Glendale, CA, June 23, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Glendale, CA based Greenstead Group LLC recently created and launched the first viral merchandising card aimed to help small business. Called the NOWcard Instant Rewards program the company’s founder Peter D. Morris says it combined the attributes of a loyalty program, a method to attract new customers and it acts as a sales tool to increase sales. “Many marketing tools only do one thing such as a loyalty program’s intent to develop repeat customers,” said Morris. “The NOWcard Instant Rewards system is both a loyalty program and it leverages the network of cardholders since the NOWcard is honored at every participating business.” Each new business that joins the program adds to the number of NOWcard-holders creating a viral network of motivated customers.
The NOWcard Instant Rewards program doesn’t use points or expensive barcode or magnetic stripe systems. Instead, the customer receives an immediate incentive each time they do business with a participating company just by showing their NOWcard. “That reward might be a discount, a bonus or a special offer. The type of reward is limited only by the imagination of the business owner,” Morris states. It is that flexibility Morris said keeps the program fresh and customers returning. “We also help the customer by giving them a free NOWcard and rewarding them for their patronage. It is a win/win,” he said.
In addition to both attracting customers and helping small business keep customers, Morris stated the NOWcard program is a merchandising system since the reward can be tied to the sale of a particular product or service, a bundle of items or to increase the overall transaction. Morris said they took a cue from a recent consumer study by international management consulting firm Booz & Company that found that business must develop new marketing programs that have an explicit and intense focus on value and creates a path to purchase.
Morris says a perfect storm is upon small to medium sized business that has the potential to wipe out thousands of businesses this year. “This protracted consumer-led recession and slow recovery resulted in a loss of sales in addition to the traditional customer attrition of 20%,” Morris said. “Other factors include restricted availability of credit for both business and personal lines and increased value marketing by recognized brands that result in continued revenue loss by small business. The squeeze on cash flow makes it even more difficult for smaller firms to compete and stay in business.” The result, according to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan in a recent Business Week article is what he calls the "bivariate economy" with large corporations quickly recovering despite unemployment staying high and small businesses continuing to struggle.
“Although recent sales and corporate financial reports indicate sales growth, the numbers aren’t across the board and don’t reflect the transfer of sales from smaller, unbranded business to known names. This will lead to significant small business closures,” Morris contends. His company’s own 2010 survey of independent business found that 74% of respondents felt it will be more difficult to attract customers this year and they were looking for a system and tool to solve the three main challenges of attracting new customers, keeping existing customers and increasing sales. Morris believes his program does all three plus one more thing.
“We created a free distributorship and Master License program so experienced but currently unemployed sales people can start earning again,” said Morris. His goal is to have the program in all major metropolitan markets by December 2010 as well as Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand. “Our mission is to help small business succeed, help consumers and to allow people to start earning again while they help their communities,” Morris concluded.