How to find the perfect prize for your contest or sweepstakes

How to find the perfect prize for your contest or sweepstakes? Let’s analyse together the factors to consider to make the right choice

How to find the perfect prize for your draw or competition

Let’s analyse together the factors to consider to make the right choice

Often those who are organising a Prize Promotion, whether it is a sweepstakes, a prize contest or a Gift with Purchase Promotion, at some point in the process wonder about the effectiveness of the prize on offer:

  • will it be attractive enough to entice my customers to participate or buy?
  • Will the product end up costing more in taxes and shipping than the purchase cost?

These questions often bother promoters when they are defining the contest prize. It is not always easy to find the answer!

The right prize is critical to the success of a contest or sweepstakes

From a strategic point of view, the prize is fundamental. In some cases it is the starting input for the prize competition. For example when a company has exclusive tickets for events or shows by virtue of its sponsorships. Most frequently, it is however necessary to look for the right prize to meet the objectives of the promoter who, sometimes, must pursue the need to entice the consumer to purchase, as in the case of contests with “millionaire” prize pools.

How to find the perfect prize for your contest or sweepstakes?

Unfortunately, there is no infallible recipe and no unambiguous answer to this question. However, if we want to identify the fundamental characteristic of the winning prize, the answer would be

that product/service that simultaneously meets the needs of the two parties involved”

  • the promoter, who chooses it and buys it for their promotion
  • the consumer/winner who desires it and then receives it as a gift

The promoter’s point of view

As for the promoter, among the variables that influence their choice are:

  • The budget, which includes the purchase cost, tax charges and the cost of management and delivery
  • The value perceived by the recipients
  • The complexity/simplicity of the pickup;
  • Consistency with the objective or theme of the promotion.

The consumer’s point of view

From the point of view of the consumer/winner, among the characteristics of the prize that affect its desirability, we can identify:

  • The aspirational qualities of the prize
  • True value
  • Perceived value, above all in terms of its exclusivity
  • Complexity/simplicity in collecting it

Prize positioning classes

So positioning a prize for a contest or sweepstakes within the approval levels of both parties involved, we can identify 4 macro positioning classes.

The positioning classes start from a low-medium level of satisfaction and never reach unsatisfying as a negative level of satisfaction is unlikely for both the promoter and the consumer.

The promoter, who has complete responsibility for the choice, thanks to careful preparation of the competition, will hardly choose a product with characteristics contrary to their needs.

For the consumer, even winning a small prize is always a good thing, so any dissatisfaction is more likely to be caused by improper delivery management than by the intrinsic quality of the prize itself.

Let’s look in detail at the 4 macro classes of prize positioning.

How to find the perfect prize for your draw or competition


  • The prize respects the budget and there are no critical issues in the procurement and delivery. It is consistent with the values of the promoter and is able to communicate and transmit positively the values of the brand and the campaign in which the competition features. The promoter has a positive image return, however the final consumer does not have very high expectations in receiving the prize, whose victory will gratify him moderately.


  • The prize does not fall within the promoter’s budget due to unforeseen critical issues such as increased costs for purchase or delivery management.
  • It does not generate expectations in customers who do not feel encouraged to participate in the promotion. The winner is not particularly satisfied with the prize or the experience of receiving it and therefore does not positively strengthen their bond with the brand.


  • The prize arouses the enthusiasm of consumers who want it! The winner is very satisfied and gratified by the win.
  • Satisfaction always generates good news for the brand image, however the promoter has incurred particularly high costs for the purchase and management of the delivery.


  • The prize complies with the pre-established budget. The management of the delivery does not present unexpected critical issues. The prize is consistent with the promotional campaign and positively reinforces the values of the brand.
  • It manages to capture the hearts of consumers who join the promotion to increase the chances of winning, generating word of mouth in people they meet, also reaching new consumers, making the brand known.
  • The winner is fully satisfied: trust and appreciation for the brand enhanced.

Finding the “perfect prize” for your contest or sweepstakes is not impossible!

There are many factors to consider to make the right choice but thanks to an in-depth analysis and careful organisation of the promotion, you can avoid mistakes that jeopardise the success of the entire initiative.

Contact us to analyse your promotion together and find the perfect prize for your target audience.