I’ve had price promotions on my mind lately.
With bad news on the doorstep, there sure is a lot of pressure to start discounting like crazy. Consumer confidence is shaken. Whole Foods is down. Wal-Mart is up. Every retailer meeting I’ve been to lately seems to include a discussion on increased frequency and depth of promotion spending to address the current economic climate.
A walk down a grocery aisle feels more and more like a discount bazaar lately. I visited a relatively premium grocer last week and saw BOGO (buy one get one) deals on every single endcap and the inline shelves too. Brands of every level of premium seemed to be participating.
Of course it makes sense to offer value, particularly in an economy where consumers are watching their pennies. But, I think it’s dangerous for premium brands to play this same game in the same way. Because, it effectively trains to consumers to look for you only on deal.
And, if you act enough like a commodity, sooner or later consumers will treat you like one.