When do double points become single points? The ‘temporary’ increase in Tesco reward points so customers earn double the prior amount was introduced in August 2009, so when will the ‘double’ novelty wear off?
Stop to think about it and it’s sheer marketing genius. I’m not knocking the scheme; people certainly get more points per pound than they used to (two points per pound spent rather than one), though how that interrelates with profit margins on in-store goods would be fascinating to see. In fact I’m a relative fan of Tesco’s rewards scheme. It’s certainly the most flexible of the supermarket redemption plans, hence the high number of Clubcard points chasers (See Boost your loyalty points).
Yet by calling it ‘double points’ – and maintaining the aura of impermanence (even though I’ve been assured there are no current plans for it to end at all), the marketing campaign gives the entire scheme’s appearance a frisson of extra value.
Imagine for a second Tesco had introduced this scheme without this form of marketing behind it (unlikely in the cathedral of consumerism that is the supermarket sector). If it had simply said “we’re going to permanently give you twice as many points as before” without the name ‘double-points’, it would’ve have been different.
While, initially, people would’ve been pleased to get more points, this amount would’ve soon become normal. Everyone would’ve automatically started to think Tesco shopping now earns two points per pound and forgotten they’d been given more.
Yet by calling it ‘double points’ there’s a sub-conscious continual reinforcement that ‘we’re getting more than we should’ or ‘we’re being treated’ or ‘this is great value’.