Is it possible that "Perks" are becoming a new currency?
I don't suppose that "Perks" per se will ever replace the US dollar, the Euro, the Yen, or any other major currency as a trading vehicle but the folks over at trendwatching.com are predicting a growing trend of increasing value in the perk department. They've even coined a term "Perkonomics." (follow this link to see the report) I tend to agree with them and thought I'd throw this out at you. As we continue to weather this credit crunch and suffer the fall out in the economy, some tangible and intangible things will increase in value. Specifically, programs that save time or generate convenience, status, or opportunity, will demand more value in the marketplace.
For instance, look around at the thousands of programs that are available and offered to us daily. Everything from a punch card at your local coffee/ice cream shop to frequent flier miles or reward points for your credit cards. A few years ago, these solicitations reached the nuisance level in my home but as the economy continues to contract, these programs will gain momentum and more programs will evolve as merchants compete more fiercely for our business. As a consumer, I offer - now is the time to use these items. Sign up for the programs that make sense to you. Cash in your points on old programs and realize some of the benefits of good patronage. Take a weekend get away. Splurge and pamper yourself and your family. Use your points to upgrade a class in your airline travel. By all means, use them before you lose them.
From a business standpoint, now is the time to be creative and find a clever perk program to offer your customers. Keep in mind that it will become increasingly more difficult to attract new business and generate growth. As the customer holds on ever more tightly to their hard earned currency, they'll be shopping for more and more value. If you can offer them something with a unique and perceivable value, you'll win and they'll win!