Betty Crocker Comments on Discontinuing Catalog

April 7, 2006 · 0 comments

In an article on DMNews.com yesterday, a spokesperson from Betty Crocker discussed the company’s decision to discontinue their points/catalog program. She really didn’t give an explanation for the decision. She said that they already had a popular rewards program in place, Box Tops for Education. (A nice program — those little rectangles on participation products are worth 10c to the school of your choice.) She said that catalog circulation had declined, but “not as much as you might think.” And last, she suggested that consumers go online to spend their points, because product availability would be most updated there.
So… it sounds like the conclusion to be drawn from this is that BTFE has grown in popularity exceeding that of Betty Crocker Points, and they want to drop down to just one “rewards program.”
My guess is that while they still had good numbers for the circulation of their catalog, probably few people were actually shopping from it. The internet has made shoppers savvy — they were able to see that the points-plus-cash catalog redemptions were available elsewhere for cheaper WITHOUT points, so points were basically worthless.
This is the same lesson that ParadePerks recently learned. If the points you’re giving out don’t have any real value, you can only string along consumers for so long before they realize it and a) drop interest in the program, and b) resent you for insulting their intelligence… creating DIS-loyalty, the opposite of what was intended.
If you’re going to do a rewards program, DO IT RIGHT. Or don’t do it at all. A little planning is all that’s required. Set it up so that it encourages loyalty to your brand, increasing your sales enough to justify the cost of the rewards. Talk to your consumers ahead of time to see what would encourage them to give you their business. If you don’t know what your customers’ needs are, how are you going to meet them? Common sense, people.

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