I came across an article today regarding a neighborhood diner that had recently gone out of business. It was a favorite by the locals because it offered free waffles. I bet you are wondering why if it was so popular, did it go out of business? Because it offered free waffles! In an attempt to build loyal customers and brand awareness, the restaurant’s “free waffle” marketing idea backfired and prevented the business from ever making a profit.
In today’s society where the consumer expects businesses to provide free giveaways and huge mark downs to win their business; how are smaller businesses suppose to both attract loyal customers and make a profit? I believe Whole Foods Market is an example of a business that has found a solution to this dilemma. While Whole Foods is by no means a “small business”, they have implemented a marketing strategy that any size business can adhere to. The market now offers every Wednesday their food bar for $5.99 a lb (regularly $7.99 a lb), this marketing campagin is genius for several reasons:
1) It attracts new customers who would normally not shop at their store (such as myself) to come back every week;
2) It shows that the store is sensitive to its customers’ need for lower prices (especially given today’s economy);
3) At the end of the day, while Whole Foods has temporarily lowered its prices, they aren’t so low that they aren’t still making a profit! A win-win situation for both the customer and the business.
Are you a small business that has found your own way to overcome this common dilemma? We would love to hear your story of success!