Branded Currency: More Than a Gift Card
From traditional gift certificates and punch cards, to digital credits and promotions pushed directly to smart watches, there are many elements that encompass a branded currency program with options changing nearly daily. With the continuously changing landscape, it is essential to keep a big picture perspective around branded currency in order to avoid possible missed opportunities.
By definition, branded currency is a store of value and a medium of exchange for goods and services from a specific brand or merchant; this includes any physical or digital form of payment from a merchant or brand, such as coupons, loyalty points, and gift cards.
It is a tool that brings a part of the brand experience directly to the consumer’s wallet, it increases brand awareness, and ultimately reduces friction in getting the consumer to say yes.
Looking beyond the definition and form factor, the beauty in branded currency lies in what it can be used for. Even looking at the traditional gift card, it’s more than a gift—it is a tool that brings a part of the brand experience directly to the consumer’s wallet, it increases brand awareness, and ultimately reduces friction in getting the consumer to say yes. Branded currency can be used by nearly any department from customer service, marketing, and even HR to increase internal employee satisfaction.
Because of its flexibility, branded currency is truly an art for each merchant to refine and develop for its goals. Further, this flexibility helps merchant brands stay agile as consumer trends change, business goals shift, and technology increases. Branded currency is a tool that can greatly support a number of initiatives, but it’s also important to remember what branded currency is not—a “set it and forget it” product.
Simply having a gift card or loyalty program doesn’t mean it will be successful or the shining beacon of sales and customer experience that it could be. A thriving branded currency program requires championing and support from multiple stakeholders and often external support. Because of its multiple capabilities, uses, and nuances, branded currency requires key industry specific knowledge and partnerships.
Industry events like Flourish Conference help brands stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies to keep their branded currency program fresh and also provide ample networking opportunities to make the connections necessary to grow programs in new directions.