Treat Tokens

Winner of Pet Product News Internatinal's Marketing Award of the Year.


Problem: How to engage with potential customers who are not on social media?


For my retail business in St. Pete Beach, FL, my customer base was 70% tourists and 30% locals (we used a zip code survey at each checkout). I found out through a 6 month survey that my customers were not using social media, so I looked for a way to reach new customers that might not be as tech savvy as the younger customers (St. Petersburg is largely a retirement town). I invented a Token system where I had a credit card company make me thousands of round printed disks, individually numbered, that I could give out to people in the community who worked directly with other people. I would hand a container of a 20-50 disks to Dog Walkers, Attorneys, Realtors, Personal Trainers, etc.. and they would give one disk to each of their clients as a thank you. Their customers would in turn come into my store to spend the token on a high valued item (not some cheap item, but a $5 to $10 item) and the serial number on the token was recorded in the transaction. Then I would keep a database of the serial numbers that came in, who handed them out and how long they took to make the complete cycle. The people who handed out the disks received 1% off for each disk that made it back home. This data helped me understand my client behavior and brought me a huge increase in local customers, changing my demo to about 50% tourists and 50% locals. My Treat Tokens won me an international award in Marketing from the Pet Product Association in 2012.


  • Treat Tokens are distributed in stacks of 30-50 to business professionals within the community, such as lawyers, personal trainers, and dog walkers. 

  • They gift a token to their clients as a "thank you" for their loyalty.

  • Clients redeem Treat Tokens by visiting the store and thereby converting people into customers of the store.

  • The store rewards the business professionals for each token that makes the full cycle with percentages off sales at the store.