Excited women with shopping bags checking out consumer promotions in a high street window display

Clock icon 9 min read Calendar icon Feb 9, 2023

7 Compelling Consumer Sales Promotion Examples Every Brand Should Try

Experts tell us we live in the age of authenticity. With sustainability and social responsibility taking center stage, consumers favor brands that are open, transparent, and genuine. But there’s one other thing they crave, innovation.

According to the latest Nielsen research, only 6% of global consumers are afraid to try something new. While 40% are innovation-seekers who are always on the lookout for the next big thing.

Innovation comes in many forms – from the type of products and services brands create to the consumer promotions they run to promote them and the customer experiences they provide. Here are seven consumer sales promotion examples that offer a unique spin on tried and tested promotional tactics.

7 Sales Promotion Examples

1. Coupons

Coupons are among the most recognizable consumer promotions. Coca-Cola invented the coupon in 1887, and countless brands have benefitted from this simple, yet effective, formula in the decades since.

Everyone is familiar with the concept. A brand or retailer issues a coupon to a customer which offers money off certain products or a percentage off their total basket spend. Digital technology enables brands to get a bit more creative with the humble coupon. And, by taking advantage of multiple in-store and online channels, they can reach a wider audience.

Use coupons to:

  • Win new customers
  • Encourage repeat purchases
  • Reward loyal customers

Sales Promotion Example #1: Canada Dry

Keurig Dr Pepper used coupons to great effect in its bid to drive repeat purchases of Canada Dry products. The soft drink producer included PIN codes on qualifying products, which customers could enter on the promotion’s microsite. However, rather than a standard cash discount, customers could choose from one of three unique offers.

2. Rebates

Research shows that rebates are among the most effective consumer promotions you can run. According to the Promotion Marketing Association, consumers are 75% more likely to buy a product if it includes a rebate option.

Rebates offer customers a post-purchase discount on the products they buy. Traditionally, customers would claim their rebate by completing a physical form. But today, brands harness end-to-end digital rebate platforms to simplify the process, while capturing valuable first-party data they can use to inform future sales promotions.

Use rebates to:

  • Incentivize new and repeat customers
  • Increase product sales
  • Grow market share

Consumer Promotion Example #2: IAMS

IAMS’s digital rebate program rewarded conscientious pet owners for taking care of their pets, by offering a $200 rebate on their annual vet visit. All they had to do was buy two IAMS products and upload a copy of their vet and purchase receipts to the program’s website. Since launch, the program has helped raise brand awareness, increase loyalty, and drive sales.

3. Instant Win Contests

As the name implies, instant win contests are a type of prize draw that reveals the winner and issues the prize at point of entry. Easy to enter and providing the kind of instant gratification people crave, instant win contests are a staple of consumer sales promotions in every industry.

Use instant win contests to:

  • Entice customers to try new products
  • Boost customer engagement and retention
  • Build brand loyalty

Consumer Sales Promotion Example #3: Boost

Drinks brand Boost added a sweepstakes overlay to its instant win promotion to provide additional value. Called the Golden Getaway, participants could earn a variety of daily digital and physical rewards by completing various activities, like engaging on social media or referring a friend. In addition, participants were automatically entered into three grand prize draws for the chance to win a dream summer vacation.

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4. Social Media Contests

If you want to grow your online following, raise brand awareness, or generate a buzz around your latest product, look no further than a social media contest.

Social media contests ask followers to complete specific actions, such as liking or sharing a post from your brand account, for the chance to win a prize. Like many of the consumer promotions examples on this list, versatility and simplicity are key to a successful social media contest.

Use social media contests to:

  • Create excitement for your brand or products
  • Raise brand awareness and affinity
  • Strengthen customer relationships

Consumer Sales Promotion Example #4: Costello’s Bakery

Social media contests don’t have to be one-off events. They can be a fixture of your wider marketing strategy, too. Located in York, UK, Costello’s Bakery runs weekly Instagram contests to grow its social media following and drive loyalty. Every Wednesday, Costello’s invites customers to leave a comment or follow the company profile for a chance to win a free box of delicious cupcakes.

5. Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes and contests are two sides of the same coin. They both offer participants the chance to win desirable relevant, typically high-value prizes – like a new car or an all-expenses-paid holiday. The key difference is that contests have specific entry requirements and determine the winner based on skill. In a sweepstakes, everyone has an equal chance of winning and the winner is selected at random.

The simple format, low stakes, and ease of entry make sweepstakes a popular choice among consumers.

Use sweepstakes to:

  • Win new and lapsed customers
  • Engage and excite customers
  • Raise brand awareness

Consumer Promotion Example #5: Swarovski

Swarovski partnered with Xbox on a global sweepstakes promotion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Halo video game series. The unlikely collaboration gave fans in the US, UK, France, and Germany the chance to win one of 117 exclusive Halo Master Chief Crystal collectibles, simply by entering their details on the promotion’s website.

6. Digital Punch Cards

Punch cards are an integral part of many brand loyalty programs. Every time a customer purchases a product, online or in-store, they earn a stamp. Once they’ve collected a certain number of stamps, they can exchange them for increasingly valuable rewards. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, Nando’s, and countless others have used this tactic to great effect over the years.

Digital punch cards work on the same principle, only they let customers access their punch card directly through their smartphone. This spares them the hassle of leafing through their wallet to find the right card and show it to the cashier every time they make a purchase.

Use digital punch cards to:

  • Drive repeat/multiple purchases
  • Raise brand loyalty
  • Gather valuable customer data

Consumer Promotion Example #6: Monster Energy

It’s not only restaurants that can benefit from digital punch cards. Monster Energy teamed up with retailer United Pacific on a digital punch card program to drive seasonal sales of the popular energy drink. Customers who purchased 10 cans of Monster Energy earned a branded snap-back hat and, more importantly, could upload their receipt for the chance to win a Monster Strat Guitar.

7. Loyalty Member Promotions

Although it isn’t a sales promotion per se, customer loyalty programs are one of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers. Loyalty programs give your best customers access to exclusive rewards that encourage them to shop with you, rather than switching to other brands. This could be early access to new products or services, cash discounts, or something as simple as free shipping on online orders.

Some brands offer subscription-based, tiered loyalty programs that reserve the most valuable rewards for your most loyal customers. Far from being a turn-off, 85% of UK consumers say they’re more loyal to brands that offer a subscription service.

Use loyalty programs to:

  • Boost average cart value
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Reduce customer churn

Consumer Sales Promotion Example #7: Candy Kittens

Candy Kittens’ Gourmet Gang is a prime example of a loyalty program that understands its audience. Loyal customers can earn points through multiple channels and activations, for example, when they make a purchase or leave a review. There are even platform-specific rewards for TikTok users, which helps the brand target Gen Z consumers.

Don't Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to sales promotions. Many of the brands featured on this list succeeded because they weren’t afraid to update or reimagine traditional promotional tactics – from unlikely partnerships, like Swarovski, to layered promotions, like Boost.

The key is to find the approach that works for your brand and your customers.

Contact us today to discover how our modular shopper marketing platform helps you create compelling consumer promotions your customers, and your bottom line will love.

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