Cheesy or Charming?

Paula Thomas, Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes


Yuu Rewards is an innovative coalition loyalty programme launched in Hong Kong in July 2020. Connecting ten brands and over 2,000 stores, it has taken the Hong Kong Market by storm, recruiting an incredible two million members in its first month – a superb result in a city of just eight million people! 

While Covid has clearly caused plenty of challenges for retailers around the world in 2020, launching a coalition loyalty programme in multiple languages and awarding loyalty points in real time across fifty POS systems amidst that pandemic is truly an incredible achievement.

This article discusses the key factors driving the incredibly early success of the programme, including the unexpected popularity of its delightfully compelling TV campaign, which features the re-release of a cheesy tune by “Hong Kong’s answer to Cliff Richard” who performs the Chinese version of the 1983 hit song Uptown Girl by Billy Joel that many of us know and love.

Take a look at this promotional video – even though it’s mainly in Chinese, it does clearly illustrate the breadth of partners within the new coalition and is certainly worth watching for the entertainment value alone. 

The Yuu Rewards Campaign – cheesy or charming?

Yuu Rewards

Yuu Rewards has been created for Dairy Farm International Holdings, a conglomerate of retail brands in Hong Kong, part of the Jardine Matheson Group, a major pan-Asian retailer. This shared ownership has allowed the programme to reward member spend across an extensive range of partners, including Ikea, quick service restaurants such as KFC and Pizza Hut, 7-Eleven for convenience retail purchases, Wellcome supermarkets who operate over 280 grocery stores, as well as Mannings, Hong Kong’s largest chain of health and beauty stores with a footprint of over 350 stores.

In addition to these iconic retailers within its group, Yuu Rewards boasts a number of non-group loyalty partners, including a credit card partnership with Hang Seng bank, with plenty more categories and sectors likely to follow. Like all coalition programmes, the more verticals included in terms of typical household spend, the more likely it will be that Yuu Rewards will inspire its members to engage. 

A selection of the brands where Yuu Rewards members can earn and spend points

How Does It Work: Joining and Earning

  • Membership is free.
  • Customers join by downloading the app and registering their contact details. No physical cards are available for the programme, although customers can join by connecting their mobile phone number to their Octopus card – one of the world’s first reusable contactless stored value smart cards which was launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the mass transit system in Hong Kong. Customers can also join using the WeChat app.
  • Members earn points by showing their QR membership code in partner retailers at the time of sale.
  • Members earn 1 Yuu Point for every HK$1 they spend with any partner.
  • Members who pay with a linked Hang Seng enJoy card earn 3 Yuu Points for every HK$1 they spend with a retail partner and 4 yuu Points if they use the card to pay with Yuu dining partners such as KFC, Pizza Hut & PHD in Hong Kong.

How Does It Work: Redeeming or “Burning”

  • Members can use their points to redeem for cash vouchers which they compare to gift cards. These can be claimed once the member has earned at least 1,000 Yuu Points, and the vouchers can be used with any of the shopping or dining partners.
  • In terms of rewards, members convert 1,000 Points to claim HK$5 Cash Voucher, giving a 0.5% reward rate.
  • The programme also promises “a whole range of exciting rewards that you’ll be able to see in the Yuu App.”
  • Points cannot be converted to cash, but can be shared with friends or family as long as they are also members. Members simply scan each others QR codes to swap or transfer their points. 
  • Yuu Points are valid for three years.
  • As a final feature we noted, Yuu Rewards has partnered with three selected charities in Hong Kong for members to donate points to if they choose. A nice way to drive emotional loyalty as well as the transactional loyalty typically seen with points-only programmes.

The Yuu Rewards App Screens

In closing, the most impressive element of this programme is that it’s truly digitally-first with no option for traditional loyalty cards.

Awarding points in real-time is also a powerful promise which the digitally savvy population of Hong Kong will undoubtedly love.

And while the reward rate is less generous than we typically see, the sheer breadth of partnerships and opportunities to earn will no doubt delight Hong Kong residents who are spending a significant portion of their household budget in these categories anyway. They now have a reason to choose a Yuu partner store above others which will inevitably drive revenue for the overall group. 

So, cheesy or charming? In my view, Yuu Rewards is a little bit of both.

About Us:

Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.

How we do it:

We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.

Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.

One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.

Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:

About Me:

Paula Thomas

Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant

With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast.



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