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Relaunching the Sun Country Airlines Frequent Flyer Program

What happens when your customer loyalty program needs an update, but a key component of the program has been retired and existing members have become disinterested? Sun Country Airlines came to Olive & Company for a fix.

Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines has been a leader in the low-cost vacation destination airline market for more than 30 years. In 2011, they were acquired by Cambria. Under the new ownership, the airline’s goal was to increase growth by adding new routes to attract business travelers.

The Challenge: A Skeleton Program with Little Support

Business travelers love loyalty programs, right? Typically, yes. But there was a problem. Upon reviewing the current state of the Sun Country Loyalty program, they realized it had lost momentum with their leisure travelers and key components of the program itself had been chipped away. It lacked basic collateral (e.g., membership cards) and their long-established “Ufly Rewards Plus VIP” program was retired with no replacement plan in place.

“Not only are (Olive & Company) extremely talented, detail-oriented and knowledgeable, they took the time to understand our brand and objectives and exceeded our expectations throughout the entire process.”

They quickly realized it would need a complete reboot to bring back leisure customers before they could add the point- and mile-conscious business traveler to the mix. Additionally, Sun Country Airlines was hoping to increase membership with the next generation of flyers with a co-branded rewards credit card, which was part of a future rollout.

The Solution: A Fresh Approach

The solution was to create the “Fare & Share – Get there quicker” program. It was a first-of-its-kind community flyer program where business travelers, families, and friends could pool points to earn free tickets faster. The idea was to quickly build a loyal audience by keeping the barriers to earning free tickets as low as possible. Olive & Company built an entire campaign around putting the customer first and prioritizing messaging to match their needs.

It started with a brochure. The application brochure carried the weight of the Ufly program–introducing all components and key messaging. It was the first touch point for many Sun Country flyers.

From there, Olive developed and designed a set of marketing collateral that put a heavy emphasis on a variety of important message points. The focus shifted depending on the delivery medium and audience, but the core messaging remained strong throughout each piece, including:

  • Standard and elite membership kits with customized membership cards
  • Program application brochure
  • Minneapolis light rail train wrap
  • MSP airport terminal wall graphics
  • In-flight magazine print ad
  • Star Tribune print ad
  • Airplane seat back inserts
  • Ticket jacket

Results: A Loyal Basis for Continued Success

We pushed traditional boundaries to create solutions that ensured the success of the relaunch. Sun Country was impressed with the momentum they gained throughout the campaign despite the highly competitive nature of their industry.

The UFly community loyalty program endeared customers to the brand, building a loyal following that contributed to Sun Country’s success as they launched the co-branded rewards credit card. Ultimately, all of the program objectives were achieved within the desired timeframe, which led to Olive’s favorite result: happy clients.

“Not only are (Olive & Company) extremely talented, detail-oriented and knowledgeable, they took the time to understand our brand and objectives and exceeded our expectations throughout the entire process. Our launch would not have been successful without Olive & Company’s partnership.”

– Kelsey Dodson-Smith, Manager, Media and Promotions, Sun Country Airlines

“Olive & Company totally delivered. The marketing efforts around re-launching our loyalty program required a reliable, collaborative partner that could dig in and discern our objectives in a highly regulated and competitive industry. Our Olive & Company team did just that. They brought clever ideas to the table and were willing to create solutions outside traditional boundaries. Barriers became opportunities. They added value every step of the way.”
– Michelle Ewald, Manager, Loyalty Marketing, Sun Country Airlines

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Olive & Company
Founded in 2003, Olive & Company has dedicated our existence to a single purpose: providing finely tuned Modern Marketing solutions that drive brands and deliver business results. By helping brands stay in tune with emerging trends and technology, we give them the tools they need to adapt and refine their strategies to better engage and inspire their audiences.