Discounts are a Disease
Name a brand that immediately comes to mind when I say the word "discounts" or "coupons" or anything in that realm.
For me, the brands that come to mind are Steak n' Shake, Moe's, Kohl's, and J. Crew (Factory).
When it comes to the four brands listed above I will NEVER pay full price for their products.
If I go to Steak n' Shake for a steakburger or a milkshake it's only because I have a page full of coupons.
If I go to Moe's it's only because it's Moe Monday ($5 burritos) or because I have another discount of some sort.
If I go to Kohl's, I fully expect that there will be some random sale going on...otherwise I won't buy. I know a sale has to be around the corner.
If I buy from J. Crew Factory, it's only because I know they do a 50% off sale just about every other month.
I will NEVER pay full price for any of these brands.
It's a disease. They've conditioned me this way.
I never realized how big of an issue this could be, especially for marketers, until I encountered it myself.
Having had the opportunity to sell services, informational products , and online courses...one of the common tactics you'll see is discounting.
What I've discovered in my short time in this industry is that discounting is a disease.
Once you offer a discount, the customers come to expect those discounts each and every time they're ready to buy. If the discount isn't available...then they don't buy.
Plain and simple.
Offering discounts is the same as injecting your customers with a virus.
They're unaware that they are sick. You know they're sick, but unfortunately you can't do anything about it. You can't give them antibiotics, you simply have to wait it out.
You have to wait long enough to allow the sickness to run it's course.
You are FAR better off offering "bonuses" with your online products or courses than discounts. When you offer bonuses, your customers are still paying full price for the primary product (regardless of your margins...which can be put towards bonus items).
You're really better off not offering anything except your primary item for it's full price, but if you HAVE to sweeten the deal then aim for a BONUS, not a discount.
Like I mentioned in the personal examples above, think about the brands you interact with. Which brands do you ONLY interact with because they offer a discount? If those discounts went away, would you still care about that brand? Or would you forget about them?
I'd probably still eat at Steak n' Shake because I love milkshakes and burgers.
I'd probably still eat at Moe's (because...hot take..Moe's is better than Chipotle🤷🏻♂️).
I'd probably still shop at Kohl's because it's convenient.
I'd probably still shop at J. Crew Factory because they offer stuff that a normal J. Crew store would never have in stock.
AND I'd probably pay full price for all of these brands and never think twice about it.
But instead they've conditioned me...or injected me with the discount virus so that if I don't have coupons or discounts...then I'll get pissed and stop shopping with those brands.
Discounts are a disease.
Be careful how you use them.
I'm learning this the hard way right now with a lot of my work.
But I know these lessons are going to prove to be invaluable to me and others I help along the way.