Monthly Archives: December 2010 is now Guaranteed Irish – two services helping independent businesses survive the recession.

Amongst all the bad news in this weeks budget we received a small bit of positive information – is now Guaranteed Irish. As you probably know the Guaranteed Irish symbol highlights goods and services that are primarily Irish in nature. It is intended to allow people to see which products and services they buy are keeping jobs in the country. It was very popular during the last recession of the 80’s but almost closed down during the boom. Now in the recession it is back and in more demand than ever. qualifies for this mark for three reasons;
  • We are based in Cork.
  • We source all material such as our own promotional material and the cards we provide to you in Ireland as well. 
  • We have developed all our own software and systems. We do not resell or rebrand generic software. This not only gives us our own asset in the Intellectual Property but also allows us to respond to our customers in the Irish market by ensuring it responds to our customers feedback instead of forcing our customers into adapting to the software. In effect we are doing the same thing that our clients are – thinking ahead and doing our best to offer them a reason to do business with us.
The majority of our clients are small independent businesses who see that their success is ultimately in their own hands and nobody else. By offering their customers a points based rewards scheme they not only encourage repeat visits but also have an easy way to market to those customers thanks to the mailing list and reporting features of It is these businesses that the country relies on for the majority of employment.
In addition to providing loyalty services to individual businesses we also use the platform to power This is the brand we have developed to provide Reward Cards for whole towns and communities.  In each town the participating business can run their own Reward Program but customers can avail of all the reward programs  with one town-specific localrewards card. This is loved by residents since they get rewarded for shopping locally. It also brings extra benefits to the participating businesses because the fact that someone is using a card in their neighbour means it is more likely they will visit  them as well. 

We launched in Carrigaline a few weeks ago and have since run a community competition where a person who shopped in 2 or more businesses was drawn at random to win €250. The response from the businesses and the public has been very positive and there are now just under 3,000 cardholders in the town. We also launched in Macroom the week before last and while we had intended expanding the number of businesses since then the weather has led to a delay and expansion of the existing 4 businesses will take place in January. Extra towns will be coming on board from the end of January.

Reward Cards, Guaranteed Irish and Surviving the Recession
The response to our service from businesses and customers, and the enquiries we have had from towns shows I think that the businesses that are going to survive the recession know they need to do something to keep their customers and need to do it quickly. These are the ones who are willing to try something and not sit back waiting for someone to do it for themBut it also shows that the customers of independent businesses are aware of the importance of supporting local jobs in small businesses. They want to do so if they can see a reason to. Guaranteed Irish, and all give them that reason.