BOGO Redefined: Buy One, GIVE One

  • I read an interesting article on Retail Wire (Free Subscription Required) today, highlighting the efforts of apparel and toy retailers, which have reinvented the typical Buy One, Get One BOGO into a charitable program of Buy One, Give One.

    For instance, children’s apparel chain Whitten Grey offers its shoppers the ability to buy one eco-friendly dress and choose from a selection of African countries where their second dress will be donated. The shopper also gets to pick the color of dress to be donated and to include a personal note to the little girl that will receive her dress in Africa. A noble program.

    Lately, I have been noticing the Food Bank donation bins located next to Supermarket exits and just how bare these bins are at this time of year. There are also noble programs but how could retailers and suppliers really make it BIG?

    By adopting the Buy One, Give One promotion mechanism in Supermarkets both suppliers and retailers can raise awareness and make it easy for shoppers to donate to Food Banks.

    Suppliers and Retailers still get to build brand and category sales while the Food Banks would be consulted to identify products they need at a specific point in time to ensure the maximum benefit is generated for the community. A real win-win-win.

    This program could also go beyond Supermarkets and Food Banks.

    Another high need group includes Women’s Shelters that protect women and children from abusive situations. Drugstores and Mass Merchandisers could make a difference with BOGO programs on health & beauty products, diapers, infant formula and so much more.

    Food Banks and Women’s Shelters need our help all year round. However, the holiday season will soon be upon us, and what better time to kick off a Buy One, Give One program than when need is high and shopper awareness is equally high.

    Imagine if each retailer in Canada ran only one of these promotions per year, with the free products being placed locally. With the high level of geographic overlap, our industry could stabilize the supply to these important organizations and make a huge difference to Canadians in need.

    Food for thought.

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