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  • Writer's pictureK+H Connection

3 Ways Branded Currency Is An Art (and how you can make a masterpiece)

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Over the last few years, the idea of branded currency has quickly grown, from a term very few knew about, to common language used to describe the intersection of loyalty, marketing, gift cards, and technology. As usage grows and merchants develop new and unique programs, branded currency has become more than simply a tool to increase sales, but something flexible and customizable to meet different business needs—an art in its own right. Here are three ways Branded Currency is an art:

1. The same tools can create wildly different products

To make a great painting, the only tools necessary are canvas, paint, and brushes. Those few items can be used to create a classic portrait or a modern masterpiece.

For a branded currency program, all that is needed is a way to deliver stored value to customers; often including a unique processor and database and a method to deliver a physical or digital card. Depending on what the merchant wants, those items may form a classic gift card program or a robust customer retention system.

Merchant Tip: Connect with stakeholders outside of the traditional gift card and marketing departments to develop an understanding of additional needs to create ways the program can help support alternative business goals.

Vendor Tip: Work closely with merchants during on-boarding and implementation to understand not only what works best at the start, but how the merchants can grow as capabilities grow.

2. Trends change over time

From the classic Art Deco stylings of the 1920's to modern minimalism, art trends are always evolving, often depending on a multitude of external causes. Similarly, branded currency continues to grow and evolve dependent on things such as consumer tastes and technology. Merchants now not only have the unique ability to create branded currency programs that are more flexible than before; they also have the clearest path to consumer feedback and requests in order to develop the program offerings that speak directly to their target markets.

Merchant Tip: Identify loyal customers, then test different offers and methods of delivery. Success can be seen not only in the numerical results, but also customer feedback via channels like social media.

Vendor Tip: Connect with other partners and look for synergy to develop new offerings for your merchant brands. Sometimes the best innovations come from unexpected partnerships and chats.

3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Have you ever seen a piece of art and marveled at it while someone else you’re with quickly took a glance and moved on? Or have you been the person to quickly move on?Much like how everyone has a different taste in art, each and every merchant brand has different goals for what they want their branded currency program to be. This is most quickly evidenced by the times merchants have asked their processor for data and the processor replied that they don’t have it easily accessible because ‘no one has asked for it before’.  

Merchant Tip: Know the elements that indicate success for your business and continuously keep those elements as a north star indicating success.

Vendor Tip: Take the time to get to know each brand to be able to notice trends among merchants and develop ways to support them.

—Bonus— It’s easier than ever to make a masterpiece.

Thanks to the internet, learning basic art theory and getting the necessary supplies to make the next great masterpiece has never been easier. And events like the Flourish Conference make learning about the latest trends and connecting with the right people and services to grow a branded currency program easier than ever. With three days of non-stop educational content and networking opportunities, Flourish Conference is the go-to event to learn all about the art of branded currency. Early bird registration is now open.

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