BP Says Thank You

Company aims to win back customers with new fuel rewards program

Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Senior Editor

HOUSTON -- A new rewards program from BP is thanking customers for making multiple fuel purchases and trying to win back others, while also boosting its marketers' sales--in the form of a $10 BP Reward Card.

The program, which runs from December 1, 2010, through March 1, 2011, was designed with three goals in mind, according to BP spokesman Scott Dean: Demonstrate the company's commitment to its U.S. fuels customers/branded marketers.

Continue to build awareness among consumers that BP's sites are locally owned and operated, and a contributing part of their community.[image-nocss]

Recognize and express gratitude toward consumers who have remained loyal to BP, while simultaneously encouraging consumers who have left BP to return, particularly in light of the Gulf Coast oil spill earlier this year.

Dean told CSP Daily News that in addition to hoping consumers understand that the program is an expression of gratitude and that BP's intention is to reward them for their continued loyalty, the program also is intended to help branded marketers "continue to connect with their communities and local consumers by expressing their appreciation."

During the "Thank You Days" promotion, customers making five qualifying fuel purchases (of eight gallons or more) can earn a $10 BP Reward Card.

After making each purchase, customers present their receipts to the cashier inside to receive a code, which they can then enter at www.thankyoudays.com. Once all five codes have been entered, they automatically receive the reward card at the address they submitted during registration.

Dean said the company hopes the program helps drive sales and volume by increasing purchase frequency at the pump, although he said it is too early to tell how successful the program is. By bringing customers into the store to see a cashier, benefits are also anticipated from the increased in-store traffic.

"Since the majority of fuel purchasers do not enter the c-store, this program is expected to drive more traffic into the store and hopefully increase sales," he said, "which will help our local BP-branded marketers and site operators strengthen their individual businesses." It was these marketers who bore the brunt of consumer protests in light of the oil spill.

The company hopes that the engendered loyalty will continue beyond the program's end date. "We hope that consumers will continue to remain loyal to their local BP sites and support the small business operators that, in many cases, have served their individual communities for generations," Dean said.

BP traditionally launches an on-site promotion at this time every year, and when the promotion is designed to drive volume, they historically require the 8-gallon minimum purchase, according to Dean.