Coupon marketing has gained popularity in the last few years as a result of the recent recession, and usage has remained strong as consumers remain cost-conscious. Increasingly, customers are utilizing their mobile devices to search for and redeem coupons in-store, and several new coupon apps have been well-received.

However, there is an opportunity expand the value of the brand through customer savings without discounting the brand itself. Brands can integrate savings for complementary merchants {Link to the Ted Spears article} into their own promotions to incentivize and boost engagement and drive customer loyalty. It’s about providing the right complementary offers at the right time, in a way that is different from competitors.

Tom Wilhems at Entertainment®, the largest provider of merchant discounts  in North America, says that for CPG brands in particular, coupons and discounts from partnering merchants can be successfully integrated into a promotional strategy to drive customer loyalty. Tom works with CPG clients at all stages of the customer life cycle to help determine whether or not the brand needs to add value to the customer experience to get those customers to the next stage.

“CPG is where we’ve had our most success as a promotional vehicle,” Wilhelms said. “The loyal customer develops an emotional attachment to a brand which grows as they have this mutually beneficial relationship.”

Customers reap the benefits from what Wilhelms refers to as “best-in-class discounts” and other value-add offers and coupons attached to the purchase of a product. For example, customers may purchase a certain product and earn points that accumulate and can be redeemed for travel and significant savings at local restaurants and attractions.

In order to drive customer loyalty, these coupons, discounts and promotions must provide relevant experiences that resonate with customers.

“In the promotion planning stages, we ask, ‘How do we make these offers relevant?’” Wilhelms says. “The real key is matching offers to the geographic and psychographic profiles of your customers, and at the same time, keeping it simple and easy to understand. We work to provide multiple rewards at every stage of the customer life cycle to sustain that momentum.”

Integrating seamlessly with a brand means segmenting coupons and discounts thematically to complement a brand’s promotional efforts, often leveraging seasonal messaging or geographically relevant approaches.

Tom cites the example of Kellogg’s® Mini-Wheats, a brand which positions itself as wholesome, valuing families and learning. To align with this, Entertainment® helped Kellogg’s® Mini-Wheats promote a sweepstakes to win a trip to the Smithsonian by making a purchase and entering a unique code on the Kellogg’s Family Rewards® site. While the Smithsonian trip was the initial draw, the campaign was expanded to offer discounts to local museums around the country with proofs of purchase, driving multiple transactions through the course of the promotion.

Once customers opt in to offers like these online, a database is built providing clients with information to further customize rewards. Birthday offers, locally driven deals based on a customer’s address, and tailored emails are all additional ways to personalize the discount offer reward package.

And while these various discounts and coupons reinforce a brand’s relationship with its customer and supply a “surprise and delight” aspect, clients also like the bang for their buck.

“It’s really about adding relevant value at the right time,” said Wilhelms. “We provide high value at a low cost per consumer.”

Recent Content