Specials! – Discounts! – Freebies! – they’re everywhere it seems. Walk through your local mall (or browse the internet) and you’ll be bombarded by flashy signs promising myriad ways to save money. Which is good, right? Well, here at Wizard Labels we don’t necessarily think discount product labels are worth it, and here’s why:
Promotional discounts and coupons
These marketing devices are specifically designed to “get you in the door” – often in the hope that you’ll come back again and spend even more next time. Retailers are masters at this tactic. They even have a special term for it – “loss leaders” – which often means they’ll sell some products at a loss in the knowledge that most consumers don’t just buy one thing once they get inside and see all the other products around them.
In a retail environment this can actually make sense, but when a business customer is buying custom product labels (which is the business we’re in), we respectfully think it doesn’t make sense. Smart business-owners don’t buy more product labels than they need in the short term, and aren’t likely to be attracted by “other” products because there simply aren’t any. We’re not a supermarket, we specialize in a single product and we certainly don’t carry “stock” items because everything we do is custom built to your specifications and designs.
Another tactic often used is the “weekly special” – which once again seems to make little sense in the kind of “business to business” industry we’re in (i.e. printing of custom product labels). We believe there are a number of flaws in this approach. First, it assumes that a business-owner has any interest in buying custom labels before they actually have a need for them – most of our customers prefer to keep their cashflow under control instead of stocking up on product labels months ahead of time. And our exclusive focus on Digital Label Printing is ideally suited to this just-in-time inventory approach.
It’s also a little-known fact that product labels actually have a shelf-life before the adhesive begins to degrade – so anything you might save by taking advantage of a “special” may end up being thrown out if your usage declines.
Another flaw we see regularly in the “weekly special” approach is two-fold. First, they change constantly but only superficially, as if this week’s special is a once-off that you’d be a fool to miss out on – when in reality you can come back every week and see slight variations of the same deal. What does this tell us? – that any vendor offering constant discounts is treating their customers with disdain, in the hope that nobody notices their duplicity. What kind of relationship is that to form with your regular customers?
Second, in order to get the special price, many online vendors require the customer to enter a “code” at the time they’re checking out. We have to question the honesty of such an approach, which relies on the customer entering the code several screens later in the ordering process. We frankly suspect that this is a delberate strategy, on the basis that many customers may forget that critical step and pay full price without thinking. How many coupons have you received and never got around to using? We suggest that the vast majority of such coupons or special offers end up not being used – in which case the strategy worked beautifully for the vendor but was of no benefit to you.
Our final (and very significant) factor when questioning special offers is one of customer loyalty and mutual respect. We all see the constant barrage of “introductory offers” from cable companies and the like – “join us now and we’ll give you a ridicuous deal for the first x months” – after which of course the price suddenly reverts to the regular ripoff rate. Look, we certainly appreciate the fact that you can get some cheap service for a while, but here’s the rub… how do such deals recognize your loyalty? Why should a new customer get a better deal than you, when you’ve been paying that company full price – often for many years? We frankly think such deals are a slap in the face for their loyal customers.
At Wizard Labels we take a very different view of loyalty. We never “buy business” by giving new customers better deals than existing ones. We never publish never-ending specials on our website and then require the buyer to enter some cryptic code-du-jour when they get to checkout. We never require you to enter any identifying information (email address, phone number, mother’s boyfriend’s nickname) to get a quote for your labels. We proudly display our prices for the world to see and don’t capture any information unless you actually place an order – because otherwise we wouldn’t know whose door to ship your beautiful custom product labels to, would we?
One thing we do offer in the way of special treatment is our “loyalty program”. In essence, the principle is that those customers who regularly spend money with us can earn the right to lower pricing. Once a customer reaches a certain threshhold of sales with us, we apply a discount percentage to their online profile – which means you don’t have to remember anything. Every time you login to get a quote or place an order, the system calculates your loyalty discount and displays it on the screen so you know it’s happening.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that many customers may never reach the threshhold that qualifies them for a loyalty discount – because we firmly believe our everyday prices are extremely competitive and leave little “flesh” for deep discounts. But regardless of whether you reach that plateau or not, at least you can be confident that you don’t need to wait around for some artificial “special” to achieve the best deal. By all means shop around and do comparative quotes – we’re confident you’ll quickly see through the charade and realize that our prices are still better even after the “this week only” discount is applied. And of course don’t forget to take our Free Shipping into account when comparing prices.
We know what you’re thinking – “how much is the loyalty threshhold and how much is the discount?”. Well, that’s not as simple as it seems. It’s not based on a simple revenue number, as some customers may place a single large order and then disappear – and we dont see that as loyalty. We also consider regularity (how often a customer places orders) and even the kind of orders they place – because some orders are much more time-intensive at our end than others. Suffice to say that our customer service team meets regularly to decide which customers have earned their stripes.
So, that’s the Wizard Labels philosophy in a nutshell. We believe in looking after those customers who have earned the right to some special status, and we avoid the trickery used to lure new customers in while disrespecting the most loyal customers.