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UPI and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Team Up to Raise Funds in Non-Traditional Manner

Author: Brandy Bosta Colbert, CRM Specialist | Posted: Mar. 27th, 2014

In 2013, UPI’s marketing team partnered with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and presented them with a unique concept that would raise funds in a non-traditional manner. Our idea was to have original hand-blown glass art made in Pittsburgh and designed exclusively for the Food Bank.

The Food Bank was enthusiastic about our idea and excited to work with us on this new concept. Soon after, UPI’s marketing team contacted Cristina Morrow, a Pittsburgh native and hand-blown glass artesian. Cristina took our concept; made it a reality and the first collection of Giving Globes™ were made!

Each unique Giving Globe comes in a pre-packaged box and includes an eco-friendly tag, which is embedded with carrot seeds for planting. Additionally, its tag conveys a message of hope, peace and joy, which is exactly what the food bank provides to our fellow neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity.

The Giving Globes show just how easy it is for neighbors to give back to neighbors. All proceeds stay in the Pittsburgh area and help provide meals to those in need. The purchase of a small Giving Globe provides 75 meals and a large Giving Globe provides 115 meals.

The Globes have been selling on the Food Bank’s online store since early December 2013 and make the perfect gift for holidays, baby showers, weddings or to honor the memory of a friend, loved one or colleague. In addition to being sold online, the Giving Globes have been available at special events throughout Pittsburgh.

If you are interested in purchasing your own one-of-a-kind Giving Globe, please visit www.pittsburghfoodbank.org.

UPI is honored to work with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and help make a difference for our neighbors in need. We would also like to thank our friends at edible Allegheny for featuring Giving Globes in their April/May Edition.

Update: Since the Giving Globes became available in December 2013, proceeds from their sales have provided over 5,800 meals to individuals and families in the Greater Pittsburgh area!

The Perks of Customer Loyalty Programs

Author: Brandy Bosta Colbert, CRM Specialist | Posted: Mar. 10th, 2014

Everywhere you look- restaurants, retail stores, pharmacies, gas stations… they now provide customers’ with rewards for their purchases. These are known as Customer Loyalty Programs. Generally, we only hear about the rewards customers receive, but there are actually quite a few benefits for the businesses that offer these programs. After creating a long list, we narrowed it down to the top three benefits that retail/grocery stores receive by offering Customer Loyalty Programs to their shoppers.

Valued Rewards Enhance Loyalty:

When shoppers believe that a Loyalty Program is beneficial and offers worthwhile rewards; they are motivated by the perks, continue shopping at the store and over time become loyal customers. This is confirmed in a survey completed by Martiz, in which 69% of customers say their choice of retailer is influenced by where they can earn loyalty or rewards program points.

Learning About Customers:

Each customer is unique. They are attracted to certain brands, quality, price points and more based on their own personal tastes and lifestyles. Through a Customer Loyalty Program, marketing executives can use tracked data to see customers’ demographics, shopping behaviors and purchasing habits. Additionally, this information can be resourceful in determining effective pricing strategies, encouraging cross-purchasing of complimentary products and even selecting store merchandise/products. When this data and information is combined with a rewarding loyalty program, stores differentiate themselves and create a competitive advantage in their market.

The Bottom Line:

The data obtained from Loyalty Programs can differentiate loyal customers from sporadic shoppers. By targeting loyal customers, stores can budget their funds more effectively and directly reach out to customers that are profitable. Plus, loyal customers spend 60% more than general customers. Not only are they giving a store repeat business, but they are also spending more on each shopping visit. Additionally, executives can deselect the unprofitable customers and reduce spending by not sending them costly mailers, time consuming emails, coupons or perks.

As you can see, Customer Loyalty Programs are a win-win for consumers and businesses. Just the data alone helps businesses make more efficient decisions, save money and increase revenue. For the customer, they receive a more personalized shopping experience, lower priced items and valued perks that keep them coming back for more!

Here at UPI, we take great pride in our customer relationship management and loyalty programs. These programs can be customized to add value and additional incentives to both new and existing loyalty programs. Recently, UPI surveyed participants from our Frequent Shopper for Education program. 94% responded that our program builds loyalty between participants and our participating supermarkets. For more information about our Customer Loyalty Programs, please visit here.

Anthropology + Marketing:
The Science in Sales Promotions

Author: Harry Guidotti, Founder and Chairman of UPI | Posted: Feb. 5th, 2014

Anthropology is the study of humans and their behaviors from a single individual to the society in which each individual lives. For centuries, anthropology has been used to identify and predict behavior within a society. Today, many Fortune 500 companies even employ anthropologists to help with the introduction of new products and to analyze consumer trends.

So, you ask, how does anthropology relate to sales promotions? Generally, sales promotions are designed to change or alter behavior. Some promotions are successful, while others are not. One of the main reasons a promotion is unsuccessful is because its promotional team did not know enough about its prospective client’s business strategy, current and potential customers and overall goals.

This is why before developing a promotion, I recommend answering the following questions:
- What is the history of your prospect?
- What is the company’s past and current culture?
- How old is the company?
- What was the company’s first product or service?
- Does the company now sell new products and services?
- What are the company’s goals?

Over the years, depending on the age of your prospect’s business, it is likely their method of distribution has changed.

- What do you know about your prospect’s customers?
- What is the prospects relationship with their customers?

You might be surprised to learn that there is sometimes antagonism between the prospective client and their customers. In many cases the prospect’s customers or distributors also carry a competitor’s product. It is essential that you understand their culture, as well. They’re the ones that will be selling your prospect’s products and services.

So often-sales promotions are more art than science, which is the reason many promotions fail to reach their potential. Utilizing some tips from anthropology will give you the kind of knowledge, creditability and trust your prospective client will appreciate. This, in turn, will lead to a long term business relationship.

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