Are you giving away enough?


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At the grocery store today, I noticed an end cap with nylon first-aid kit bags. The paperback-sized pouches were red, with a cross on them, and the manufacturers name: Johnson & Johnson. The display was a little confusing so I looked further. Turns out the bags were free, and empty of supplies, but filled with coupons for J&J products to stock them with. Pretty good idea, right? Give away the razor and then sell the blades.

It is in fact a good idea, but this one was executed improperly. The display did not at all make clear what the bags were all about – no signage to explain them. I also had to scan the bag at the check-out to discover that it was free (actually, one cent). No wonder I had seen the same display there for weeks with so few bags moving.

So lesson number one: outsource all the elements of a program that make sense, but make sure that you insource – and hold someone accountable for – the total execution and delivery of it. Clearly that didn’t happen here.

Lesson number two: What razor do you sell that you might give away? We see this tried-and-true tactic used too infrequently, I think. It applies perfectly to businesses that sell a product that uses consumables as well as the consumables. But it also can be used by consumable-only sellers if they make a special run of the unit that uses (or in this case, houses) them.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ralph Mroz
Since 1978, Ralph Mroz has managed or implemented nearly every step of the marketing process. His experience spans hands-on tactics to corporate strategic planning, encompassing large corporations, small companies, as well as start-ups.


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