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Build Your Brand Through Gift Cards

At the Blackhawk Summit, Blackhawk CEO Talbott Roche’s Summit opening talk revolved around Branded Value and she often referred back to a study Blackhawk recently conducted on it. If you aren’t sure what that is, Blackhawk defined it in their study as “a branded object of value that can be accepted in payment or exchange for another product or value”. For independent retailers, branded value gift cards are the ones with your store’s name on them. While Roche was talking more broadly to card partners and retailers who could have their cards sold through the Blackhawk Network, many of the ideas she mentioned applied to small, independent retailers looking at custom gift cards as well.

Cards with your brand’s name on them give customers the opportunity to gift an experience in your store. Whether that customer likes you store because you are right on price, customer service, or product assortment, offering a gift card branded for you helps your customers encourage their friends and family to visit your store. Blackhawk’s research showed 91% of people trust their favorite brand somewhat or very much. If you happen to be one of their favorite brands, they want to share that trust with friends and family.

During Roche’s talk, she showed focus group feedback that included one man talking about how he assumes the giver of the gift card is recommending that store when he receives a card from a friend. That branded gift card basically becomes a referral. In the research, 9 of 10 customers surveyed would use a gift card from a brand they had never tried before, plus 83% of consumers have used a gift card, making it a tactic they understand. This invitation into the store in the form of a branded gift card gives your store the opportunity to showcase itself and the experience of shopping your store to new customers.

Another customer in the focus group mentioned he spent more money than the value of the gift card he was given because he found other things he wanted to buy while he was at the store. That made him not only a new customer but also a more profitable one than originally intended. Blackhawk’s research showed that on average, customers spent $27 more than the original value of the gift card. That’s powerful.

Knowing this is an opportunity for retailers, AWG Marketing has offered branded retailer gift cards for many years. AWG helps retailers lower the printing price for these cards by aggregating orders, and we offer a variety of standard card art. Retailers can also customize it to their preference. The front of your card can feature meat, produce, or your logo.

You can find a summary of the study on Blackhawk’s website. https://blackhawknetwork.com/branded-value/

Don’t have custom store-branded gift cards for your store? Contact AWG Marketing In-Store Supervisor Bryan Wright to explore pricing.

Why do I work at AWG? “I value the opportunity to work with family businesses. My dad owned his own business for 35 years, so it is what I know and cherish. Plus, I love food, so thinking about it everyday is a huge plus.” -Kate