Consumer promotion tools are sales promotion directed at consumers with a view to increase the use of products among existing consumers and to attract new consumers. Following are the main consumer promotional tools:
Samples: Many a times free samples of products are distributed to customers. The sample may be distributed in the shop or door to door. Such technique is popular in the case of drugs, cosmetics perfumes and other like products. As distribution of samples is very costly, this technique is confined to the products of small value and of repeat sales. It is an effective device of sales promotion because the consumers are provided with an opportunity to examine the product and to see its merits before purchasing such product. Further it may be successfully used to introduce new products in the market.
Premiums: A sales premium or bonus offer is the offer of an article free of cost or at a nominal price on the purchase of a specified product. For example, one tooth brush may be given free on the purchase of an economy pack of a tooth paste. The premium provides the inducement to purchase products on the part of consumers. According to the mode of offering premiums, the premium scheme may fall into two categories:
- Premium articles.
- Premium coupons.
In case of premium article, a gift article is enclosed in the package of products in question and is available at the point of purchase. The premium coupons attract rewards in exchange of a specified number of coupons.
Prize contests: Under this device, prize contests are organized for -consumers to make them interested in the product. Generally, the customers are invited to send suggestions regarding the best name for a product or arrange the possible attributes or good points of the product. Handsome prizes offered in such contests attract a number of people to use the product.
Demonstration: A new brand is promoted by this technique. Demonstrations are arranged at fairs and exhibitions, temple festivals or even on a door to door basis. These are most commonly employed for house¬hold appliances and new beverages. Businessmen demonstrate their products explaining product’s special features and usefulness.
Goodwill Gifts: Items of personal use by the prospects such as diaries, desk trays, pen holders, calendars, rulers, purses, etc., can be usefully employed by the manufacturer and seller to remind them of the product and its utility.
Coupons: Coupons are generally supplied along with the product which entitle the holder to either a specified savings on a product or a refund. Most coupons are designed for following purposes:
- To introduce a new product.
- To increase sale of an established product.
- To sell new and larger sizes of a product.
- To induce customers to switch brands.
- To encourage repeat sales.
Coupons are used for consumer convenience goods. They may be distributed by mail or door to door, inserted in packages or part of magazine and newspaper advertisements.
Rebates: Rebates are cash refunds after the purchase of a product, The marketer offers to refund a part of price paid by the customer on production of some proof of purchase. For example a toilet soap manufacturer may offer to refund Rs. 5 on sending the empty cover of the pack.
Price Packs: Price packs are savings to the consumers off the regular price of a product. The reduced prices are marked on the label or package. For example, “two for the price of one” sale or reduced price for two related products if bought together (such as a shirt and a trouser).
Patronage Rewards: The marketer may offer rewards in cash or in kind to the regular users of its products and services.