My local gym is always running some kind of crazy discount for enrollment. And I can always look at this month’s (or week’s) promotion and blow it off, knowing another deal is coming. It’s hard to know, from a price-conscious standpoint, the best time to make a long-term commitment because they’re constantly repackaging the same discount, or even out-bidding themselves for my business. In a similar instance, I bought concert tickets with a loyalty-based “early bird” discount, only to find out that a deeper discount was advertised to the general public just a month later. Really? Are we expecting consumers not to notice or react to our marketing misgivings? And are we brands really expected to keep up?
We all know over the last several years, a growing need for cutting corners – and coupons – has paved the way for sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and others to offer attractive discounts to consumers and – as their salespeople pitch it – equally attractive perks to participating businesses. It’s changed consumer behaviors, disrupted business models on the local level and it’s made a few people very wealthy.