“Giving a discount is as old as retail itself. Unquestionably effective, hardly differentiating,” explains Martin Butler in his new book ‘The Art of Being Chosen – Secrets of success from the giants of retail’ So, I loved this discounting idea with a difference from his interview with Bijou Kurien former head of the Watch and Clock division of India’s huge Titan Industries.
“The harsh and obvious reality is, for things that don’t wear out or have built in obsolescence there isn’t a natural lifespan, they don’t need to be replaced”, observed Bijou Kurien. “Research told us that disposing of old watches, even if broken, is felt to be wrong, especially if they were a gift.
“Retailers who sell shoes or clothes are lucky, their products either wear out or go out of fashion but a watch can last a lifetime. So the temptation for retailers like us is to lapse into discounting to encourage sales.”
He realized they needed to do something to get prospective customers to question why they were cluttering up drawers and cupboards. So, they came up with:
The first of many ‘recycle’ watch campaigns proved Kurien and his team had created a winning idea.
Could this work elsewhere? Martin Butler explains that Kurien recently took over as President of the Retail Lifestyle division of Reliance Industries. He launched a scheme to recycle textbooks with the message, if you bring in a full set of textbooks for the year you’ve completed, you will get a 20% discount on future purchases. These books are then donated to children who can’t afford to buy them.
‘The Art of Being Chosen – Secrets of success from the giants of retail’ is littered with examples like this that will have your mind buzzing as you work out how to adapt them to your business.
Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at www.terrifictrading.com. Alternatively, email email@example.com.