From frequent flyer miles and hotel points to cash-back rewards, 75% of U.S. consumers are enrolled in at least one loyalty program, according to Jupiter Research. Proving that loyalty does have its rewards, now you can get items for your company or your employees just for buying products that are a part of the Contractor Rewards program.
Debuting in February 2010 as a coalition marketing program by BI Worldwide, Contractor Rewards lets remodelers earn points when they buy products from participating manufacturers (DuPont, BASF, A.O. Smith, and more). According to Tony Thomas, BI Worldwide’s director of coalition marketing, the program brings together branded manufacturers from the building products sector that work in tandem to add value to their own products. “By offering points, they reinforce the buying behavior they’re looking for,” he explains, “which is essentially to get people to buy their products.”
Loyalty programs predate frequent flyer programs by almost a century — who remembers S&H Green Stamps? Remodelers simply enter the product code online or scan the product with a smartphone or other device. That code registers in the Contractor Rewards database and points are deposited into the remodeler’s account. As the points build up, the contractor can cash them in to get anything from a printer or a laptop to cameras and even admission to National Association of the Remodeling Industry courses.
The program rewards both sets of participants — the manufacturers are able to get feedback on exactly who their audience is, while the contractors get rewarded for buying the items they would buy anyway. Therefore, in the quest for more points for future rewards, the contractor will be more likely to buy the participating manufacturers’ products.
The manufacturers have given the program a thumbs-up because it allows them to establish a solid relationship with their contractors as well as to add an avenue for added brand loyalty with them, according to Jeff Storie, senior marketing manager at A.O. Smith Water Heaters. “Using the Contractor Rewards platform, we have not only established a key mechanism for outbound communication with our contractors, but also engage in key two-way communication with the contractor base as well,” he explains, adding that it makes the contractors feel that they are a key player on the A.O. Smith team.
Contractor Rewards is free for contractors as long as they agree to accept four emails every month, “which beats sitting around the kitchen table all night licking pages of S&H Green Stamps,” Thomas says.
—Mark A. Newman, senior editor, REMODELING.