North Star Marketing - Marketing Tip #131 - Don't Discount Your Brand

Don't Discount Your Brand

In this economy, marketers are scrambling to find the secret to entice buyers into a sale. Many marketers have turned to discounts, offers, and incentives. But don't fall for the easy fix; these popular "dollars off" strategies will reduce the brand equity your company works so hard to create. Instead, focus on the added value the brand provides by using creativity and communications to convey your message with power. Find creative ways to let your consumer know your brand's worth in this economic downturn.

A recent poll was conducted by Yankelovich which found that 70% of respondents believe price cuts mean the brand was initially overpriced, whereas 62% believe a discounted brand is probably old and the company is just trying to get rid of it. An even bigger issue is that 60% of the respondents postpone purchases when prices are cut, waiting for the possibility of prices falling further.

One main example was Linens & Things' "dollars off" promotional campaign, which resulted in cheapening their brand to the extent where consumers expected to receive 20% off whenever they entered the store. We all know the last chapter in that book...

On the other hand, if brands maintain their price, 64% of the respondents assume the brand is either extremely popular or a good value. If you must lower prices, consider the option of a new line extension or a new brand, offering your new product at a lower price to consumers, yet maintaining your overall branding strategy.

Apple sets the bar high to showcase creative marketing tactics that make consumers want the full-priced product. Consumers realize Apple and PC are both great computers, yet they are willing to spend up to $1,000 to be in the Apple cult-like society that has been created. Through solid branding and communication strategy created by witty advertising and solid pricing strategy, Apple has made it apparent to consumers that their brand is worth the extra money in any economy.

The key is to get your buyer to love your brand for more than just the price. Discounting your brand not only hurts in sales right now, it hurts the future of your brand.

To hear more about creative ways to call attention to the added value of your brand and catch your buyer's eye, call North Star Marketing and we can discuss ways to add fresh, creative ideas to your marketing strategy. After all, we've been doing this for 20 years!

Bowen Smith
Executive Vice President

P.S. To arrange your evaluation, contact me at or 717-392-6982, ext. 100.

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