Beyond discounts.

Most of the brands use as commercial strategy discounts during the classical sales periods plus specific dates such as Black Friday or the Mid-season, added in the last years and that have been assumed by the market.

Although this kind of discounts has a high claim power, they must be complemented with other strategies, otherwise, they can become a dangerous policy for businesses:

    • focusing the commercial appeal in this aspect can finally lead to an excessive reduction of the margins.
    • There will always be someone who can offer a similar product cheaper. Everyday is easier to compare quickly hundreds of products.
    • At the same time, a feeling of doubt about the real value of the product may merge in the consumer, especially when price variations are very high.

Recent neuromarketing researches show that customers value the global shopping experience above the pure discount. This global experience includes multiple factors such as: customer service, product presentation, speed of service and delivery, after-sales support or fluent and easy communication, among others. All this configures the customer´s perception.

Although this kind of discounts has a high claim power, they must be complemented with other strategies.

Adapting our value purpose to the customer profile we are increasing the affinity with our brand.  Affinity brings with it interesting benefits. Brands will no longer manage buyers, but customers who identify with them through an emotional connection that goes beyond punctual purchases.

Let´s see an example. Recently I shared with the general manager of an important fashion brand a personal story who kept me buying in that brand for years. My loyalty was due to a great work of one of the sales assistant who was always concerned to recommend what he knew could match me, let me know when some of those items were in promotion as well as another personalized attentions. During the years that this assistance lasted my loyalty to that brand was strong and unalterable.

Unfortunately, that great shopping experience was marred at a certain time when the brand rejected a clothes alteration due to I could not present the purchase ticket of those clothes.

Can nowadays a brand afford not to know when, where and to whom some stuff is sold?  Even more, can really a brand afford not to identify a user to recognize a loyal customer who systematically visits that business? Obviously the answer is NO, mainly by its own interest.

As with that great sales assistant, a personalized customer management is already possible.

Brands will no longer manage buyers, but customers who identify with them through an emotional connection that goes beyond punctual purchases.

An effective loyalty program is much more than a loyalty or point’s card. It will allow the analysis of behavior patterns and the identification of user profiles for a good customer segmentation. Based on this segmentation a customization of actions, rewards and benefits can be done, moving from promotional marketing to relational marketing.

    • In a new customer, actions to facilitate a second and a third purchase in a short period of time can be carried out in order to become one the customer favorites´ brand. Customized promotions or associated to previous purchases can be a successful strategy.
    • In customers with low affinity, brand recognition actions and return analysis will work to detect those who have showed sensitiveness and can finally become loyal customers.
    • Loyal customers will be probably proactive to share their experience in our brand with family and friends. In this case, promotional coupons and a gift card program play an important role to attract new customers to our stores.
    • Those customers more active in social media can benefit from promotions and exclusive campaigns that reward their loyalty with exclusive benefits for sharing and spreading our business.
    • VIP customers will appreciate recognition by the brand and a treatment accordingly. In this respect, membership categories play an important role.
    • Services, such as e-ticket, will be highly valued by the users as it provides a quick and easy purchasing checkout, return and warranty management.

In short, as customers, we all want to perceive a proposal of value that fits, as much as possible, to our preferences and feel the brand recognition.

On the other side, to differentiate and provide value to the customer is more and more difficult in a time whit lots options to choice.

Brands which know how to interpret and adapt their proposal to this new scenario will be those that survive and enjoy the greatest profits.

A new customer management, more effective and adapted to the current lifestyle is already possible.


José Manuel Maseda.

Sales & Marketing Manager