The ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, was the original author of the phrase, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Fast forward to a COVID-19 world and we see many brands attempting to innovate in order to continue serving the best customers which form the foundation of their loyalty marketing efforts.
One interesting approach from the B2B loyalty marketplace caught our attention. Ideal Electrical, a Rexel Group company from New Zealand, has long operated an innovative rewards program for their customers. Ideal is the major distributor of electrical supplies and tools to New Zealand electricians and offers a points-based system that facilitates redemption across a wide range of products. Like other countries, New Zealand is currently on lockdown and the disruption has certainly affected normal business operations for Ideal and their program members.
The Essentials Catalogue is a Unique Approach to B2B Loyalty
With the able assistance of their loyalty services partner, Incentive Solutions Ltd (ISL) of Auckland, the B2B loyalty program team put together an “Essentials Catalogue” and immediately offered the contents for redemption. The special catalogue offers the out-of-work electrician a chance to use their points instead of diminishing cash to cover many of life’s essentials. Redemption online or via mobile device means no visit to the store, no exposure to possible infection, and no hassle. Fulfillment is provided via drop ship directly from an approved manufacturer to the member. Delivery to the door of the member is provided by established couriers throughout NZ who meet all “safe delivery” requirements as outlined by the NZ government.
“The fact that the essentials catalogue operates via digital ordering and our suppliers drop ship channels using approved courier companies is a big bonus,” said Colin Samson, Chief Executive of ISL. Ideal's essentials catalogue currently consists of over 600 products and is growing by the day. Key categories are food, beverage, baby/nursery products, appliances, cleaning products, health & beauty aids, housewares, tools, and home maintenance items. “Other clients are adopting the essentials catalogue very rapidly,” Samson added, “and it’s a great way for the programme to keep engagement levels high, while saying ‘we appreciate you’ all at the same time.”
Ideal has also offered a scaled down version of the essentials catalogue to their own associates as part of the employee incentive program. Direct e-mail communications have been used as the ordering platform for the employee efforts.