Give Your Customers Experiences—Not Stuff

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By Melanie Grinnell, Content Blogger, Entertainment®

Branded fidget spinners, key chain flashlights…and overflowing junk drawers. Are you giving your customers rewards and incentives…or just clutter and headaches?

Are you giving your customers plastic things with your logo on them as an incentive or to thank them or make them think of your company? This article on the American Marketing Association’s website might make you reconsider that.

More and more in the past several years, people are trying to pare down, declutter and simplify their lives. Baby Boomers are down-sizing and the younger generations don’t have the space or the inclination to accumulate stuff.

Maybe it’s the Marie Kondo effect—millions of people have bought her books and tuned in to her Netflix show to watch her overhaul the homes and lives of people swimming in piles of stuff.

plastic-oceanOr maybe it’s the images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or pictures of sea turtles with garbage wrapped around their flippers or stories in the news about imperiled whales washing up to shore with stomachs filled with plastic.

The bottom line is people are not as charmed and delighted by plastic tchotchkes. Your branded trinkets might cause more consternation than appreciation.

There is a better way

There is a way to reward customers, members and employees that won’t have your stuff winding up in a in the garbage in 6 months.

An article on Fast Company’s website states, “If you’re in the marketing department at your company, with some say over what swag you buy, you might sway your team to resist the urge to invest in cheap, disposable garbage. Instead, consider offering experiences. Several well-reported studies show that millennials are prioritizing experiences over stuff.”

Futurist Blake Morgan, author of “The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business” (HarperCollins) supports this in an article on Forbes. She also states that the trend is not limited to younger generations:

“Millennials may be leading the experience-first trend, but they aren’t the only group participating in it. As many Baby Boomers enter retirement, they fall into the “less is more” mentality and put more value on relationships and experiences than things. Clearly, this isn’t a trend that will be going away any time soon”.

Perhaps you might have noticed lately that social media and other communications are flooded with photos of people out in the world having fun. You practically can’t look at your phone without encountering a photo of a happy group of people having dinner on a restaurant patio, drinking wine under twinkling lights.

As people increasingly place more importance on experiences over things, there are interesting opportunities to get their attention in new ways.

The Value of Experiences are Incalculable

Can you put a price tag on sharing a special night out with your family or friends? We live in a rushed society where our attentions are split in a multitude of different directions. Time and money are scarce and precious. But if you can build a campaign around the benefits of taking some time to share and bond—and give people a way to do it more inexpensively—you have just given your customer something that really has immeasurable value.

ArtifactsWhen you give customers a benefit that includes discounts on things like dining or golfing or museums, you are not just giving them the value of the meal or the golf game or the admission. You are giving them an idea and incentive to meet up with girl friends at the little Thai place around the corner. You’re reminding them—and giving them a deal—to get out on the links with their dad. And you’re planting an image in their head of them hanging out with their kids and enjoying an afternoon of history or art.

You’re not just giving them discounts. Your brand is helping people to create memories and fortify bonds. And you are fostering a favorable connection with your company when you facilitate an opportunity for creating happy moments with loved ones.

Is a tote bag going to do that for your brand?

The Value of an Experienced Partner

Entertainment® has been in business since 1962 and we’ve been in the business of assisting companies with their marketing goals for over 30 years.

We work with our clients in planning and execution, through delivery and analytics. We can work with you to build a campaign that reaches your customers online or through direct mail—or both. We can build you a program that is small and simple and relatively inexpensive or we can cooperate on a large multi-touch campaign that reaches out to your customers throughout the year.

We’ve worked with countless companies within nearly every vertical to help them build meaningful programs that provide best-in-class discounts on all different kinds of offers—from dining to attractions to travel—and more. We enable you to build programs that will provide discounts your customers can use on experiences, thus enabling them to nurture connections with family and friends. Wouldn’t you rather put your logo on something like that?

Our products provide real and lasting value to people. Our programs get results because discounts speak to people. And experiences with loved ones speak volumes.

Contact us today so we can talk about your goals and how we might help you achieve them.