Thursday, March 22, 2007

Threshers voucher time again - too much of a good thing?

Many of you will have looked into the effectiveness of discount coupons and vouchers and wondered if they really work. Measuring the effectiveness of these offers is actually fairly simple in terms of short term ROI - however the complications come further down the line when customers become attuned to vouchers and discounts - in theory having damaged the brand. This mistake was made by K-mart in the 1990's and this should serve as a warning to prospective discounters - train customers to expect vouchers and special discounts at your peril - it will make regular products look more expensive.

Anyway - the good people at Threshers had a massive PR coup during Christmas when they released a voucher (by accident they claimed?) which entitled those who received it to a 40% discount on any bottle of wine. This was a great offer from their point-of-view since the offer went viral and thousands of people got hold of the voucher which was only released to a few. the result was a PR coup where people believed they had received a "golden ticket" and ran round to Threshers to clear the shelves. Having allegedly made £15m from this deal they are at it again.

You can find the voucher here - - by the way this site has some fantastic images which you can use on your business cards if you're brave!

From the consumers point-of-view this is great - we can go and get some good wine at a perceived reduction of 40% on list price (although it's often pointed out that the real discount is 7% - if you were already going to get 3 bottles of wine, this retailer already gives you 33% off). From the point of view of Threshers, is this great for their brand or are they relying on very short-term lifts which may train consumers to go there only when vouchers are available - let's see if they do another one at Christmas.

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