Fluff & Stuff: Does Your Redemption Program Pass the Cuddle Test?

Let’s all admit it together. Say it out loud: “My name is (insert name), and I was attached to some sort of stuffed animal growing up.” See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Whether it’s our good friend Teddy or a stuffed version of some famous cartoon character, plush toys are a part of American childhood. In fact, according to an article by The Guardian, “60–70% of children have an attachment object, usually a stuffed toy or blanket. Attachment peaks at around 3-years of age but many children maintain a strong relationship that can last well into adulthood.”

What happens if children aren’t gifted the opportunity to play with a stuffed animal? They struggle to detach from their parents — doesn’t that sound like a nightmare — they lose an opportunity to practice social skills and handling emotions will be a more difficult endeavor than it is for their stuffed-animal-carrying counterparts.

Even adults can benefit from snuggle time with fluffy friends. They’re the perfect way to help us reduce the stress that comes along with adulthood. If you still have a stuffed something you love, well, you’re not alone!

Make Your Redemption Program Snuggle Worthy

What purpose are your plush prizes playing in your redemption program? How do you connect with your guests through this category of prizes?What’s your strategy behind plush and how are you maximizing the return?

All this teddy talk has us feeling warm and fuzzy about our Fluff & Stuff Prize Storyboard (pre-designed, high-performing merchandising layout). Let’s dive in to why this merchandising solution can help the overall value perception of your redemption offerings.

Variety of “Characters”:

Our Fluff & Stuff Storyboard is compiled of high- and low-ticket items, to serve a variety of “characters,” or guests of yours. However, this ticket range starts at the higher end of the Impulse Redemption Range— typically plush items will start in the 100-ticket range. It continues into the 1,000-ticket range.

We always recommend a good mix of generic and brand name Fluff & Stuff product. Having options for all Redemption Ranges (Impulse, Trader & Saver) encourages each and every one of your guests to walk away with a plush item. Can’t you just feel the cuddles spreading already?

Our favorite item in this storyboard you ask? Neon Apees 29". In the higher-ticket range it’s the perfect item to motivate your guests to play more until they can win their desired prize.

When we pick a favorite item, we look for the following:

  • Appeals to a wide variety of guests
  • Performs well in different markets
  • Above our Performance Benchmark*

*A Prize Performance Benchmark is the average sales/orders of a product from our customers currently ordering it. For example, of customers that purchase Neon Apees 29" for their redemption program, the average volume is 2.6 Apees per month (no, we don’t cut them in half). We call this a benchmark as it helps us identify where the optimal performance for the Prize is.

At our standard ticket value of 2,250 tickets per Neon Apee, that’s approximately 5,850 tickets a month — or — 70,200 tickets a year. Given that we generally we see FEC & BECs payout 25 tickets to a dollar, we can then easily calculate the revenue potential of Neon Apees.

To calculate the potential revenue gain from this product, we use a simple calculation:

[Tickets Earned per month or year] ➗ [Tickets paid-out per dollar]. Using the numbers above, it would look like this:

Revenue per month: [5,850 Tickets] ➗ [25 Tickets per Dollar] = $234/month

Revenue per year: [70,200 Tickets] ➗ [25 Tickets per Dollar] = $2,808/year

NOTE #1: The numbers and calculations above are made utilizing Redemption Plus’ standard ticket, price and payout values. The exact numbers vary business to business in actuality.

If you’re not currently ordering Neon Apees and have a prize in a similar ticket range that isn’t performing as well, we recommend you make a swap. If you have questions about how or why you should do this, give one of our Value Architects a call or email our SMILE Support Team at smile@redemptionplus.com. They’re all about Neon Apees this month 👍

NOTE #2: If you’re currently ordering Neon Apees but your guests are redeeming less than 2–3/month, we’ll be releasing tips and tricks the next 4 weeks (as well as in this post) on how you can reach the benchmark and start seeing more $$$.

What other items are in the Fluff & Stuff Storyboard?

  • 318344 Neon Apees 29" (obviously)
  • 320097 Ghostbusters Marshmallow
  • 320341 Super Mario Bros Mario 24"
  • 320343 Super Mario Bros Luigi 24"
  • 320009 Ghostbusters 10–12" Asmt
  • 318343 Neon Apees 11" Asmt
  • 320352 Poo Emoji 9" Plush
  • 320268 Totally Tentacles
  • 320325 Junk Food Plush 8.5" Asmt
  • 315130 Funny Face Plush 6" Asmt
  • 318896 Donut 8" Asmt
  • 317190 Bowling Pin Plush 8" Asmt
  • 320093 Trolls Movie Mix 8–12" Asmt
  • 305149 Hot Color Monkey 12" Asmt

It’s Simple Psychology:

Science has proven that people are naturally drawn to eyes — in retail and advertising, in conversations and in the art of persuasion.

You’re in luck. Many plush items have eyes, making them a gold mine of attraction into your redemption area. After all, where eyes go, feet will follow. Placing the Fluff & Stuff Storyboard in an easy-to-see area of your redemption room or wall will make this area more inviting to your guests.

When merchandising this storyboard, start with location in your redemption area. Pick a 4’ by 8’ portion of your wall that makes sense within the context of the rest of the room to get started.

We also recommend higher-ticket items be placed toward the top and lower-ticket items at the bottom so your guests can easily differentiate the value of products. Your goal is to get them to start telling themselves the story of winning the big prizes, and the item that makes most sense for them. Be sure to merchandise all color options to appeal to different tastes.

Attachment (To Your Center):

It’s no secret that we, as humans, become attached to certain objects throughout the course of our lives. While these objects may change over time — toys when we’re young, sentimental pictures and mementos when we’re older — it’s no doubt stuffed animals are something we’ve most likely been attached to at one point in our lives.

Now, imagine this. A child comes into your center. Is drawn to the large section of merchandised plush on the wall in your redemption area. While earning one of these prizes seems like a challenge to him, he anxiously awaits claiming a new, stuffed friend as his own. He plays games for what seem like hours (but hours full of fun, of course) to finally earn enough tickets to take home his very own Neon Apee. From that day on he remembers how much fun he had at your center and for a while carries around his Neon Apee everywhere he goes.

Fast forward. This child is now an adult with children of his own. He still has a special place in his heart for your center and the fun he had earning his Neon Apee. He takes his family to your center in hopes of giving his children the same experience he once had.

One redemption of a plush item can generate guest loyalty for years to come.

Maybe you’ve already implemented a product theme in your redemption program that connects with your customers on a psychological level and motivates loyalty that spans generations.

If not, we encourage you connect with one of our Value Architects today and ask about our new Merchandising Solutions they can give you back hours a week, and maximize your redemption economics for optimal return.

This article is by Tabatha Bender, Connection Crusader at Redemption Plus.


Insights Empower is a collection of thoughts & insights to inspire, educate and connect the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center industry. From the team at Redemption Plus, est. 2017 🎉

Visit us at RedemptionPlus.com for more ways to #win.

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