Offers, discounts, deals, coupons…these are a touchy subject for a lot of business owners. When we were all learning about business one of the key topics was how to sell based on value and that the last thing you want to do is devalue your offering. Right?
Most of us who provide a quality product or service that we “know” is worth whatever we are charging so the thought of leaving potential dollars on the table causes us to cringe and it might even cause a sharp pain in our gut. We ask ourselves, “If I charge less this time, will I have to charge less next time?” The answer to that really depends on your regular business practices. This is a slippery slope that can very easily leave you in the “Groupon” crowd…and that isn’t really where you want to be, is it?
I have dealt with this topic A LOT…and here is my take on the subject.
If you are a “Groupon” style of business who doesn’t mind living in the discount world more power to you. That likely means that your hard costs are pretty low, so you can be profitable enough even if you discount most, or a lot, of the time and volume is as good as higher rates and lower volume. For others who don’t want to be seen as a lower value discount brand there is a fine line between the two. It is my opinion that if you run targeted strategic offers, they can serve as an incentive or invitation to the demographic you prefer to do business with just so they take the opportunity to check you out when they may not have considered you for one reason or another.
In my advertising publication RSVP I will often encourage my customers to make their offer “RSVP Exclusive” and not offer the same deal anywhere else. This not only makes their advertising with me more trackable, but it also gives the impression that this is a special situation and leads people to view the offer as an opportunity versus diminishing brand value.
So, to get to the point of this blog post…if you position yourself as a high value business and put out an exclusive offer that is targeted to your preferred demographic, then what you are doing is simply incentivizing them to come see what you have to offer with the hope that you do a good enough job of wowing them. If you are successful in getting them in your door and then you are successful in pleasing them…they will come back and likely will bring friends next time, refer friends and colleagues and sing your praises to anyone who will listen.
Who doesn’t want happy customers and then everyone they know who is just like them…your ideal customer…and you were able to steer them to come to you because of a…oh my gosh, not the dreaded…”DISCOUNT”.
That’s my 2 cents…I hope you are able to see the logic in my design.