While two-for-ones, discounts, and enticing coupons may keep your customers buying your products or walking through your doors, let's think about the buying habits you are creating and the damage you may be doing for the long-term equity of your brand.
Once consumers get accustomed to using coupons, two things happen: 1) they start thinking that in all reality, your product/service was overpriced to begin with, and 2) it may be very difficult for you to restore a full-price mentality to your shopper's buying habits once the economy recovers.
So, what is the best way to proceed? Perhaps it is all in the way you present the discount offering. Show your customer that you are offering the discount because we're all in this together. For many local businesses, you will actually be taking on some financial burden yourself in order to make this offer to them.
Why will you do this? Well, when it comes right down to it, it's because you want to stay in business. But let's remember why you started this business in the first place. It's most likely because you knew you had a product or service that would be of value to your customers. And, if you've stayed true to your vision and to your commitment to your customers, then it most likely is of value.
Whatever marketing route you decide to take, be true to your customers. Be honest. Offer them value. Put them first. And let them know how much you appreciate them. Maybe it's with coupons - maybe it's not.
Partner, BBG&G Advertising & PR