Customer contests are an easy and fun way to interact with your customers. Plus, with a few small modifications, they can be a great way to keep those customers coming back.


Customer contests are a great way to build brand loyalty. Plus, most people thrive off a little friendly competition – especially when there are fun prizes at stake! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Blind Tasting Contests

An easy one to plan for a wine or beer shop, but can be easily modified for any restaurant or gourmet food shop! Set up a “blind tasting” station (wherein the contents of a container are concealed) and have customers drop guesses into a fishbowl. The submission forms can include a spot for customers to write their email address, and opt in to receive your newsletter. Winners could receive branded merchandise and/or a gift certificate to your business.

Naming Contests

While bigger decisions (like what to name your business) should be left to the branding professionals, asking for some customer feedback on smaller decisions is a great way to make them a part of the process. Say you run an ice cream shop, and are introducing a new flavor – let customers submit names in-store or on social media. You can ask customers to vote on the top 3 names, or just pick one yourself! The winner gets recognition online and in-store, and maybe free ice cream for a month (or something similar).

Photo Contests

Photo contests are an easy way to engage with your customers, as most everyone has a smartphone these days! So, what type of contest should you have? Well, if you run a pet boutique, you could host a pet costume photo contest for Halloween – and the winner’s photo could be shared on your various social media accounts and/or could receive a gift certificate to spend at your store. Or, if you run a pizza place that offers takeout, you could ask your customers to share photos of where they’re enjoying your pizza.

These are just three examples of contests you could host to engage with your customers in a way that promotes your business and creates buzz around a new product or offering. Even better if you can tie the contest in with your charity partner, and give back to those in need!

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