Rewarding tactics from Sainsbury’s

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Sainsbury’s recent announcement of Extra Reward Points on hundreds of everyday products is a bold step in the fight for market share. I decided the offers sounded too good to be missed and drove past my usual Tesco stores to the Sainsbury’s around the corner.

I pushed my trolley around the store looking for the most generous offer on bonus points. I stopped by the washing powders first. As I was putting my usual Bold washing powder into the trolley, I noticed the Extra Points on offer with Ariel. If I were to purchase 22 packs of Ariel, I calculated, (enough to keep my clothes clean until the Millennium), on a spend of under 99 I would have enough points to gain a free trip to Paris.

That offer wasn’t strong enough for me. “I don’t need that much Ariel,” I concluded. So I continued down the aisles and headed towards the instant coffee. Three jars, 300 points. “Not bad” I thought, “only 27 jars for my trip to Paris”. However, I would have to spend 95 on coffee and that is a bit excessive.

I continued on around the shop, noting the offers as I went. Thirty points for one packet of pasta, that’s almost five Air Miles. Sixteen Air Miles or 100 points for a chicken. “That’s better than the one Air Mile for 20 spend I get on my NatWest card,” I said out loud.

The offers were there and yes, there were hundreds.

It took some time for me to find what I believed to be the best value. “Spend 1.55 on a tube of Colgate toothpaste and earn 75 bonus points. That’s 12 Air Miles for a tube of toothpaste!” Not too bad, 37 tubes of toothpaste and I get my free trip to Paris! Or looking at it from the other angle, a flight to Paris for under 58, and 37 tubes of toothpaste free!

“Eureka,” I shouted, “that’s why the offers are so good.” “Buy One Get One Free.” It’s cheaper to offer bonus points than to give two for the price of one. Loyalty programmes are replacing sales promotion – well done Sainsbury’s, not such a “Bold” move after all!

Alison Levitt

Marketing consultant

ALM

London NW2

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