Once upon a time, vehicle brand loyalty was tied very much to the human side of the car business, especially here in Michigan. If your dad worked for Ford, you bought Ford. If you liked your saleswoman at the Dodge dealership, you went back to her to buy or lease another Dodge. As time has gone on, and leasing has become so popular, the idea of changing vehicles every few years has become commonplace.
That means even car companies have to find alternative methods to secure repeat customers. Just like hotel chains, restaurants, stores, and movie theaters, automotive brands have started creating their own loyalty programs. Now, Jeep, along with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is the latest brand making a foray into the loyalty world.
The new initiative, called Jeep Wave, is set to start in 2019. It is a bit of a hybrid between loyalty programs and another newer trend, subscription ownership.
It will grant members “Jeep Coins” which can be exchanged to borrow a variety of Jeep models or other FCA vehicles, similar to existing subscription models from other companies. The service will come in three paid tiers. The more members spend each month, the more luxurious the vehicles they have access to will be.
A program like this would allow a Jeep driver who has paid for the appropriate tier to “borrow” a Chrysler 300 to attend a formal event, or a Dodge Ram pick-up truck to make moving into a new place easier.
There are also some community-oriented aspects to Wave. For example, the possibility of accessing use-based insurance or social elements like trail meets with other Jeep owners. Since Jeep intends to have 100-percent connected vehicles by 2020, the automaker is also expected to begin piloting services like over-the-air software updates, in-car toll and parking payments, and security services, through the Wave program.