By Paul Hedlund, Marketing Manager, Valid USA
Do you remember the image on the front of the last gift card you received? No? But what if that gift card had a picture of your Aunt Karen doing the Macarena in a tutu? Hard to forget.
When you give a gift card to someone from their favorite retailer or restaurant, you’re giving them much more than a piece of plastic with a dollar value loaded onto it. You’re giving them a tangible piece of the company’s brand promise they can carry around with them as a constant reminder of their affinity for the company until they find a special reason to redeem it.
Gift cards were the most requested holiday gift item in 2015 for the ninth year in a row, according to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. Despite the fact that demand for gift cards continues to increase each year, they sometimes receive a bad rap as being impersonal. Personalization is at the core of all gift giving, so businesses and consumers are demanding innovative ways to provide a personal touch in gift card programs.
According to a study conducted by Forrester on behalf of Conversant, 94 percent of customer insights and marketing professionals said personalization is “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” for meeting their current marketing objectives. At the same time, the study goes on to say that 66 percent of these same professionals see a “major or extreme” challenge in securing internal resources to execute marketing programs.
Our partner CashStar enables its merchant clients to deliver a cost effective, personalized brand experience to consumers. For example, Subway provides their customers with an option to easily upload one of their own photos to be placed on a one-of-a-kind card, which is then manufactured and delivered with a customer’s personalized image along with the Subway logo on the front. This is the ultimate rebuttal to the claim that gift cards are considered impersonal.
Consumers receiving personalized Subway gift cards are proud to have them, unlikely to discard the card, and inclined to reload value onto it for many years to come. This shows retailers that the added value of personalization makes the gift card a more thoughtful and well-suited gifting option for consumers.
Valid provides complete card solutions. Valid manufactures, personalizes, and fulfills physical gift cards for in-store, B2C, and B2B programs.