Tesco: Clubcard

Over the years we have seen Tesco become the UK’s no.1 supermarket and a significant part of achieving this success is Clubcard.

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Clubcard is Havas helia’s longest-standing client – with them from the start, we helped Tesco launch Clubcard in 1995 and have continued to help them innovate and evolve the scheme to stay ahead in the crowded and competitive market, meeting or exceeding evolving consumer expectations and taking advantage of new technologies as they become available.

Clubcard was introduced at a time when Tesco was a weak number two behind Sainsbury’s. Its purpose was to protect the existing customer base and increase frequency and value of their shop, while increasing Tesco’s customer share and enabling Tesco to get to know their customers better through personal customer data.

With Clubcard, Tesco created a completely new and market-leading way of rewarding their customers for shopping with Tesco.

However, where Clubcard led, many followed – saturating the market with similar schemes. In the face of challenge from the discounters Aldi and Lidl, and with younger consumers rejecting traditional loyalty mechanics, Clubcard was no longer seen as the champion of consumer value it once was.

In recent years, the scheme had become dominated by a functional earn and burn of points, to the exclusion of other valuable scheme features. We needed to reposition its offering so that it would provide more than just functional benefit to its most frequent shoppers – and feature new ways to deliver value to all of its members.

We worked closely with Tesco to redefine Clubcard for the future, to help us reclaim market leadership once again. Starting by exploring what Clubcard looks like today, to inform how we can redefine Clubcard for the future.

We work with Clubcard on a number of fronts, developing mid- to long-term initiatives that will shape Clubcard’s future:

Digital transformation
Currently, only 16% of Clubcard members are digitally engaged with the scheme. We
are working with Tesco on this wide digital transformation initiative, to help move members away from paper statement and into digital channels, putting the Clubcard app at the heart of the member experience.

Launch of Clubcard Plus
Subscription models like Amazon Prime have become a popular way for customers to buy into products and services, and they create much stronger ways to drive loyalty. In fact, 82% of the UK subscribe to at least one service and on average subscribe to up to three services. Tesco is the first supermarket in the UK to adopt this new business model as an added tier to their Clubcard scheme, and we were instrumental in the development and communication of this strategically important new proposition.

Clubcard long-term plan
An in-depth qualitative and quantitative research project, to get under the skin of why and how consumer attitudes towards loyalty are changing, at a segment level. Mapping existing Clubcard propositions to these changing expectations, articulating how existing propositions need to evolve to better meet these expectations, gap analysis and a programme of propositions development to close gaps.


Clubcard is considered Tesco’s greatest asset, and the scheme continues to drive over £1billion of trade annually. Clubcard boasts over 19m members, and has become a well-loved British institution, with many anecdotally associating the scheme with the rite of passage into adulthood – ‘you know you’re an adult when you get your Clubcard’.   

Clubcard connects in a personal way with over half of the UK adult population several times a year. It has the highest awareness rate, over 90% of Brits are familiar with Clubcard

Havas helia

Havas helia is Havas UK's specialist customer engagement agency, based out of London and Cirencester. We combine data, technology, strategy and creativity to deliver meaningful engagement between brands and people, across the entire length of the customer journey. We work with some of the largest, most influential and most ambitious brands, including adidas, Tesco, Starbucks, Lloyds Banking Group, Compare the Market, Diageo, Royal Mail, Volvo, Heathrow and GWR. We are committed to building a diverse culture where everybody feels they belong, can be themselves, thrive and grow.

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