It’s something that is drilled into most of us from early childhood; “Remember to say thank you to your Aunty for the gift.” Not saying thank you is simply bad manners. Whether it is at an individual level, or an organisational level, it’s important to show genuine gratitude for support, financial contribution and contributions in kind.
Recently I supported the Red Shield Appeal by collecting donations in my neighbourhood. It’s an excellent system where, by spreading the door-knock workload, they achieve greater geographic coverage (and hopefully raise more money for the charity). And then I received a thank you letter from them. It included a ‘Free Big Mac’ voucher as a token of their appreciation. At first glance it was both a courteous and kind thing for the organisation to do. No doubt the intention was well meaning.
Putting on my V|CMO hat I reflected on the broader customer experience. Considering the diversity of our communities the inclusion of a ‘Free Big Mac’ voucher is unlikely to have broad appeal. Here’s why:
“Does your event align with your cause?” by @georgiestayches explored the miscorrelation between philanthropic events, and some of the details which undermine the great work organisations are doing stating “This is how patrons quickly became disengaged from the cause.” Whilst the brand alignment is a positive one from McDonald’s perspective, the reverse correlation may not be quite so great.
And while you can’t please everyone all of the time, sending a thank you at an organisational level requires thought and consideration. I’d also advocate it requires some market testing or focus group feedback. The average redemption rate of vouchers is commonly thought to be around 30%. Is this because generally vouchers aren’t relevant or appropriate for 70% of those who receive them?
Perhaps a more inclusive option would be to provide a Beverage Voucher? Choose from tea, coffee, soft drink or water. Hard to find someone unable or unwilling to select something from such a diverse offering.
Or McDonald’s could match the price of a Big Mac for every collector and contribute it directly to the Salvos in lieu of my thank you voucher? $4.30 per Big Mac x 2,822 Collectors = $12,134. And then just pop me a quick email to let me know this was happening. This could greatly increase positive brand sentiment for both Salvos and McDonald’s.
I’d happily support either of those options. Love to know your thoughts.