MEET THE MENTORS

Bryan Pearson

Bryan Pearson

Bryan Pearson is the former CEO of LoyaltyOne Co. and currently serves as a Director and strategic advisor to a number of organizations. He is a global leader in loyalty, retail marketing and analytics, and a passionate advocate for the ability of marketing, leadership and culture to transform business performance. Under Bryan’s leadership, LoyaltyOne was recognized repeatedly as a leading employer, a most admired corporate culture, one of the greenest companies and one of Canada’s top employers for millennials and women. This during a ten-year period where the business grew top-line revenue by 400% and bottom-line performance by 800%.

At the end of his tenure in August 2019, LoyaltyOne operated four key businesses: the AIRMILES Reward Program (coalition loyalty), BrandLoyalty (promotional loyalty), Precima (retail analytics software) and LoyaltyOne Global Solutions (consulting) with total revenues of almost $2 billion (CDN). These entities leveraged knowledge gleaned over 25 years from hundreds of millions of customer relationships to create critical insights used to drive relevant communications and enhanced shopper experiences. LoyatlyOne had almost 2,000 associates operating from 28 offices globally and did business in more than 50 countries working with leading consumer facing brands.

Pearson published two books: “The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy” and “The Loyalty Leap for B2B” and frequently speaks at retail and marketing conferences around the world. He has also contributed to hundreds of stories in news media across North America, including The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and the CBC. He has been a contributor on retail marketing and loyalty for Forbes.com, and has been repeatedly published in RetailWire, Retail Customer Experience, CustomerThink, Business 2 Community and COLLOQUY Speaks.

Pearson started his career in packaged goods at the Quaker Oats Company, before moving to the technology sector when he joined one of Canada’s early tech success stories at Alias Research. In 1992, he joined the AIRMILES Reward Program shortly after the program was launched in Canada. Initially responsible for the program’s food retail partners, he was quickly asked to open the company’s first satellite office in Calgary and then in 1995 he returned to Toronto to lead the client relationship team spanning three offices across Canada. In 1998, AIRMILES was sold to Alliance Data and in 1999 Pearson was promoted to President of the AIRMILES business. In this capacity, he continued to work with the programs partners’ to fully realize the potential of the data and evolving digital and targeted marketing capabilities to transform how retailers, credit cards and other service providers engaged with their customers by more efficiently serving their respective needs. Data, insights, marketing, collaboration and a keen eye on balancing brand positioning and ROI were central to the thesis of AIRMILES.

In the fall of 2006, he was promoted to the role of President and CEO of LoyaltyOne, where he embarked on expanding the footprint of this division of Alliance Data by continuing to grow AIRMILES and other solutions in the loyalty and data analytics space. Initial efforts included joint ventures in Brazil and India to build loyalty coalitions and focusing on retail analytics via Precima. Eventually both international JV’s were sold, and the focus returned to growing Precima – which had evolved into a SAAS offering serving major grocers, the food service industry and the Consumer Packaged Goods industry in Canada, the U.S., England, the Netherlands.

This inspired Pearson to develop a more global and retail centric mandate for LoyaltyOne and he received board approval to make a significant acquisition in BrandLoyalty. This Dutch based company created specialized short-term loyalty promotions for Food Retailers around the world leveraging brands such as Disney, Star Wars, and Jamie Oliver. It also licenced brands and even created its own private label offerings across categories like knives and cookware. These initiatives led to BrandLoyalty doubling its business and profits over a 4-year period as it grew to an $800 million global business.

Pearson’s innate curiosity and desire to raise the profile of loyalty as a marketing tool fostered his interest in helping the industry be more effective. LoyaltyOne maintained a continued focus on research and advisory work in loyalty, technology and customer experience (CX) that linked into LoyaltyOne’s own robust publishing network. The Global Solutions consultancy helped brands like Virgin and Staples think about their loyalty and CX approaches and Zero Gravity Labs was created as an incubator to explore topics such as facial recognition, quantum computing and beacon technology. The scope of these offerings created a global recognition for the brand among loyalty practitioners and contributed to a far-reaching way to build LoyaltyOne’s global reputation.

Bryan is a passionate advocate for community and encouraged the LoyaltyOne team to volunteer their time and created a vehicle for this via CommunityOne day – when every associate at the company donates their time to support a number of charitable causes. These include Motionball, the CP24/CHUM Christmas Wish foundation and Kids Help Phone and Get Real. He also advocated and supported an internal effort to help local schools learn about healthy eating and growing food through LoyaltyOne’s Good Food Machine initiative. This now operates in over 200 schools in at risk neighbourhoods across Canada including indigenous communities and the schools in Iqaluit.

Pearson has an MBA and a BScH (Microbiology and Biochemistry) from Queen’s University.

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