For a few weeks now, two banks have been confusing me and my fellow consumers who have as little (or as much) as sh1,000 to put aside. Both banks are both green in color and you’d be forgiven to think its one bank running two different promotions with similar prizes. Confusing right? Thing is, these two banks are running promotions that are similar in nature- deposit some money in your account and you stand a chance of winning, among other prizes saloon cars, pick-ups, motorbikes and other worldly possessions that we hold so dear and use as a measure of how well we’re doing.
Bank one. Cooperative Bank- Ongeza Akiba, Imarisha Maisha promotion. The creativity behind this promotion hits more than two nails on the head at the same time. Coop Bank has taken different scenarios of how one can forego a quick, short lived luxury in anticipation for a higher, more satisfying reward. A quick run through of my favourite among them: A guy walks past a restaurant and see another digging in into a delicious meal with gusto.
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out to the bank to deposit it. A few days/weeks later, the guy from the restaurant bumps into him after winning a pick-up which he now uses for biashara and he can afford the best meals. Simple and with enough insight into consumer habits, tapping into their lifestyles. It connects with the target audience like Cinderella’s glass shoes.
Bank two. KCB- Jaza Ujazike Na KCB promotion. I have fewer words for this promotion and its advertising. It has one execution. A guy is lying in bed watching his 32 inch flat-screen TV. When suddenly, the promo ad from KCB comes on and after seeing the great prizes to be won (again, vehicles) he gets into a frenzy, overturning his mattress and seemingly picking what we are led to think is a sack of money. He makes a beeline to the bank and enquires: watt hula wanaweka pesa wapi huku (loosely translates: where do people keep their money here). Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the most important part, which is the reward!
Amid my confusion, I have come to one conclusion. You see, I have three supermarket loyalty points’ cards Nakumatt, Uchumi and Tuskys. The same way that I get to benefit and take advantage of their reward schemes, I will be shuffling my few thousands from KCB to Coop Bank and back to KCB- until I get my Nissan pickup or Toyota NZE. Genius huh?
When two brands in the same industry run a promotion, one thing is certain. Consumers are not barred from participating in both at the same time. The two banks might get some activity in their accounts and even a few new account openers, but the activity will last as long as the promotions before accounts go dormant. I’m sure the mobile service providers have the same tale- a spike in mobile number activations which go docile when the allure of prizes is no longer there.
I now invoke Pareto’s 80/20 principle. Brands should concentrate on retaining the existing 20% of their loyal clients who actually account for 80% of the profits; use promotions to reward them regularly to show appreciation and leave other marketing activities like to attract new customers. Kenol-Kobil is a great example. Only the K-card holders get to enjoy bigger discounts that those who stray into the petrol stations, but this is a post for another day!