Whether you’re using a competition as a hype generator for your business, or as a way to reach out to a new demographic, competitions are a great way of generating word-of-mouth marketing and keep your business at the forefront of conversation. However, some businesses may be using a competition in an ineffective way, ultimately costing them more than their gains or, even worse, leaving customers with a bad impression.

The first step to a successful competition in your shop is to figure out what the outcome should be. Have clear-set goals that will, in the long-term, be beneficial for your business. We say long-term, because a competition should never be something you use to gain short-term spikes in business. There are many other approaches you can take that can afford you short-terms gains without the expenditure that a competition can create.

One of the important things here is to make sure you backup your competition with data; the good old “fishbowl” approach. Yes, the fishbowl in the traditional sense was once a great way to collect customer info for your database, but it is annoyingly time-consuming and many businesses simply forgot to enter the data for every business card and end up with little to no extra information. Your Rewardle program makes this kind of data collection seamless: your customer’s data is already in digital form when they sign up.

The second thing to note is that while a competition can be as small or as big as you would like, what is it that the customer really, really wants? Having a competition that gives someone a free coffee every now and then is all well and good, but is it going to create a talking point about your business? Is it going to affect someone’s day enough that they’d post about it on social media?

A good example of a brilliant competition is from Shots Espresso Bar, on Exhibition Street in Melbourne. They ran a year-long competition to see who could get to 2500 points first: the winner could redeem a fully-paid trip to Bali! While this sounds like an expensive competition for a small coffee shop to be running, it was truly ingenious – there could only be one winner, but many people would be gunning for the finish, meaning a lot of extra revenue for the business. Most importantly, it created a buzz point for the business – some customers even began keeping a tally of the top 5 customers in the running for the trip.

This competition is a prime example of the right tools, at the right time, with the right prize. The shop could have given away 30 free coffees, or a year’s worth of free coffee, or anything else. But instead they tapped into the psychology of an office worker, working 9-5 and 5 days a week, drinking 3 cups of coffee a day and longing for that end-of-year getaway that was now, suddenly, so close they could smell the beach.

If you would like some advice on running your next competition, get in contact with our Success Team on 03 8593 4173 or success@rewardle.com

Please check your local or state government laws surrounding running competitions, as there could be different legislation depending on your location.