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Friday, October 2, 2009

(GIFTBEAT)Here, fashion maven T.J. Reid, editor of the Fashion Advantage newsletter and retail consultant to the fashion and gift industries, explains a unique promotion called the "Name Game."

I first talked about the "Name Game" in 1989. Recently one of my retail clients ran the promotion again. You pick a day of the week to be "Name Game" day, and on that day announce for example "Wednesday is 'Name Game' day, and our name is Mary for this week." Anyone with the first, middle or last name of Mary who shops the store gets a percentage discount on purchase or a gift. [Customers] have to prove their name with a driver's license.

Pick two or three common names in the beginning. Put a box next to the register where people can drop in their names. When you have 15 to 20 names, start drawing names from the box. That gives everybody an opportunity for their name to be drawn. [Publicize] the name on your answering machine, and put it on a sign in your window or on outside signage. People will drive by the store to see what the name is, or call you to get it.

Retailers love [this promotion] because there is no cost and it takes very little time. A Canadian store involved its entire strip center, with all the stores doing the "Name Game" on the same day with the same name. The main thing is that it creates lots of word of mouth, anticipation and excitement. It's about personalization, too. Everybody has an ego and wants to be important. Having a day named after you is like getting a key to the city.

Note: Reid's book "What Mother Never Told Ya About Promotions" can be purchased at

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