Kohl’s Makes My Day with a Birthday Gift: Good Practices in Retail Loyalty

Shiva Kommareddi
My birthday is coming up and Kohl’s sent me an offer in my email: “Here’s a $10 gift for you to spend at Kohl’s to get your celebration started”

This really touched my heart and I was wondering why this meant so much to me (especially given that a Kohl’s coupon is not the hardest thing to get, there are in fact three others in my mail box right now with different offers).

Here are some reasons I came up with:

  • While I probably have atleast a dozen or more loyalty club memberships and many of them take the trouble of sending an email to say Happy Birthday, this is really the first time someone sent me a gift. While an email (that in my mind doesn’t cost anything) from an impersonal entity (AAdvantage wishes you a happy birthday!) was something that I was almost insulted by, as I knew it was a form letter, this communication from Kohl’s seems like they really meant it
  • It was a gift not an offer. They did not say 10% off, they did not say buy $50 and get $10 off your next purchase, they just said here’s a gift no obligations. This does not sound like a marketing offer but a gift from a friend
  • They reminded me to use it to get the celebration started with this. I was not thinking about the celebration earlier, but now I am thinking: What should I treat myself to at Kohl’s (that second pair of sneakers that I have been thinking of?)

I would have thought that in the crowded world of loyalty, I would be bombarded with such offers. Nope. Just one offer so far, and unlikely that I will get any more.

A few things that Kohl’s could have done better:

  • It arrived on the Sunday before my birthday, Saturday AM would have been better timing
  • It did not have any creative relevant to me (man vs woman at least)

Anyway nice job Kohl’s and I will expect great things from you.

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