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The Genuine Advantage

The new program needed to capture audience interest with easy-to-understand rules and desirable awards that targeted the needs of various demographic groups. With personalization and flexibility key success factors, the main reward option, American Express PersonaSelect debit cards fit the bill. Winners were able to redeem awards of their choosing within a range of businesses selected by Saab. The communications campaign used graphics to stimulate winners’ imaginations of awards ranging from golf clubs and electronics to jewelry or cooking gear. Dealers who exceeded their baseline quota by 3 percent earned debit cards; if they exceeded by 5 percent, they earned individual travel aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. To ensure success, awards were based on dealer input and were customized to motivate performance. To truly engage the dealer network, Saab allowed them to select the baseline month for sales objectives, in effect, allowing them to perform 3 percent or 5percent better than their lowest sales month in 2001. The Genuine Advantage program also incorporated the dealers’ feedback to use travel as a motivator. Individual travel aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise was added as a premium award to entice parts and service managers to meet sales and customer service objectives determined by Saab. In addition, Saab supported the effort by giving dealers the option to participate in a two-tiered direct mail campaign to customers. Created to drive traffic into the local dealerships to directly support the sales goals, the first mailer included a coupon for a free oil change and the second for a new set of wiper blades. Saab needed the program to be implemented quickly, communicated effectively, and designed to build excitement. Frequent direct mail, strong brand identity, and performance tracking kept the program top-of-mind. Monthly performance statements showed participant status and what was needed to win. Program participants also received sleek metal clipboards, business card holders and wristwatches branded with the Saab logo and Genuine Advantage theme. These everyday items served as constant goal reminders.
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