Despite the huge investments in marketing and distribution, business owners are taking it up a notch through innovative relationship strategies with consumers of their brands. This was demonstrated in August, when Suntory Beverages and Foods Nigeria Limited, initiated the Back-to-School Promo to reward patrons of Ribena. Raheem Akingbolu reports
The last quarter of the year is always a reward moment for consumers. It is a period when all the media become sensational and the Nigerian consumers of products are sucked into the frenzies of reward programmes and promotional offers by producers of goods and services in the country.
While some offer mouth-watering cash rewards to lucky consumers for their loyal patronage, others creatively skew the pricing of their goods and services to attract more patronage or retain loyal customers. Yet others offer below-the-line shows and activations coupled with raffle draws designed to both create fun and reward customers who had stayed with their brands through the year.
Properly implemented, a promotional activation can be blended with a reward program to create and retain loyal customer base for a brand. The benefits of such a blend are multifarious for the rewarding company and diverse for the consumers.
To deepened its penetration of the market, promoters of Ribena in September rolled out the Back-to-School Promo to reward patrons of their brand among pupils in various schools.
Specially designed to reward kids, who buy Vitamin C enriched drink, the promo, allowed consumers to participate, with children as the key beneficiaries.
The promo, which kicked off in August offered 250 children the opportunity to win N100,000 worth of scholarships.. The Ribena ‘Back-to-School Scholarship’ promo allows everyone to participate with children remaining as its key beneficiaries nationwide.
To enjoy the offer, new and existing consumers were expected to buy a carton of Ribena 150ml, search the carton for a Smarty Berry Sticker with the winning code. They were therefore required to send the code behind the scratch panel to 65432 for verification, which made them win the scholarship, if lucky. The promo is expected to end by the end of this month.
According to the Marketing Director, Suntory Beverages and Foods Nigeria Limited, manufacturers of the product, Rosemary Akpo, the Ribena Back-to-School Scholarship’ promo was borne out of the company’s desire to support kids to resume school with utmost excitement. She specifically pointed out that the promo was specially designed to reward loyal children who have kept with faith with Ribena.
“The promo was conceived as a result of our determination to demonstrate our concern for our core target, which are the school children. We believe the cash scholarship will go a long way in ensuring they are fully ready for the new academic session. The promo also aims at thrilling these young consumers as Ribena continues to enrich the children with its bursting goodness,’’ she said.
Winners and redemption
Few months after the promo was initiated, the company promptly fulfill its promise as cash prizes were awarded to participants who were lucky to have won in the exercise. As at the time of writing this story about 50 winners have emerged. Though the core target were the children, many parents, who saw it as a relief were quick to commend the company for the modalities and transparency employed while it lasted.
As more and more winners emerge daily in the promo, increased accolades have begun to trail the brand from many fathers, mothers and guardians who expressed their gratitude after being rewarded with N100,000 cash scholarship for their children.
So far, winners have emerged at the various market activations in Oyo, Kaduna, Lagos, Abia and Port Harcourt with joy and excitement as Ribena alleviated their financial burden of sending their children back to school. Other state where winners have emerged are; Ogun, Abuja, EdoNiger, Ondo, Enugu, Imo and Ebonyi.
Apparently excited by the cash scholarship for her child, one of the winners in Abuja, Mrs. Grace Ogilegulu, a teacher spoke on how the exercise would go a long way in helping her daughter,Abigail. Six year old Abigail, attends Old Destiny Education School at kubwa, Abuja.
The woman, who said she didn’t know of any Ribena Promo, until she bought a pack and saw the advert on the pack and later checked and saw the card which and sent the code.
“Seriously, I thought is one of their usual deceptive promotions that this companies use to do. My husband even told me not to border myself that is not real. If not until this hour, I thought is fake. Now that we have won, I will invest it back in her academics. Thanks to Ribina company for touching the lives of my family,”
One of the parents, Mrs Yetunde Bajegbo, a teacher with the Lagos State Government narrated her story on how she bought a pack of Ribena for her child Barakah Enitan Bajegbo,
“At first I thought it was a joke and one of those 419 tricks till I got here and received my alert, I can confirm that the Ribena promo is real. I am grateful and wish the Ribena promo continues in other to support other parents like me. God bless the Ribena team”
Another inspiring testimony from Mr, Kehinde Babatunde who told a story of how he gave a thousand naira to his wife to buy Ribena for their daughter and the wife was lucky enough to have bought the pack with the winning smarty berry sticker. At the redemption, he said
“I am grateful to Ribena because I was going to pay my daughter’s school fees in instalments but now I can pay at once and buy her all she needs for school.”
Another winner, Mr. Chukwuemeka Tony Ubani, who won with his son, Master Chukwuemeka Ubani could not hide his feeling as he commended the company for bringing succor to his family in the face of harsh economic situation the country is currently undergoing.
Ubani, a magistrate at Abuja FCT Court, said his nine year old boy attends Arwa Basic Schools Abuja.
“Smile, I have being buying Ribena 150ml packs for my children and my wife insisted I must buy to increase the stock at Home, I didn’t know of any Ribena Promo, not until the merchandiser informed me and saw the advert on one the cartons, so I bought fortunately I opened one of the packs and saw the smarty berry card and send the code,”
Speaking on how he intended will you use the scholarship money, Ubani disclosed that he had account already opened for all his children and that the reward from the promo will be deposited in the same account to sponsor his children.
With close to 50 winners cut across almost all the six geo-political zones of the country, handlers of the brand have no doubt chosen a right time to prove to their patrons that they care about them. However, children being the major influencer in various homes may in return make the brand the favourite of other kids and families nationwide.