We’re Eliminating Our Customer Loyalty Rewards Program to Focus on Returning Man to the Moon
The world is a very different place now.
Sixty years ago, when my grandfather started Redd’s Rockets — a humble jet propulsion laboratory with a single location in downtown Pasadena — it was a simpler time and the world was a less unstable place. Back then, the business of launching rockets was more of an art than a science — indeed, more of a hobby than anyone’s life’s work. Even granddad had other irons in the afterburner, so to speak, in case there just weren’t enough rocket enthusiasts in downtown Pasadena to keep a modest parts and fuels supplier afloat.
When it became clear that there were in fact plenty of “propellant-heads” in the neighborhood and beyond, the original shop moved from the 300s block of E. Holly Street to a prime storefront on Los Robles — and ol’ Redd’s faithful clientele followed. And they brought friends. And eventually, by the time my father, Rodd, took over the family business, renamed it Redd & Son Rockets, and established the small campus north of the freeway, it was clear that customer loyalty to the company ran far, wide, and deep — even after it was revealed that some of the inventory was being shipped overseas, a practice that was quickly, quietly, and patriotically halted.
It was around this time that dad established our company’s long-lived customer loyalty program, to recognize and express gratitude to those repeat patrons who were keeping our profits and spirits soaring. Early members of the Redd Rocket Brigade earned Redd Rocket Rewards points with each purchase. Every hundred points were redeemable for a free pair of fins, a gimbal, or a nylon parachute. As time passed and ambitions grew ever greater, so did the rewards. One customer in 1967 managed to earn enough points for a free canister of synthetic cyclopropane!
And then, of course, everything changed in that fabled Summer of ’69: Dad rechristened the company once more (“Rodd’s Model Rockets & Trains”), and America put a man on the Moon. All of a sudden, everyone wanted to put a man on the moon. Between 1969 and 1973, the United States spent roughly $25.4 billion on the Apollo program. While I’m not at liberty to share specific numbers, my family’s business raked in healthy revenues during the same period. Even when President Nixon reined in federal spending and brought an end to the Apollo era, the enthusiasm of the average American could not be dampened. The age of the Space Shuttle — although not a moon-oriented vehicle — kept our minds and spirits in the heavens… and it kept our customers coming in for reasonably-priced items they could shoot from the ground up into the sky.
It has now been six decades since we opened our hangar bay doors for business, and in that time the world has changed many times over. Things just aren’t what they used to be. The Berlin Wall came down. The Soviet Union broke up. Racism disappeared from the United States entirely. And yet man has not set foot on Earth’s moon since 1972. We at JetLab (our name since the 2004 rebranding) believe that it is time for a triumphant return… but such a great undertaking is not without its costs, and therefore it is with great regret, after months of serious consideration, that I must announce the end of our customer loyalty rewards program.
On May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress:
“I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary [to put a man on the moon].”
“This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread.”
In a similar vein, I say to you, now, our valued customers, that we possess the resources and talents necessary to put a man — or a woman — back on the moon. We are prepared to commit our manpower (and womanpower… totaling some 6,000 full-time employees plus an additional few thousand contractors, graduate students, and interns), materiel and facilities (principally our 177-acre campus in La Cañada Flintridge), but we must divert these limited resources from our JetLab Intergalactic Perks Program,™ which will be sunsetted at the end of this fiscal year.
Please accept my sincere thanks for your loyalty and my admiration for your commitment to lay rocketry. I encourage you to redeem your Intergalactic Perks Points before June 30. Rewards supplies are limited.
Apollo von Braun