A gift-with-purchase programme can add huge value to your overall marketing strategy – especially if it’s on brand and provides that all-important treat factor.
Use our 8-point plan to develop a winning strategy and make sure you add tangible value – only then can you entice and convert buyers and demonstrate a positive ROI to your board members.
Gift-with-purchase is a well-used marketing tactic in the beauty and cosmetics industry. In fact, some brands are heavily reliant on it to supplement new launches and seasonal campaigns. –
Such activity really comes into its own at Christmas when the mechanic can be seen in full swing on department stores shelves and the homepage banners of the growing band of online beauty portals. From branded cosmetic pouches and brush sets to totes, shoppers and clutch bags emblazoned with logos – executed correctly, they can leave a lasting impact that more than outweighs their investment.
Why use a gift-with-purchase?
They add value
In contrast to discounts they add perceived value to your brand or product rather than minimise it. This is particularly important for luxury cosmetic and personal care brands.
They boost conversion
Such is the power of a great gift-with-purchase, it can encourage a consumer to switch brands or make an unplanned purchase in a micro-moment
They do your advertising for you
Branded gift-with-purchase products stick around so serve as a reminder of your brand. They create talking points in gyms, changing rooms, in powder rooms at bars and restaurants and amongst friends and colleagues – effectively showcasing your brand to others and creating awareness and potential sales by word of mouth.
They can encourage customers to buy more of your product when you offer with a threshold spend or specified number of items.
They encourage repeat purchase
When consumers become familiar with the quality of your free gift-with-purchase items they are more likely to be enticed by future promotions.
Complementary gift with purchase products like washbags and cosmetic pouches can also be combined with trial sizes of your product to expose your target consumer to other must-have products.
They attract loyalty
Customers love free gifts. Providing a gift-with-purchase demonstrates your commitment and investment in ensuring your customer has the best possible experience of your brand.
How to get them right
Follow this simple checklist when developing your gift-with-purchase. It will improve your chances of success and optimise your return on investment.
1. Consider Utility
Ask yourself how the gift-with-purchase will improve the customer’s experience of your brand or product. How will it improve their life and add tangible value? Understand your audience and consider how they might use it. Maybe it adds weight to a giftable at Christmas and makes the donor appear more generous. Perhaps it’s a directly relevant gift that helps the customer use your product – an applicator brush with cosmetics, for example.
2. Relevancy and on-brand
Make sure your gift is commensurate with your brand values and has a meaningful connection to the product or brand it is promoting. Customers can spot a gimmicky giveaway a mile away.
3. Market and communicate it
Use all channels at your disposal to communicate the offer whether it be influencers and social media platforms, in-store point of-sale material, customer direct mail programmes and newsletters and ATL campaigns. Limited edition items and deadlines can create the sense of urgency you need to create demand and drive sales velocity.
4. Get the ‘How To’ right!
Make redemption instructions crystal clear. There’s nothing worse than ambiguous instructions that lead to a store assistant telling the customer they are not eligible for the free gift. Avoid customer embarrassment and make the ‘how-to’ legible and foolproof.
5. Make the qualifier reasonable
Total common sense this one but often overlooked. Don’t ask a customer to spend £150 to get a flimsy, compact make-up pouch. Go back to 1 and 2 and make sure your eligibility criteria feels reasonable and worth the customer’s effort.
6. Stock your gift-with-purchase
Use insight to set your order levels to create the right balance. Running out of the free gift or the product you’re promoting after an hour will lead to frustration and have the opposite effect. But remember that an element of exclusivity adds to the desirability of your gift-with-purchase and makes it more covetable, creating a greater sense of immediacy to transact.
Though gift with purchase campaigns are prolific at Christmas and Valentine’s Day some brands will employ them at slower sales periods to boost sales.
It’s a brave move not to engage in the gift-with-purchase game during Q4 but remember that the marketing ‘noise’ is significantly louder, and competition will be fiercer.
Another delicate balancing act. You want to give your customers something to look forward, additional reasons to encourage repeat purchase. However, over-use of the gift-with purchase tactic can lead to expectation and a sense of entitlement that ultimately leads to conditional loyalty. Your customer becomes savvy about your gift strategy and stalls their purchase until they know you will be promoting again.