Value is a word we discuss often. We explore what is of value and what isn’t. We talk about how valuable something is and how to increase its value.
This idea of worth is especially important when it comes to branding. Developing a brand is about far more than logos and colors. The most successful brands build relationships. It’s this connection – this bond – built between you and your customers that establishes brand loyalty.
Unfortunately, a lot of brands place unnecessary barriers between themselves and their customers. Typically, this is because they lose sight of what’s really important – customer satisfaction.
Take for example the coupon. Inherently, a coupon gives your customer more value because it discounts your product or service. You’re giving them a better bang for their buck. This can be a great. We certainly love when we get coupons.
However, we also often find ourselves cringing at how brands implement coupons. Why? Because they can fail to use them as a touch point to build relationships with their new and existing customers.
By placing an unnecessary restriction on your coupon, such as a limited expiration date, you place a barrier between your brand and your customer. You make it more difficult for them to engage with you. Remember, urgency is in the eye of the beholder.
Inconsistency with Branding
A coupon may seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, discounts might not be inline with your business’ persona. Why? Even though discounts can help you move products, they can decrease the perceived value of what you offer. This is especially true if the coupons occur too often.
Lack of Flexibility
The larger the company, the more difficult it is to be flexible with a coupon’s rules. However, failing to be flexible can often mean missing the spirit of the coupon, thus placing another barrier between you and your customer.
It’s happened to us. We get excited about a new coupon and are ready to make a purchase only discover at checkout that the item we wanted was excluded in the fine print.
Try not to only give coupons for discounts of inventory you need to move. Try to reward customer loyalty by giving a coupon on items or brands they regularly buy.
What Makes the Best Coupon?
How do you ensure you’re using coupons to build relationships? By always asking yourself what it you want to accomplish with them. Set clear goals for every coupon you’re giving. Are you simply attempting to move additional items or are you trying to reward customer loyalty and build trust?
With each restriction you place on a coupon, ask yourself if it’s in-line with the goals you established. Does it help or hinder your ability to achieve them?
How Else Can You Reward Loyalty?
Coupons give your customers the same product for less. Instead, try rewarding loyalty by giving more. For example, you could send a gift certificate to your customer’s favorite restaurant or host a special “thank you” event to honor their loyalty. Both of these actions give something valuable above and beyond a simple discount. Additionally, and more importantly, they help you build stronger relationships with your customers.