Make ‘Em an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Have I talked about the brilliance of Michael’s? Michael’s is one of my favorite craft stores, and I usually enter with anticipation, and leave with my hands full of wonderful scrapbooking materials. And the best part… my receipt is a coupon for 40% an item, valid for the following week!

Let’s talk about why this is so brilliant. First, it’s a really good coupon, and generally catches my attention. Second, it’s in a form that I usually take anyways, so there’s no extra piece of paper for them to try to force me to take. Third, it’s valid the very next week, so there’s an instant gratification piece for me, and a returning customer each week for them. Fourth, most crafters can’t have just one, so if you can get me in the store again, I will probably buy several items. Fifth, it just makes me happy 🙂 I know those are 5 quick reasons, but such a simple idea really makes me feel good as a crafter, and thoughtful as a Marketer.

I think this is a great example of an offer you can’t refuse that also benefits the bottom line. When you give customers extra reasons to come in to the store or make a purchase, they are much more likely to do just that. It sounds really simple, but you have to balance the amazing offer (aka: giving things away just to attract people) and the bottom line (aka: buy 100 and get 1 free!). I think Michael’s has done a superb job, and I will continue to enjoy this offer I can’t refuse 🙂

On Brand Identity

I’ve been thinking a lot about brand identity, and a recent trip to Taco Bell had me laughing about brand identity. They’ve recently introduced “The Drive-Thru Diet”, featuring their Fresca menu. The Fresca menu highlights items with under 9 grams of fat, which is pretty low for a Taco Bell meal. However, “The Drive-Thru Diet” takes it a step further, promoting Taco Bell as a healthy option on your road to weight-loss. WHAT!?!? Hold on a minute… Taco Bell as a weight-loss option? Excuse me while I laugh again at that thought.

It may sound harsh, but does anyone really believe that Taco Bell is a viable option for weight-loss? No. And, quite frankly, Taco Bell should be glad for that, as they’ve spent millions on ad campaigns for late-night meals, and cheap convenience. I loved their “Fourth Meal” campaign and drive-thru windows that stayed open late, and feel that both of those promotions held true to the brand. I just worry that they are putting a lot of effort into something that will ultimately fail because it doesn’t hold true to their brand.

I’m sure Taco Bell has a good reason for launching this new promotion. My thought would be that they are trying to appeal to health-conscious mothers who are trying to feed their children and themselves on short notice. My next thought was that New Year’s Resolutions might offer the perfect opportunity to introduce this new line.

There are always opportunities to move into new markets, but you need to think carefully about what your brand stands for, and how people perceive your brand. If you depart to heavily from the brand identity you’ve cultivated, you may alienate your core audience. So, how many of you are planning to use “The Drive-Thru Diet” to reach your New Year’s Resolutions?