Tell-tale signs your brand isn’t working: #4 Price Bombing
14 June 2017
Branding is an art, as well as a science, and the thing about art is that it demands emotional connection. Ideally, you want the people who buy into your business to feel passionate about it, to love it so much they’ll happily fling their cash at it, and to feel like it’s worth every damn penny.
But building a brand that people adore is no easy feat, and that’s why businesses look for a short term solution. They start indulging in a branding no-no that we call ‘price bombing’ and start slashing with an enthusiasm that makes Jason in his hockey mask look breezy.
On the surface, special offers and price drops seem like a reasonable way to kickstart some cash flow. After all, if you undercut the competition, people will pay attention. Hell, they might even buy from you. But as a long-term strategy, this is simply a fool’s discount because it does nothing to build a connection between you and your customer. Your core brand messages will get lost behind the discount noise. So when your prices go back up, they’ll desert you faster than a Republican senator trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump. All that glitters is not sold.
So put that price gun down and listen up. Even Lidl are now using their adverts to showcase the quality of their goods, not just the fact they’re as cheap as Harry Hill’s barber budget. That’s because truly great branding is all about communicating how awesome your product or service is, what makes your offering distinct and makes your solution to their need or problem better than everyone else’s. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – from street food to pensions, designer clobber to holistic therapy. Start price bombing, and you might as well advertise that you’ve something that’s not worth paying the real price for. Its got as much class as a Kardashian wardrobe.
Back in the day, I was creative director of another ad agency, a client came to us who was all about the price bombing. This home improvement company were historically offer-led, but my team tore up their rule book and carved out a brand narrative that was aspirational and lifestyle focussed instead. We showcased their solution to their customers’ problems using smart storytelling. Seriously, the Brothers Grimm would have been high fiving us. The result? They reached their £1 billion turnover target so far ahead of schedule that they didn’t need to advertise for the next year. A pretty sweet place for any business to be, right?
So don’t sell yourself short – you’re not a Big Brother contestant being approached by the Daily Star for your story. Your brand needs to stand proud, walk tall and show the world why it’s brilliant. Be as ballsy as Brewdog, as proud as Prada and aspire to Apple-esque levels of branding genius. Only then will you create a brand that brings in the big bucks without being in the bargain bin.