Rewards Programs

I think it’s great that we have come to a point in the world where we’re taking advantage of companies and their advertising dollars. I go to a spot I enjoy, I buy whatever product is my favorite and I make sure I have them stamp, swipe, or type in my special card number that gives me benefits. It’s a loyalty program and it helps me get deals and helps the business keep customers or share my spending habits with the people at corporate.

Today, I went to get my mom’s car washed as a nice gesture and I remembered a little too late that this carwash place has a rewards program. Buy 11 car washes and get 1 free. I had a filled out ticket but didn’t ask for the right wash, I guess I’ll just use that on my own car another day. I got a new card with a fresh stamp on it and realized this was the reason I instinctively went to THIS specific car wash instead of the other two in my neighborhood. It wasn’t because of the price (I never pay attention so I don’t know who’s cheaper) or the location (they’re both about 2 min from my house), it was because of the rewards card I had in my pocket.

My dentist is offering a similar package, if I recommend a new client I get free movie tickets, for every visit I have, I log onto their website and get perks like a free toothbrush or floss. I genuinely like my dentist, but for some free movie tickets, I’m more apt to make a suggestion that someone switch. This particular loyalty program has two results. Not only do I get a sense of loyalty towards my dentist because she’s giving me free stuff and all my friends are going there, but it makes something most people find uncomfortable (dentist appointments) something to look forward to.

Then there are the hoards of retailers that give me a deal if I’m a member of their “special club”. Sale prices, free ice cream etc. all because they want to know how a mid 20′s Hispanic male spends his expendable income. This is my favorite mode of deal making. One where everyone wins. They get data and know how to market their products and I get a free burger on my birthday. There are people who don’t like this one. They say, “Why do I want them knowing about my purchases?!” I just laugh it off, because I could care less that Red Robin knows I only go to them once a year, or that CVS knows which brand of hair product I use. The only thing they need to know is if they put the hair stuff farther away from the deodorant, I’m more likely to pass by an isle I didn’t need to be on impulse buying something because it will make my car smell better or is covered in chocolate.