The idea of the special offer is about as old as business itself; people just can’t say no to extra value when it costs them nothing more. The problem for today’s business owners is that every offer out there feels like it’s been done to death and attracting customers has become something of an arms race.
That’s why we’re going to take a look at some of the most interesting and effective offers that are already out there as well as some unique and unusual ideas that you can use to help lift up your own businesses.
The Classic Approaches
To start out with, we should be clear that the ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing offers is still entirely valid in the right situations. Businesses like supermarkets, such as our recent arrivals SimplyFresh who have been working with a family business and more than one local chain of convenience stores, do well with things like ‘buy one get one free’ or by offering better prices when some things are bought in combination or in large numbers.
These all work by effectively reducing the cost of the product and it’s a solid model for things like food and home items where people generally know the regular price of things. The main
downside to this strategy is that for other businesses such as insurance or accountants is that there are no real ‘products’ to offer in the same manner, so it’s tricky to apply the concept.
The Art of Extra
In those cases, and with many businesses that also fall into the product category, the solution has always been to give extra, whether that’s a freebie of something the company already offers or something entirely unrelated. For the former, there’s the example from the world of online gaming, an industry that has innovated the idea of extra. Whether it’s free spins on their slots or a no deposit bonus of extra funds just for signing up, they always have a range of extras to keep players happy.
Other companies manage to venture outside their own business range, usually by working in tandem with other companies. The main idea is to offer another company’s product as a freebie with your own and tends to work best when the product has some relation to the original one. For example, a tailor making dinner suits for men could offer vouchers for dinner at local restaurants to make use of customers’ new purchases.
There is also some scope for using entirely unexpected partnerships. While offers and freebies feature less on this side, there are plenty of stories of entirely unrelated companies coming together for brand collaborations successfully such as Lego and Levi’s jeans.
What matters more than the offer itself these days is how it’s presented. Modern generations who have seen countless promotions, vouchers, and offers before tend to forget about things they’ve seen before while being drawn to things that are extra clever or eye-catching. It’s no surprise that campaigns like the “Man Your Man Can Smell Like” by Old Spice or “Stratos” by Red Bull have stuck long in the memory despite how old they now are.
In terms of offers, this kind of creativity is achievable even if you don’t have a budget up there in the millions. For instance, if there is a production or movie featuring Dracula or vampires in general, there could be reduced ticket prices for those who have donated blood recently. It would appeal to customers both because it is charitable but also because it’s a fun connection in theme. Many restaurants and businesses in beach areas have been offer special discounts for those who have picked up a certain amount of litter in the area.
The key behind it is to make sure any offer you do makes sense. While some customers may appreciate getting a bag of potatoes with their car insurance, it probably wouldn’t work as an offer simple because there is no connection between the two.
All in all, the main thing to remember is that a great offer will always take thought and planning. Get it right, reach the right people and send the right message and you’ll likely see a great return on your efforts. Rush into it and you may well lose more than you make.