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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path

    Lightbulb 'Wayland Coupons' could bring revenue to our town

    As printed on 11/6/08 in the Wayland Town Crier.
    I am floating an idea to bring in additional revenue to the Town of Wayland for both the general fund or for targeted portions of our town's budget.

    If this is a viable idea then it should be presented to the BoS and the FinCom for their consideration.

    Your feedback would be appreciated.

    The Selectmen’s FY10 Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Committee has been meeting and working to find ways to reduce town expenses and to solicit ‘out of the box’ ideas to generate more revenue for the town. An ‘out of the box’ idea, by definition, is new, different, untried, previously un-thought of or unconventional.

    Here is one ‘Out of the box’ idea that I call ‘Wayland Coupons’.

    The genesis of the idea started with a question: What is Wayland’s biggest industry? From a business revenue generation point of view, one might say Wayland’s biggest industry is its affluent earning and potentially loyal buying power. The consultants for the Wayland Town Center Project have reported that much of the significant shopping by Waylanders is done outside of Wayland. Waylanders spend their money at the Natick Collection, in Wellesley, in Sudbury, at the Burlington Mall and at numerous places in Framingham. When the developers of the Natick Collection conceived of upgrading their Natick Mall they must have been counting on nearby affluent shoppers coming and spending their dollars at the Natick Collection instead of going to Wellesley or Boston. They must have surely been counting on Wayland.

    We know that Wayland is an intelligent, proud and public service-oriented community. People become involved in Wayland activities and donate their time and effort to Wayland just because it’s Wayland. Waylanders can form a powerful buying block, and if one could leverage that buying block, our focused Wayland product could generate significant dollars for the Town.

    The Idea: Branded Wayland Coupon books or coupon cards, sold by the town for Waylanders to buy products within Wayland and at establishments local to Wayland.

    The core of the idea is not original; churches, synagogues, non-profits and local sports teams have previously done it. What is original is that this well-established fundraising technique might realize its full potential when applied to a municipality.

    Many of the coupons would be for goods and services that we tend to buy anyway. The coupons would be from businesses with identical competition that are in striking distance of Wayland residents. A book would sell for $X and it might provide $10X in coupons. Just two or three coupons might actually pay for the book itself, like a coupon for 10% off your shopping bill up to $40 at ABC supermarket. ABC supermarket would get a Wayland customer who might spend at least $400 and get the whole $40 off the receipt. If ABC supermarket didn’t go for the coupon then DEF supermarket might, and ABC wouldn’t want to be left out so ABC and DEF might both go for the coupon book. Why? Because it’s a Wayland Coupon book, and they want to seed loyalty in Wayland shoppers for all the reasons given above. Would car dealership XYZ not allow a $500 coupon to get a Waylander to come in and buy a car – especially in these economic times?

    I think the Wayland buying block leverage could be enormous and quite an incentive to encourage merchants to participate and the coupons would encourage Waylanders to use them at those establishments. Different versions of these books might eventually be published seasonally. Our town website could provide a mechanism to buy them and provide a listing of the current coupon contents. Signs might be posted at major Wayland intersections to advertise them. The coupons might be UPC bar-coded and have a shelf life of 1 year from publication date. Let’s say the books were $100 a piece and they potentially provided $1000 in coupons with the average person getting, at least, their initial investment back. Then for every 1,000 books sold, Wayland gets $100,000 in gross revenue. Coupon books could become stocking stuffers and gifts; they could potentially be sold via the Wayland Business Association, PTO and other civically responsible groups. If done right, a significant annual revenue stream could be established and sustained over long periods of time. Buying a Wayland Coupon book could become an object of loyalty, status and civic duty. Not so far-fetched.

    The Wayland Coupon books might be designed to target the funding of such projects as school athletics for a given season, cleaning up milfoil in a pond and/or funding the real estate tax circuit breaker programs for the elderly. These efforts would free up town money for other things. The possibilities are enormous.

    What about Sudbury Coupons? Well, Sudbury might copy this idea and they should. This would only cause more visibility and competition. In fact, this is the type of idea that can be replicated in hundreds or thousands of towns across the USA.

    The legal and logistical details would have to be worked out. This idea will take effort and organization. Anything that is worthwhile does not come with zero effort. There would have to be the will and perhaps, the wallet, of our leaders to get this started.

    Of course, it first has to be a good idea and I’d like to hear what you think about this.
    Last edited by AlanJReiss; 11-09-2008 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Enhance title of article


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