How do you feel when you receive a gift, especially an
incredible one? Is it something you still remember and brings you joy? For
many, gift giving is a positive experience, fosters goodwill creates lasting
impressions and a desire to give back. As a business owner, you can use the same
concept to attract new customers to your business! It’s called ‘gift
marketing,’ but it’s so much more than merely giving gifts to customers. It’s
about delivering a WOW! experience that cultivates a connection with customers
and an attachment to your brand. But how can you give customers something of
value to build relationships? We discuss what makes gift marketing work for
The Right Approach to Gift Marketing
Gift marketing works best when the gift is meaningful to the
recipient and offered in a genuine way. Gifts are truly that – given without
anything expected in return or conditions attached. The gift should be of high
value to your customers and beneficial to them. Not only will this approach
make your business stand out, but it also inspires customer trust and loyalty.
When presenting the gift, customers want to feel special and
part of something exclusive. Even if the gift is given to a wide audience, the
offer can be received well if it is intended for a certain demographic or
personalized. Using the person’s name or another form of personalization on the
gift gets it noticed. This step goes above to create a personal connection and
gives the customer a preview of the individual care and attention they can
expect when they walk through your door.
The Principle of Reciprocity
There is power in the unexpected gift, and the reason is
even supported by what psychologists call the “principle of reciprocity.” It’s
in our human nature to want to give back when something is received. To prove
the concept, psychologists
conducted a study in which servers provided checks with mints to their
customers. As a result, they saw a 14% increase in tips when two mints were
provided and a 21% increase when extra mints were given.
Reciprocity + Gift Cards = Success!
Time and again, we see the principle of reciprocity in
action at BirthdayPak. Especially when it comes to giving the ideal gift that
everyone loves: Gift Cards! Current trends show that gift
cards are a win all around. They are the preferred gift for their ease of
use and personal feel. In fact, consumers are buying more gift cards for
others, self-gifting them and overspending
by an average of $59 on the original value. Businesses are using gift
cards to build customer loyalty and maximize sales. Combine gift cards with
the principle of reciprocity and it’s easy to see how a gift marketing program
sets a business up for success.
What do consumers value more – experiences or stuff?
Research and trends continue to show that people would rather spend money on
memory-making experiences than on material things. Not only are experiences
perceived as more valuable, but it’s
been shown that experiences make people happier and they believe the money
was better spent. We examine the shift in spending trends, why it’s happening
and how the restaurant industry is benefitting.
The Spending Shift to Experiences
$12.3 trillion. Yes, trillion. That’s what Americans spend
in total personal consumption each year. And this figure has nearly doubled
since 2000, according to HSCS and the Bureau of Economic Analysis Data as reported in Fortune.
But over the same 15-year period, discretionary spending (cars, household goods)
has decreased. Some of that spending has shifted to experiential purchases,
such as travel, recreation and eating out, which has steadily increased.
Although supply and demand, population growth and inflation
contribute to these shifts, Americans (especially wealthier Americans) are willing
to spend more on experiences. This aligns with a study by The
Harris Group, which reported that the share of consumer spending on live
experiences and events has increased 70% compared to total U.S. consumer
spending since 1987.
Millennials and Social Media Are Setting the Spending-on-Experiences
As Millennials are the largest generation by population and
older generations tend to follow their lead, all eyes are on them when looking
at trends. And when it comes to money, 78%
of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience over buying a
‘thing.’ And 72% would like to increase their spending on experiences rather
than on physical goods over the next year. Social media plays a large role in
the ‘fear of missing out’ mindset as Millennials often broadcast their events
and experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
2018 American Lifestyle report confirms that dining out and entertaining
are experiencing above-average growth with improved consumer spending. So much
so that almost half of Americans choose to spend on dining out after paying
bills and buying other necessities. Americans are even prioritizing
discretionary spending over reducing debt.
BirthdayPak Brings Consumers the Ultimate Birthday
It’s clear: Consumers enjoy experiences, even more than
‘stuff,’ and dining out is one of Americans’ favorite experiences. For
restaurants and other experience-based businesses targeting their ideal customers,
there’s BirthdayPak. BirthdayPak brings the ultimate birthday gifting
experience right to their mailbox! A beautifully printed and personalized
BirthdayPak contains up to 8 gift cards to local upscale businesses, including
restaurants, salons, day spas and more. This print and digital marketing
platform brings affluent customers to these businesses when celebrating their
birthdays and other memorable events.
For good reasons, entrepreneurs realize that there are many advantages to a proven franchise system, to be “in business for yourself and not by yourself.” With hundreds of options to choose from, the process can be overwhelming and daunting. That’s where a franchise consultant can help. Working with a franchise consultant can be beneficial to prospective franchise owners by guiding them through the process, from discovery to selection, saving significant time and effort. Together with Bonnie Beinhorn, MBA, Certified Franchise Consultant at Franchise Finder Solutions, we discuss how consultants can provide value to their clients.
What Is the Role of a Franchise Consultant?
A franchise consultant, sometimes known as a franchise
broker, helps streamline the process by being a “match-maker.” Consultants should
not charge any fees to clients for their services. They are compensated by the franchisor once a
placement is made. Franchise consultants
do not “sell” franchises, rather they provide relevant information and guidance,
and identify specific franchises that are aligned with their client’s goals,
preferences and investment level, so the client can decide if there is enough
interest to take the next step in exploring the opportunity.
The goals of the franchise consultant should be “to make the discovery and selection process efficient and enjoyable by taking away the confusion,” says Bonnie. A franchise consultant is most helpful by “presenting concepts and options that someone would not have likely found on their own and showing how they are a good fit.” According to Bonnie, “A consultant should be client-centered and not allow their own preferences and biases to affect their search.”
Franchise consultants can be helpful at every step of the process, as the client desires, usually until their agreement is signed with the franchisor. According to Bonnie, franchise consultants can “guide clients through Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) review, validation calls with existing franchisees, and provide tools for assessment and referrals to funding sources and franchise attorneys.”
Qualities and Skills of an Effective Franchise Consultant
According to Bonnie, the most important quality of an
effective franchise consultant is strong interpersonal and communication skills.
This includes listening well and conveying information in a simplified way.
Bonnie says that also having business experience, knowledge of franchising and
federal/state/industry regulations adds value to the client discovery process.
To make an informed decision, having a diverse franchise
portfolio is needed. This includes a breadth of business types and categories
at every investment level. In addition to knowing the right questions to ask, a
consultant should be able to search quickly for franchise opportunities that
most align with your goals.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Franchise Consultant
When you decide to work with a franchise consultant, you’re looking
for someone who has the expertise and skills to guide you through the major decision
of buying a franchise. To determine if the franchise consultant is a good fit
for you, some suggested questions to ask include:
What is your background and why did you choose
to become a franchise consultant?
How long have you been a consultant?
Do you have any franchising experience?
Are you affiliated with any franchise consultant
How do you stay current with industry changes
What is your process to identify and present
After the introduction is made, how involved are
you until the agreement is signed?
How available are you? Can you take calls in the
evenings and on weekends?
If I prefer (texting/emailing/talking on the
phone), can you accommodate?
What expectations do you have of your clients?
How many franchisors do you represent?
Next Steps in the Franchise Buying Process
“The more the consultant knows, the better the consultant can help determine opportunities to present that are a good fit” says Bonnie. The first step in the franchise search process is to have a clear understanding of your goals, preferences and any ‘must-haves’ before reviewing specific franchises. By asking the right questions, a consultant will learn about the type of business model you prefer, your skills and interests, desired territory and timeline.
Bonnie concludes, “Remember that as the client, you have the option to choose who you want to work with. We are professionals who can bring knowledge and expertise to what is otherwise a very time consuming and overwhelming experience. Find someone who you connect with and let them get to work for you!”
What do these three things have in common: Rock ‘n’ Roll, LeBron James and Lake Erie? If you guessed Cleveland, you’re right! While Cleveland is all of these things, it’s so much more. It’s a city reinventing itself and a great place to start a business. Cleveland is a culinary mecca with a rising food scene. And soon, it will be home to the BirthdayPak gifting program that brings together local, upscale businesses with their best customers. See why Cleveland is an ideal hot spot that will place BirthdayPak on the map.
Cleveland: From Rustbelt City to Resurgence
After decades as a rustbelt city, Cleveland is on the cusp of a resurgence. The area is booming as new businesses and industries thrive and it’s attracting young professionals. In fact, Cleveland ranks among the top 10 cities with a dramatic increase in college-educated millennial residents. And from 2011-2015, $8 billion was invested in new development.
Cleveland prides itself on a distinct history of manufacturing and the innovation that has sprung from it. The economy of the Cleveland metropolitan area is diverse, with industries including healthcare, banking, finance, education, insurance, and technology. In fact, 8 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Cleveland. As a major city, Cleveland is the second largest metro area in Ohio and 33rd most populous in the United States with more than 2 million residents.
A Great American Food City
Cleveland’s diversity is reflected in its art, culture and, of course, food. While well-known for polish cuisine, Cleveland also rivals the best for ethnic, trendy and upscale restaurants. Iron Chef Michael Symon, who hails from Cleveland, and other prominent chefs, catapulted the city into the culinary limelight. Accolades include being ranked by TIME as the 7th best food city in the country. Travel + Leisure readers also ranked Cleveland 7th out of 20 in a listing of America’s Best Cities for Foodies in 2015.
Restaurants Contribute to the Ohio, Cleveland Metro
What impact do restaurants have on the local economy? Consider these statistics for the state of Ohio: More than 22,500 eating and drinking establishments had estimated sales of $24.2 billion in 2018. Restaurant and food service jobs amount to 10% of employment with 585,000 jobs in 2019. That’s expected to grow by 9.1% by 2029. With Cleveland as a major metro area and culinary center in Ohio, this industry in particular is a boon to the local economy.
Why Invest in a BirthdayPak Franchise in Cleveland?
It’s clear – Cleveland’s strong economy provides a solid
foundation for a business to grow and thrive. The city’s nationally-acclaimed
food scene is hot. This combined with a proven model at BirthdayPak provide you
with the skills and flexibility to launch your business. Want to learn more
about this exciting, high-potential franchise opportunity in Cleveland, Ohio?
Start with these
10 articles and contact
us to take the next step to your new career.
BirthdayPak recently announced that Jody Daszkowski is owner
of BirthdayPak of Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey. Jody is a BirthdayPak recipient and has an
abundance of skills that will prove to be beneficial as she launches her new
“I love receiving my
BirthdayPak each year, I use every one of the gift cards! I’m excited to be
able to share this excitement with even more women in New Jersey, while driving
profitable birthday celebrations to the local businesses.”, says Jody. I’ve
been looking for the right business opportunity, and when I learned BirthdayPak
had a market near me available, I just knew it was the right choice.”
In the past 10 years, BirthdayPak has grown significantly
from a single market in southeastern PA to having multiple markets across the
United States. Since its inception,
BirthdayPak has delivered more than 4.5 million “happy birthday” greetings in
the mail. This translates to nearly $360,000,000
in gift cards that have been sent to BirthdayPak recipients over the past 10
years! That’s a significant amount of birthday
The BirthdayPak marketing platform drives birthday
celebrations to participating upscale businesses, such as restaurants, day spas
and boutiques, from their best potential customers. The beautifully printed and mailed “birthday
gift” features gift cards from this exclusive group of businesses in the
community. The women who receive
BirthdayPak have discretionary income and are about to celebrate their birthday,
a proven trigger for consumer spending.
BirthdayPak has sent millions of emails to recipients with
high deliverability and open rates, keeping consumers engaged during the year
and encouraging repeat visits to the participating businesses. The BirthdayPak business model has a history
of positive performance and extremely high client retention rates. The above average response rates, and
additional branding opportunities through a digital experience, provide a
BirthdayPak is expanding nationwide through franchising and has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as the #1 franchise in Advertising Services category for 2019. If you, or someone you know, has an interest in learning more about this exciting business opportunity, please contact us.
Many factors can give insight into the strength of a franchise: Number of locations, good financials and how much it’s grown. But one of the most important components of a strong franchise is sometimes overlooked: The brand. It says everything about the customer experience and how the franchise is perceived. A strong brand is a good indication of happy customers and franchise owners. If the brand is widely recognized, it creates trust and loyalty. And when a franchise is recognized by external organizations, it’s further validation of a strong brand. We look at what makes BirthdayPak an award-winning franchise and how excellent support elevates a brand.
Recognition as a Top Franchising Option
BirthdayPak has been consistently recognized as a top franchising option. While we are honored, we know it’s a team effort. With multiple franchises open across the United States, our franchise owners help make the BirthdayPak brand what it is today. The continued trust in our gifting platform builds from our one million annual BirthdayPak recipients and hundreds of business partners! Over the last year, we have been awarded with these prestigious franchising honors:
“Best of the Best” in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®:This listing is one of the most competitive rankings and an invaluable resource for potential franchise owners. BirthdayPak is proud to be #183 on the list and named #1 Franchise in the Advertising Services category for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.
While awards and accolades are reassuring, you should also look for a franchise that has a strong support system. An excellent support system contributes to trust that underpins a strong brand. Franchise owners have faith that the franchisor will provide them with the tools, resources and support to run their business well.
BirthdayPak provides top notch support, and this sets us apart from other franchise brands. Every new owner has training at the corporate office in Springfield, Pennsylvania and onsite training in your franchise territory. We also provide continual support once your franchise is up and running. In addition, our community of franchise owners rely on each other for advice and guidance.
Invest in a Strong Franchise Brand
A strong brand is an important element when buying a franchise. It signals a good reputation and is typically more established, reducing some of the risk of franchise ownership. However, a due diligence process is key when considering franchise options.
At BirthdayPak, we’re looking for franchise owners in these available markets to help us achieve even greater success, together! For more information, contact us.