Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Promotional Offers as Brand Icons

How should we think about offers?

A colleague recently wrote a good piece that describes with facts and figures the evolution of the consumer into a "Value Shopper".  This goes along with the idea of Dealer Chic, one of trendwatching's Trends for 2012.

The discussion around promotions is typically about short term effects such as incremental sales or margin erosion.   But if consumer psyche has shifted to deal hunting and the smart use of money then the offer is no longer just a temporary inducement but rather a part of something new and different.

This shift raises questions that at first appear to be odd and out of place.
  • How do coupons support our brand promise?
  • How do offers support the reason to believe?
  • How do we leverage promotional content to build loyalty?
Offers may in fact be addictive.   When asked, consumers are often quite willing to have their personal information used for "deals, freebies or offers in the future".  This sacrifice of anonymity allows for a relationship to be built and again that is brand territory.

So, it seems that merchandising tactics merged with marketing strategy, and we might not have even noticed.

To paraphrase Prince Hamlet, 'the offer's the thing.'

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