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Petro / Partnerships / Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Certified Oil Company

Editorial Board
The Challenge
To create a unique, properly branded loyalty program against a very competitive environment

True loyalty—and loyalty programs, by extension—come from doing the right things, for the right reasons, for the right people. The pressure to match competitive tactics, however, can sometimes lead to irrational behavior. 

Not one to simply follow the crowd, Certified Oil set out to understand the potential impact of a loyalty program on their business, as well as the ways such programs should be designed to best serve their customer base.

The determination to create a program they could back with complete confidence came from the fact that Certified operated in some very competitive markets where they faced loyalty programs from other petroleum retailers, including supermarket chains. Certified did not want to create a copy-cat program or rush to a decision based on this competitive pressure.

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With a rich heritage in the region, Certified holds itself to a high standard. So as they underwent a major rebranding process, including a full web redesign, Certified remained intent on becoming a leading retail company. This meant projecting a new, consumer-first image and delivering programs like customer loyalty.

Certified tasked a cross-functional team to do a comprehensive assessment of loyalty programs offered by convenience stores and other retail channels. Then, they were asked to design an appropriate pilot exercise for Certified. 

Sound planning and systems from Verifone and Verifone partners enabled a quick start for Certified loyalty.

While completing its rebranding and website rebuild, Certified was also in the process of addressing other infrastructure changes and had upgraded many sites to a new WAN as well as to the Verifone Sapphire site controller and web server system. All these changes contributed to the readiness of a loyalty solution. 

After a thoughtful RFQ process, Certified selected ValueCentric Marketing Group (VCMG), a Verifone partner, for its card based “Certified Savings Program” loyalty program. This solution would cast Sapphire as the collection point for the loyalty program’s data, and VCMG as the administrator of the program. Both the Sapphire system and VCMG would also provide custom and standard reporting for Certified to monitor results.

To prepare for the pilots, Certified’s loyalty team, Verifone and VCMG, prepared a profile for pilot locations, completed the software customization, and drafted marketing plans. The pilot, while a test, was still very comprehensive in nature, and the program launched as a complete and ready-for-market solution. Certified was determined to see that the pilot was meaningful and very successful.

We saw our brand, and the loyalty program, as being very interrelated.
Greg Ehrlich COO, Certified Oil

Easy installation and robust results on key measures are justifying an expansion of the program.

Certified’s team realized it had to deliver a program that was uniquely competitive, cost-effective, consistent with the brand, and able to enhance relationships with the company’s most loyal customers.
This strategic mission sent Certified to market with a clear and dynamic program targeting its more profitable customer segment—a decision that immediately bolstered the program’s ROI.

With the existing integration to Verifone’s Sapphire controller, the VCMG system installed very easily at each location. In fact, “in less than 15 minutes the solution was rewarding consumers at the pump and in the store,” says Mr. Ehrlich. Certified has seen a marked increase in each of its three key performance indicators: loyalty transaction amount as a percent of total sales, number of transactions per loyalty customers per month, and loyalty customer spend per month (with this last indicator showing a 50% increase over the base period). 

Certified will expand to more sites. Marketing via web statements, email & SMS messages, receipt statements, and employee programs have connected them with their customers like never before.