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Tag: stewart’s

Why do companies like Stewarts have things like milk clubs and other loyalty programs?

Because they work!  Let’s say that you could buy essentially the same milk or coffee or gas or airline seat someplace else for the same cost.  As long as you feel like the place you are getting it is taking care of you right (treat you with respect, don’t leave you on the tarmac for five hours, stuff like that), everything else being equal you will tend to use the same provider because you (and I, and everyone else) are lazy and creatures of habit.  If a company can then only spend a little bit to get you to use their stuff religiously as opposed to someone else’s, it makes good economic sense for them sense even though they are getting a slight decrease in profit margin, they make it up in volume.

My local coffee shop (Coffee Planet) has a loyalty program that is pretty typical: buy 10 cups get one free.  I swear I get a free one almost once a week!  These benefits can really add up if you actually pay attention to them.

So I have to admit: I play the Super Mega Uber Lottery every once in a while, but only on my birthday or if the prize is over a hundred million dollars.  Yes, I know the odds are better that I’ll get hit by lightning then they are of me winning, but the couple minutes of joy I get imagining what I will do with the tremendous amount of cash (roughly 38 cents on the dollar for lump sum, plus the assumption that I would have to split it, meaning $100million would give me about $19million, still enough to do whatever I want) are totally worth it.

I drugstore get a few minutes of joy thinking about establishing trusts for my kids that will pay totally for their education and allow them to have a car in college (not a sports car, but something reliable and not ten years old).  I think of the local investments  I can make to grow local start-up businesses, thus helping the local economy.  I think of the season tickets at Yankees Stadium (hey, if you are worth more than a baseball player makes in a year you are entitled to splurge a bit!).  This couple of minutes of dreaming is worth one dollar.

And yesterday I won.  As usual when I go grab gas or milk at Stewart’s I hand the ticket to someone at the counter and say “Tell me I’m a loser.”  Managing my expectations, sort of.  And yesterday the lady told me “You’re a winner!”  Imagine the thoughts that went off in my head for a few seconds before I pulled myself back to reality!

“How much?”

“$2.”

Sweet!  So I gave half to the charity collection they run at Stewart’s.  Have to share my good fortune!