Bacon Beckons, in a Whole New Way


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Nothing could make me more loyal to the food that we rarely call ambrosia, even though it is that. We use a more mundane name: bacon. Or, more accurately, we speak of it as bacon-mmmmmm, because the word is always followed by that little verbal swoon of appreciation at the end.

Do you want to improve filet mignon? Wrap it in bacon. Improve a job offer? Wrap it in bacon (I’m not kidding). Improve bacon? Yes, wrap it in bacon. Improve a loyalty offering? Wrap it in . . . oh, wait. This is about the opposite. Improve a bacon’s attraction? Wrap it in loyalty.

That’s what Smithfield is doing with its “Upgrade to a Better Bacon and Win!” promotion. It’s not a traditional loyalty program per se, nor is it unique in the retail world, but I mention it here for some elements that I like (I mean, besides the bacon). “Upgrade to a Better Bacon and Win!” is a sweepstakes. For a chance to win, open your purchased bacon package to get a unique code that you enter online. And the site asks for other information, including a couple of opt-in preferences, which introduces the potential of learning a bit more about bacon-fanatic customers.

Among the elements I like:

* The engagement and information-gathering, of course, as I just mentioned.
* In addition to registering for the top prizes, the promotion offers the potential for instant win – a low barrier to engagement. No need to buy a few hogs’ worth of breakfast meats to qualify for a redemption (even though I’d qualify).
* The clear connection of brand partnerships in the awards.

There are purely aspirational prizes – including a 5-star Caribbean vacation in partnership with No direct connection there, though I have a feeling that no vacation could be truly classified as 5-star without serving bacon at breakfast (and other meals). But for the people buying bacon because they love to cook, there’s a kitchen upgrade in partnership with, and cooking gear from such notable brands as All-Clad, Lodge, Cuisinart and KitchenAid. It’s not only brand association by interest (cooking), but also brand association by quality of product.

That latter part is important. Help your customers enjoy the lifestyle and interests that drew them to your brand in the first place. To that strategy, I say, with a slight verbal swoon, “Loyalty-mmmmmm.”

Bill Brohaugh
As managing editor, Bill Brohaugh is responsible for the day-to-day management and editorial for the COLLOQUY magazine and, the most comprehensive loyalty marketing web site in the world. In addition to writing many of the feature articles, Bill develops the editorial calendar, hires and manages outside writers and researchers and oversees print and online production. He also contributes to COLLOQUY's weekly email Market Alert and the COLLOQUYTalk series of white papers.


  1. Sounds good.

    Here in Georgia, whenever there’s a cookout you just know a pig had to die.

    Perhaps I should share with them my family’s recipe that’s named Bacon Explosion. It takes bacon (and sausage) to a whole new level (some people have been known to OD on it…)


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