In the lead up to the festive season, advertising campaigns go into overdrive and shopping baskets are piled high with merchandise destined to fill Christmas stockings and holiday gift hampers. How can South African consumers find those most elusive festive fancies, value for money and truly thoughtful gifts?
“The hype around the Black Friday ‘sales’ are a case in point, where many goods are touted as being on special in an attempt to drive blind consumerism. Frequently, it is the merchandise that retailers are unable to sell during the course of the year that will be most heavily marketed in the run up to the festive season and in January sales,” notes Denelle Morais, Product Development Manager for the innovative Zurreal wellbeing and rewards programme.
“Can you remember exactly what Christmas presents you received last year and from whom? Chances are, socks, bath salts and yet another jar of hand cream will not leave a lasting impression of thoughtfulness, and many of us would rather not accumulate more material things without significant sentimental value,” she observes.
Bargain hunters may find themselves tempted by shopping displays emblazoned with the word ‘Sale’, however in practice many of the so-called discounts reflect the fact that these goods were overpriced before the holiday sales season began.
“The hype around the Black Friday ‘sales’ are a case in point, where many goods are touted as being on special in an attempt to drive blind consumerism. Frequently, it is the merchandise that retailers are unable to sell during the course of the year that will be most heavily marketed in the run up to the festive season and in January sales,” she observes.
Morais has the following top tips for those who wish to give gifts over the festive season:
- Plan ahead and shop around to secure the best possible value
- Take time to consider what your loved ones want or need before choosing a gift
- Match these requirements to the gift to ensure it will still be remembered during the next gift-buying cycle in 2018
As the New Year beckons, Morais suggests that a gift that would yield consistent month-on-month rewards for its recipient could be a subscription to a health and wellness programme. One could help sustain their family member’s healthy habits in the form of the Zurreal Platinum rewards and loyalty programme, for example.
“The road to health and fitness doesn’t have to be a bumpy or short-lived one, at that. The Zurreal Platinum programme leads the market in rewards programmes. It has been designed to offer practical and meaningful rewards from day one, with no complicated points structures or unattainable benefit levels that are so often associated with rewards programmes in the market. The programme was also an industry leader in offering cash rebates for playing golf.
“It is also a simple process to claim rewards with no arduous administrative processes that make the rewards seem not worth the effort. The membership comes with a 100% refund on gym fees or a cash rebate of up to R12 000 per year for those who exercise at least 12 times per calendar month with our Gym Cash-back reward. This is available for members making use of any gym, not only large franchises, on receipt of each quarter’s access statistics,” she explains.
Those who sign up for a year’s Zurreal Platinum membership qualify for a 10% discount on the gift that truly keeps on giving, which is more than a month’s free membership. “Furthermore, members can earn up to R4 050 per year simply for going for annual health check-ups, including routine medical tests, dental check-ups, cholesterol checks, and mole assessments among others, and up to R1 000 for adhering to their prescribed chronic medicine,” Morais adds.
“For those who are studying through any registered South African education institution, membership can earn you up to R5 000 per year or the value of the course. All these rewards are over and above the real savings to be achieved on hundreds of special deals we have negotiated on travel, entertainment, mobile connectivity and shopping for Zurreal members.”
Rewards are paid into members’ Zurreal Healthcards, which can be used to pay health-related expenses or can be paid out in cash at the end of the year. Other benefits include a host of telephonic counselling, assistance and advisory services.
“With so many gimmicks and empty sales promises around at this time of year, there are very few gifts that offer the appreciable value and flexible rewards that are available through Zurreal Platinum,” Morais concludes.