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And The Winner Is…

Published on 10/1/2015 by K Scott

Incorporating incentives seems to be en vogue in today’s wide-open marketing environment. As businesses clamor and scratch for every consumer dollar possible, the stakes in the game have never been higher.

Incentives/rewards are nothing new; automobile manufacturers have been utilizing these carrots for decades. Fast food restaurants, hair cutters, oil change centers— all have used the “one stamp per visit” incentive program that gives the customer either a large discount or a free service upon receiving the required number of stamps. The list of businesses that have and/or are using them goes on and on. But what’s the ROI for offering these “bribes”?

First, it builds customer loyalty. As with the aforementioned stamping system, consumers have an incentive to keep coming back in order to earn the discount or free service. (Of course, your business must also provide impeccable customer service and a superior product/service as well.)

Second, offering rewards can increase sales. As a consumer, would you rather patronize a business that offered you a reward for your business, or would you prefer a company that only offers you a bag for your purchase at the conclusion of the transaction? If you’re like most people, you want as much as you can get for your dollar. Research shows that by offering consumers a little something extra, a company’s bottom line tends to show more positive results.

Last, it shows consumers that you are willing to give them more for their money. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, we all want to stretch our dollar as far as possible— especially in today’s uncertain economy. By giving your customers a little dessert after their meal, you’re telling them you want to make sure they walk away full and satisfied. And a full and satisfied customer is a happy customer.

Rewarding your audience doesn’t have to involve your business risking financial straits. Your reward can be as simple as a discount or as grand as a free product or service. The main aim of this program should be to establish a long-term relationship with consumers based on trust, reliability, and service.