Kudos Community:Making Coupons Work for Small Businesses, Consumers, and Non-profits

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Coupons are all the rage these days.  There are a multitude of websites devoted to electronic coupons, advice for getting the best deals with coupons, and group coupon sites such as Groupon and Living Social.  If that’s not enough, we can spend our evenings watching reality shows about couponing.  While I’m not a fanatic, I’ll admit that a great deal is a good way to get my attention, and sometimes my money.  If the deal is for something I want or need and saves me cash, then I consider it a win-win situation for the business and for myself.

However, small and local businesses have largely been left out of the victory circle.  Group buying sites can be expensive, and they don’t have the functionality to allow for targeting the right demographics or promoting repeat business.  For many small businesses, it is too much of a risk.  Meanwhile, they are losing ground while bigger businesses can afford the risk and monopolize the market.

Kudos Community is a new online coupon platform that is giving small businesses a chance re-enter the competition.  Currently available for the Seattle metro area, the service plans to expand to other cities across the country.  The focus of the Kudos Community is to help small businesses, consumers, as well as non-profits save and make money.  Carl Lombardi Jr., co-founder and president of Kudos Community, describes the new service, saying “We’ve designed a platform that provides a cost-effective alternative that small businesses can leverage to target the right customers and optimize repeat business while giving back to the community.”  They accomplish this by allowing businesses to customize and direct coupons toward a target audience, as well as see the costs of the campaign before committing to it.  The platform provides powerful analytics capabilities that equip small businesses to deliver coupons to targeted consumer groups, optimizing the chances for repeat business.

A local business in the Seattle area that has already started benefiting from the Kudos Community is BluWater Bistro.  Owner and general manager Bart Evans says, “We’ve used other group buying sites and believe that Kudos Community provides a cost-effective online marketing tool that’s business-friendly and virtually risk free.  The fact that I can set the parameters for which customers I want to reach and see the costs associated with the coupon upfront, gives me confidence that our campaign will be not only be successful, but also drive repeat customers in a way that makes financial sense for our business.”  The simple and intuitive platform allows businesses to create an account, use the Profile Tool to select a target audience, and send customized coupons to members’ accounts.  Coupons can be posted for up to 30 days.

Consumers who sign up for free membership in the Kudos community will receive relevant coupons and offers, which they can share with friends and family through e-mail or social networks, and redeem by printing a physical coupon, presenting it on a mobile device, or sometimes just mentioning the coupon at the point of sale.

An added draw for small businesses and consumers alike is the fact that Kudos Community donates 25 percent of its revenue to nonprofits and community organizations.  So not only do consumers receive deals for the local products and services that they value, but they have the added inspiration of knowing that they are earning money for their favorite charities just by signing up and receiving coupons.  More than 1.2 million charities are included through the Community’s partnership with Network for Good, a nonprofit that facilitates support of any charity online, and also provides affordable, effective fundraising solutions for nonprofits.  Members of the Kudos Community can choose up to 3 charities that they would like to support simply by taking part in the Kudos Community.  Charities collect commissions quarterly generated by the offers that members receive.

The efforts of the Kudos Community to allow small businesses to use coupons effectively and affordably, to help consumers support local businesses and still save money, and to provide new revenue for charities and non-profits, are commendable, creating what I would call a win-win-win situation.


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