A Different Kind of Black Friday

In light of the global economic news, American retailers have taken to opening their stores earlier than the “traditional” 6am Friday morning openings.  many retailers opened at midnight or 1am or 2am. Whatever time they opened, stores were jammed with shoppers looking for that 55″ HD flat screen TV which normally sells at $1200 for $229. Some got it. Others did not.

The one thing these retailers had in common was their old school newspaper ads combined with TV and Internet sites. There was even a  free app on smart phones for Black Friday deals.  Obviously, they all promoted big discounts on their merchandise.

All of them except one retailer.   Patagonia

Patagonia Advertisement NY Times, November 25, 2011

Taking a completely different marketing approach, Patagonia,  a retailer of outdoor gear, decided to tell people NOT to buy their jacket (as advertised) pointing out the environmental costs to make the jacket and cautioning shoppers to buy only what they need as this will help reduce environmental costs.

Why would they do this?  Obviously, Patagonia’s key market is people who enjoy the outdoors, whether it be for hiking, camping, jogging, para sailing, hang gliding, rock climbing, or just staying warm.  No doubt their research indicated that these folks are probably more sensitive about environmental issues than other types of buyers and would respond more positively to this type of appeal.  Not only does this type of advertising make sense FOR Patagonia, but also breaks through the clutter of  all the other retailers claims of “sale, sale, sale”.

Kind of like bowling isn’t it?  While every proprietor has his product on sale, in one form or another, maybe its time to take a different approach and attract customers in a different way.

Some examples might include:                                                                                                                                 * “Bowl at happy Lanes and we will contribute X$ to a “feed the homeless” project in Anytown, USA”.
* “We’ll contribute X$ of every bowling purchase to “Local Charity X from now through New Years”.
* “When you bowl at Happy Lanes and spend X$ we will contribute X$ in food to a food bank. Or contribute towards a winter coat for poor people or Ta toy for Tots, etc”.

Would some of these positions set you apart from other forms of recreation and entertainment options and generate new revenue?

I think so.

What do you think?

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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