How Raising Cane’s Used the ‘$2 Dollar Truth’ to Turn a Simple Idea Into a Really Big Win

Years in the past, I used to design and run contests for a virtual media corporate, and I discovered the most important fact that made me a lot better on the task:

More other people will input a competition with a in point of fact cool prize that is price, say, $500 or $5,000, than when you merely made the prize $500 or $5,000 in money.

We used to speak about why this used to be. Maybe it is that whilst most of the people like cash, a part of the thrill is imagining having a particular want or need glad. 

  • If you inform any person you can give them $3,000, perhaps they begin interested by how they would pay expenses or save or make investments, or finish up frittering it away. But when you be offering a $2,500 Caribbean holiday, perhaps they believe themselves leaving their cares in the back of for a couple of days on a seaside.
  • Likewise, an estimate from a couple of years in the past used to be that new folks spend a median of about $900 in keeping with yr to shop for diapers for each and every younger kid. But once we ran contests for a parenting logo, we would get extra entries through providing “Free Diapers for a Year!” than through merely providing a $1,000 money prize.

I thought of all of this once I heard that the Raising Cane’s, the Louisiana-based hen finger chain eating place, had spent $100,000 to shop for 50,000 tickets on this week’s $810 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, with the promise that the chain’s 50,000 workers would break up any winnings.

Let’s name this “the $2 Truth:”

Simply giving $2 to each and every worker should not have achieved very a lot. But as an alternative, making a large, amusing deal in regards to the thought, sharing that it took 8 hours of status in a couple of 7-Eleven shops and printing 50,000 tickets (purchased with money through the best way), and saying all of it to the arena, were given the chain much more bang for his or her two greenbacks.

“Buying 50,000 lottery tickets is tougher than you suppose!,” the corporate’s CEO, Todd Graves, wrote on Twitter. “Hoping to proportion the successful jackpot with our 50,000 @RaisingCanes Crew.”

As chances are you’ll know, no person received the Mega Millions drawing the opposite evening. But, let us take a look at what Raising Cane’s were given out of this entire operation:

  • Tons of media protection. 
  • Positive comments from workers, in keeping with corporate spokesperson Julia Doyle. (She forwarded messages from the corporate’s inner app: “Love this. Even if we do not win what an organization and Todd to try this. Exciting,” and “What amusing Aj thank you Todd all of us can not wait. GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE.”)
  • And, we need to think: More than $2 price of dreaming, joking, and interested by what they would do in the event that they received.

Now, I’ve to recognize two issues: 

First, even with a $1 billion Mega Millions prize, if you need to proportion it amongst 50,000 other people, the takeaway comes out to simply $20,000 each and every.

Not that I might say no to $20,000, however it is not the life-changing, family-defining quantity that successful the entire thing your self could be.

And 2nd, I’m acutely aware of the irony that the lottery itself gives money, versus no matter inventive $1 billion prize they could get a hold of. 

Maybe that is the “$1 Billion Exception” to the “$2 Truth.”

Or perhaps we will have to indicate that math is difficult for some other people, which leads many to take lottery prizes as annual installments, which can be more likely to be price much less total, slightly than an enormous lump sum.

But, I feel there is something price finding out right here. It’s a reminder that whether or not you might be promoting a product or rewarding a workforce, other people purchase the convenience, now not the function. And right here, the convenience is the dream.

They be expecting to be handled neatly and compensated relatively. But when you’ll upload a dose of creativity to prizes, awards, and reductions, you’ll occasionally succeed in an emotional degree that activates an excellent better response.

The simplest drawback — or perhaps I will have to say, the chance — is that once we’re speaking about one thing like lottery tickets, the truth that no person received the kind of $800 million jackpot previous this week manner that there is now some other drawing, with an estimated $1 billion or extra prize.

So, does that imply that the parents from Raising Cane’s will likely be spending 8 extra hours status in 7-Eleven, purchasing some other 50,000 tickets for Friday’s drawing to do it all over the place once more? 

“We are,” Doyle instructed me in a message final evening. “Chicken hands crossed.”

The evaluations expressed right here through Inc.com columnists are their very own, now not the ones of Inc.com.

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Simply giving $2 to each employee wouldn't have done very much. But instead, making a big, fun deal about the idea, sharing that it took eight hours of standing in a pair of 7-Eleven stores and printing 50,000 tickets (bought with cash by the way), and announcing it all to the world, got the chain a lot more bang for their two bucks.

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"Buying 50,000 lottery tickets is harder than you think!," the company's CEO, Todd Graves, wrote on Twitter. "Hoping to share the winning jackpot with our 50,000 @RaisingCanes Crew."

n

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As you might know, nobody won the Mega Millions drawing the other night. But, let's look at what Raising Cane's got out of this whole operation:

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    t

  • Tons of media coverage. 
  • t

  • Positive feedback from employees, according to company spokesperson Julia Doyle. (She forwarded messages from the company's internal app: "Love this. Even if we don't win what a company and Todd to do this. Exciting," and "What fun Aj thanks Todd we all can't wait. GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE.")
  • t

  • And, we have to assume: More than $2 worth of dreaming, joking, and thinking about what they'd do if they won.

n

Now, I have to acknowledge two things: 

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First, even with a $1 billion Mega Millions prize, if you have to share it among 50,000 people, the takeaway comes out to only $20,000 each.

n

Not that I would say no to $20,000, but it's not the life-changing, family-defining amount that winning the whole thing yourself would be.

n

And second, I am aware of the irony that the lottery itself offers cash, as opposed to whatever creative $1 billion prize they might come up with. 

n

Maybe that's the "$1 Billion Exception" to the "$2 Truth."

n

Or maybe we should point out that math is challenging for some people, which leads many to take lottery prizes as annual installments, which are likely to be worth less overall, rather than a giant lump sum.

n

But, I think there's something worth learning here. It's a reminder that whether you're selling a product or rewarding a team, people buy the benefit, not the feature. And here, the benefit is the dream.

n

They expect to be treated well and compensated fairly. But when you can add a dose of creativity to prizes, awards, and discounts, you can sometimes reach an emotional level that prompts an even greater reaction.

n

The only problem -- or maybe I should say, the opportunity -- is that when we're talking about something like lottery tickets, the fact that nobody won the roughly $800 million jackpot earlier this week means that there's now another drawing, with an estimated $1 billion or more prize.

n

So, does that mean that the folks from Raising Cane's will be spending eight more hours standing in 7-Eleven, buying another 50,000 tickets for Friday's drawing to do it all over again? 

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"We are," Doyle told me in a message last night. "Chicken fingers crossed."

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