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The Power of the Golden Ticket

Many of our clients have been asking us about new and affordable ways of continuing to effectively brand their businesses and projects without breaking the bank during these difficult economic times. As the old saying goes, out of crisis comes opportunity, and we here at Branding Ideas think there’s a unique opportunity to do what we’ve always strove to do, brand on a budget, while at the same time building your clientele in both size and loyalty. While the news coming out of Washington and Wall Street hasn’t exactly been encouraging in recent weeks, the fact is that most people are still working, still making money, and still relatively willing to spend it if the price is right. Money hasn’t simply evaporated; people are just hanging onto it. The trick is to find new ways of getting new customers to make the first step through the proverbial door and existing customers to feel more confident in your product, project or business.

On a recent episode of NBC’s sitcom The Office, Steve Carrell is inspired by the golden ticket promotion from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and sticks five 10%-off-for-a-year coupons in boxes being shipping to clients. All five boxes accidentally get shipped to the company’s biggest client, which is potentially a financial disaster until the client, so grateful for the discount, signs on exclusively with the company. Now, we’re not suggesting you attempt something that risky, but some companies (like Aveda, Baskin Robbins, Ponderosa, California’s Pizza Kitchen, Children’s Place and Toys ‘R Us) are offering gift coupons and free products to customers who join or are already a part of special club. Part of Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Fan Club? Get a freebee on your next visit! It’s a tried-and-true promotional technique and we think it’s one that could work wonders right now. You can create your own program using custom printed membership cards with your own company branding or consider thanking your clients with discount rewards cards for things like music downloads, DVDs, restaurant discounts. Not only will you be spreading some good will, but a casual customer could become a lifetime one—and when the economy starts to turn around, that could be a very golden thing.