Put The Brand In Their Hands – Twelve Ways to Use The Magic of Reciprocity
The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges
granted by one organization to another.
It happens to most of us every day. And it is much more powerful than you may realize.
Whether you are buying lunch for a customer, phoning a friend to thank them for a gift
or organizing a referral for a colleague, the reciprocal exchange is a very real and
important part of our lives. It’s all about community and connection.
Psychologists have proved the following: when one person gives something to another
person, the recipient immediately feels a desire to respond “in kind”. As humans, we are
hard-wired to reciprocate.
When it comes to business relationships, the power of reciprocity cannot be overstated.
It is one of the most effective ways to build and distribute your brand.
Again, studies have shown that reciprocity can exponentially increase the percentage of
customers returning to you, because it builds a relationship of trust and mutual benefit.
One important fact to remember: the initiator of the exchange must have a sincere wish
for the other’s benefit. Anything less may be viewed with skepticism. The recipient must
know that what they are receiving is free, and that they are in control of the decision to
So, let’s get down to it. How do you make reciprocity work for you as a business owner?
1. Be the first to initiate. Always think from the perspective of the customer, and
what may appeal to them specifically.
2. Make it personal. The offer is better coming from an individual than from the
company. Reciprocity works best as person-to-person.
3. Make it clear that you are offering something for free. Newsletters, free product
samples, free consultations and contest opportunities are all effective.
4. Pair a free gift with a product or service that is being purchased.
5. Offer something exclusive. This can include gifts or privileges for those who
subscribe and/or are regular customers. For example, you may create an
exclusive notification list for upcoming specials, or send an annual gift to your
6. Offer regular discounts on products or services. Many customers return again
and again to check for discounts. Everyone loves to get a good deal.
7. Offer a time limited trial or sample of a new product or service.
8. Provide a gift that benefits the customer and has no connection to promoting
your product or service.
9. Send a surprise gift. Who doesn’t love to receive an unexpected bonus?
10. Provide free education on your product or service.
11. Invite your customer to post on your social media, showing ways that your
product or service has benefited them – then reward them for posting.
12. And finally, continue to build on the relationships you have built through
reciprocity by offering new gifts and options.
Now, go ahead and make the Magic of Reciprocity work for you and your brand!