Some companies get it–some don’t

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Here are three companies and I’m wondering if you can guess which two understand their customers and how to reward their patronage:
1. Borders
2. Barnes & Noble
3. Amazon

If you buy books my bet is you can guess right away. Two of these companies offer great rewards. Amazon is almost always 20% cheaper than the other two companies without any rewards. Borders simply asks for your email address and they discount close to, if not even to, Amazon. And yes, Amazon gets all your information after you purchase.

But not Barnes & Noble. They want $25 or they won’t reward you at all.

Barnes & Noble doesn’t understand that keeping pace is about satisfying the customer not just their bottom line. Rewarding a customer for being loyal should trump all other marketing ploys. Hopefully they’ll get it before its too late.

Extra credit: If I was a marketing person at either of these book companies I’d make a deal with Ebay/Half.com. I’d allow customers to bring their used books to any of my stores and we’d buy them. Then we’d take those books and post them on Half.com. The math is easy: pay x dollars for used books and sell them for y dollars. The best part is that because Half.com sells so many books its easy to get the market rate instantly. At the same time Half.com could list new books we have in our inventory.

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