BrainTrust Query: How relevant are continuity promotions during recessionary times?
Bittner, President, BWH Consulting
Last week A&P launched
the “Big Red Grocery Giveaway” promotion to celebrate its 150th
anniversary touting $3.2 million in prizes along with discounts. The promotion
offers a variety of ways for customers to win, ranging from instant $1
savings to the possibility of winning a new Ford Mustang. Instant promotions,
weekly awards, and the final Grand Prizes make this whole promotion a sophisticated
continuity program, rewarding customers who visit the store frequently
throughout the game period.
Continuity programs are an age-old method of encouraging repeat business.
They have ranged from the old dishware promotions of the fifties and sixties
to the free turkeys of the late nineties. The fundamental goal is to structure
an appealing offer that gets consumers interested in revisiting the store over
a long period of time. The consumer soon develops a habit of frequenting the
store that will hopefully continue when the promotion ends.
There are a lot of features
of the A&P promotion that reflect the fragmentation of the modern consumer
audience and the difficulty retailers have in reaching them. First, there
are four ways to win:
- Instant winners can win immediately
in the store.
- “Enter to win”
customers can fill out a manual entry form and submit it.
- Customers with internet access can register online and submit a PIN
number that is displayed on some tickets. The neat thing about the internet option
is that it also capitalizes on viral advertising by giving the registrant
additional chances for each valid friend or family email address they
- Finally, by collecting tickets
over the life of the promotion to complete an image on a game card, you
can win the Mustang, a year’s worth of groceries,
or a $300 shopping spree.
Not bad prizes and a
great opportunity to gather new customer information and update records
on existing customers.
Do continuity promotions still make sense? Are they more or less attractive
to consumers in today’s economic environment?
commentary] I really think A&P is on to something here. With customers
more fickle than ever and shopping for best price whenever they can, a
promotion campaign that offers decent rewards to loyal shoppers makes sense.
The addition of the online portion to collect more data on existing card
holders and spread the word to their acquaintances is a great way
to improve the accuracy and breadth of the customer database. This promotion
has the potential to keep paying back long after the promotion period ends.