October 21, 2011 | Written by: Brian Eccles
Categorized: Industry Insights
Most of us like coupons, or a price reduction at the grocery
or retail store, especially for the things we want to buy anyway. Most of the time that discount is paid for largely
by the company who designs and manufactures packaged food, beverage, paper,
personal care, or related products.
Let’s call them ‘M’. M ‘spends’
a lot of money for that – discounts which add up to the equivalent of 10% to
20% or even more of revenue, depending on what data source you look at. M must love you; that is a lot of investment
they are throwing out to shoppers and consumers, albeit broadly and without
distinction. The retailer – let’s call
them R – helps by making extra space, or advertising the sale in their weekly
circular, but most of the ‘money’ comes from M.
So maybe M loves you more than R.
Or maybe not. Recently
I received an envelope from the retailer where I do most of my shopping. I wasn’t too excited, expecting it to be
another version of R’s weekly circular or maybe highlighting some particular
items from M companies on sale to everybody.
But lo and behold it was a offer for me and me alone. The envelope held sixteen separate coupons
for items which I had purchased at the store in the past, some recently and some
a few months prior. Of the sixteen, six
were for R brand or private label and the other ten were for goods from a
number of different M companies. Food,
juice, fresh vegetables, toothpaste, canned goods, a deli product, a cleaning
product and other things were all included.
I was touched. R had obviously
taken data gleamed form my loyalty card, done the work to get support from a
number of M companies, and then sent a truly meaningful offer just for me. Now, I suppose that the M companies are
footing part or most of the bill for the coupon discounts, so they still love
me and I appreciate that. But R made it
all happen. And R is offering me coupons
for their own brands too. That got me thinking. R is now able to show their love for me as an
individual. Maybe you get these coupons
and your local R loves you too, for the person that you are.
Recently I have been using those loyalty points programs
with a couple of M companies. But that
is a hassle, since I need to find these complicated codes and type them in manually. I know that M is trying to deepen our
relationship but it feels a bit difficult.
Plus, the relationship is still built around their product(s) and not
about me in all my dimensions as a buyer of goods. Contrast that to R who made it easy for me. I did nothing differently but R is showing
how much more they love me now. They
even brought M along for the date. And
the relationship is centered around me. So
maybe R loves me more. But wait. Maybe M truly does love me more, but they
just can’t show it since so many other things intervene.
I’m so conflicted. Love
deserves reciprocation but I have only so much economic loyalty to throw around
and I’m feeling confused about how to allocate it.
So who do you think loves you best, M or R? And who do you love more?