Bentley BOGOFs (and other things you never see)

Written by Frank Fenten

I’d like to tell you a tale of brand madness.

Poor Iain nearly got sacked the other day. We’d run out of tea and he kindly nipped out to the shops to stave off our oncoming caffeine withdrawal. Problem is, he came back with… PG Tips. And was lucky not to be escorted from the building by security. A trifle harsh? Not really.

We drink Yorkshire Tea, thank you very much. Our taste buds *work*.

Here you have a premium brand. It’s significantly more expensive than its competitors and yet we pay the extra, willingly.

Except we don’t, because Taylor’s of Harrogate have trained us not to. Yorkshire Tea do seem hell-bent on training me to treat them like dirt. And in doing so are throwing away money whilst destroying their brand. Howso?

Well, every six months or so, they run a fabulous offer: 100% extra free. 160 tea bags for the price of 80.

Great stuff.

We stock up, buying 4 or 5 boxes right there. Saves £20 or so (our office manager is nothing if not parsimonious).

They do this consistently, twice a year.

Complete madness. *We’d buy it anyway because it’s better*.

All they have achieved is to persuade us to pay less for the same product. 

Honestly, it’s the silliest thing.

Bentley bogof - horror

Deep discounting makes you look cheap

Instead: train your customers to feel positively about your brand.

Offer them added value and make sure you get something in return.

Like what?

Well, we (still) don’t have a tea caddy here. I know, shocking. Just never get round to buying one. Hmmm… So, here’s an obvious opportunity. Rather than throw money away on discounts, stick an offer on-pack for a free mug or teacaddy. These branded goods are cheap to produce and will stick around for years, a constant advert in every home or office, you look at it every day!

Bentley bogof - joy

Looking good, adding value.

Redeem the offer online, make it a club, make it fun, collect customer email addresses. Follow up the caddy with a branded tea round manager (a bit like this one or this one ) and so on.


Well, we buy into the brand and, importantly, you bridge the ‘Retail Gap’ where the retailer has the relationship with the customer and you don’t. You are now in touch with the customer and can market directly (and very cheaply) to people who you *know* buy your product. They have formed up at your website and told you ‘I’m a customer, here are my details, sell to me’.

For a tiny fraction of the cost of a single TV advert, you will acquire the details of thousands of loyal customers who have proven that they will pay full price for your product. Isn’t that a better way to spend your money than a ‘quick hit’ discount? Add value, don’t cut price.

Bentley bogof - joy2

On some level, Taylors of Harrogate know this, I can tell. Earlier this year, they did a competition for tickets to the Ashes, with online entry (I think that was the wrong thing to offer, but can see why they did). And on the bottom of their packs, they have coupons that you can cut out and send in. By post. Really? Truly?

Now, of course I understand that retailers like a discount and buyers pressure brands and there is a myriad of threats to your market position. We even see discount champagne these days: nothing is immune. Still: if you must discount, then don’t do it so damn predictably. And don’t make yourself look cheap.

After all, you’d never see Bentley offering ‘Buy one get one free’, would you? Why is that? 

Call us now if you’d like to find out how getting customer buy-in can improve your bottom line.

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