Management Practices

Saying Thanks: The New Marketing Strategy of Gratitude

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 1:38 PM

If you have an interest in marketing like I do, you’ll notice that the efforts of many companies have gotten far more creative with the economic crunch. Today, promotions are clever, humorous and inspire very specific actions. But lately, I’ve noticed many companies are humbling themselves and simply thanking loyal customers.   

For example, my husband and I have been big California Pizza Kitchen fans since we started dating more than 20 years ago.  At lunch a few weeks ago, our waitress brought us each a bright yellow envelope, with the printed words: “The CPK ‘Don’t Open It’ Thank You Card. To you, from CPK. But seriously, DON’T open it. We’ll do it for you on your next visit. Every card is a winner.” According to the back of the card, a diner could win anything from a discount on their next meal to cash prizes to a trip to Cancun. The catch though was the offer had to be opened by a manager at your next restaurant visit. 

Yesterday, I received a mailing from Gap/GapKids, one of my top shopping destinations for children’s clothes. The simple mailer unfolded into a 24”x 36” poster, which displayed in giant letters: “THANK YOU—We can’t say it enough.” As a GapCard member, the promotion offers me 25-percent off all purchases during an upcoming weekend.

In my business report for the July issue of MODERN SALON, I am writing about the James Joseph Salon and James Joseph Studios, whose owner William George developed a Recession Relief Program to thank loyal clients. During the months of April and May, clients earned James Joseph Dollars for their product and service purchases. Clients are invited to redeem the promotional dollars during June and July.

Here are some other ideas for thanking your loyal clients:
  • Mine your database to find the top 100 clients who spent the most in your salon over the past 12 months. Reward each with a warm, personal expression of thanks and a $100 gift card.
  • Organize a Client Appreciation Week and offer discounts on product and gift card purchases.
  • Host a Client Appreciation Evening with a guest speaker, live music, light snacks and complimentary mini services.
  • Develop a "Thank You" service. For example, during a specific period of time, all hair color clients a complimentary glossing. This is also a great way to introduce a new service.

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