does that help make the JetBlue credit card unique?
As Director of Loyalty Marketing, I oversee JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty programme. We work every day to help deliver a great JetBlue experience and make our customers want to keep flying with us.
The TrueBlue programme is a little different. It’s not just for frequent flyers; it’s about occasional flyers too. Some customers only fly once or twice a year, but we still want them to feel like they are making progress toward earning free travel. Our programme is set up around this goal. For example, all of our points, including the points earned by spending on the new JetBlue credit card never expire, so our customers can build them up over time.
TrueBlue also offers Family Pooling, which allows families or groups to combine their points to get to award travel more quickly. Our customers can define their own ‘family’ – they don’t need to be related. And our customers can use points whenever they like, even on a busy day or a national holiday like Easter or Christmas.
I think TrueBlue is about being more generous, when other programmes are becoming less generous. We want to make incremental changes to be more generous to our customers.
Why did you want to collaborate with Barclaycard?
Barclaycard stood out in our selection process as having a proven and successful track record for building and creating great products and partnerships. Building good relationships with our business partners is really important at JetBlue, and the more we worked together, it became clear that our cultures were very complementary.
We also found that Barclaycard’s values complemented JetBlue’s - Safety, Caring, Integrity, Passion and Fun. We think we can be different together.
What makes this partnership stand out?
Our new offerings are really generous. Our new JetBlue Card has no annual fee; and offers three points for every dollar spent on JetBlue flights on top of the points offered for every other transaction. Customers also get 50% off on-board purchases. The JetBlue Plus Card offers six points for every dollar spent on JetBlue flights, and both cards offer extra points for restaurants and grocery stores.
There’s also been a real willingness by Barclaycard to be innovative and to embrace the spirit of the JetBlue brand. You can see this right down to the card design. Our media activity has been different and fun; it’s played to our strengths and created a real connection to our brand. All of that has had a big impact on the rate of response to the JetBlue credit card. Even before we launched it, customers were interested.
And what made it challenging?
Converting to a different issuer is very complex – customer service, data and regulatory issues all have to be handled properly. But it’s been so impressive to see everyone come together to get things done. I’m proud of all the teams.
What do you love most about your job?
JetBlue is a big company that feels like a small one. You have the opportunity to create and to do what’s right for the customer. We have carte blanche to do big things that benefit the customer.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
When it comes to success or failure, how you make people feel can have just as big of an impact as how hard you work. In addition to talking about targets and goals, at JetBlue we talk a lot about how we make people feel. We invest in our people and working relationships.
What question do you wish we’d asked you?
I wished you had asked about the team that made this card launch happen. The success of the card is due to the effort of the whole team. Be it the tech team ensuring the transition to Barclaycard was seamless, the legal organisation, accounting, corporate communications, marketing, advertising – everyone put in a monumental effort.
What kept the team going?
It’s a once-in-a-career moment, in that it’s unusual to create a credit card from the ground up – to build it, design it and launch it. At JetBlue, we’ve taken a lot of pride in that.
Then there’s the partnership aspect of it. When you work with a partner you trust and commit to, you aim to please. You don’t want to let anyone down, and it works both ways. That, combined with the pride and excitement we felt, really motivated us at JetBlue.