December 26, 2008

Boxing Day and Bargain Hunters

If you live in Canada, New Zealand, Britain or Australia, today is Boxing Day.
If you are so included, happy shopping!

The Origin of Boxing Day
This tradition dates back hundreds of years and refers to the day after Christmas when servants – who had to work on Dec 25th for their employers – were given a day to visit their families, have their festive celebration and bring gifts or “boxes” to their loved ones.

In modern times, Boxing Day used to be one day. And there was a build up. This was the day many would spend cash they received as Christmas gifts and the deals were actually deals.

Introducing: Boxing Month
Nowadays, Boxing Day seems to begin around the middle of December and lasts until mid-February. That makes about as much sense as slashing prices because it’s Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

The Bargain Hunter
This year, this normally fearless wonder runs risk of landing on the endangered species list. This creature – indigenous to retail and online monetary exchange environments – has been blessed with a sixth sense for deals.

It can take on a multitude of human forms and is not fooled by empty promises and orange signs with words scrawled “final markdown” on them. The number of Bargain Hunters is down this year, some may be hibernating early and some may not return. However unlike most of the endangered list, the Bargain Hunter is a resilient creature. But we can still not assume they will return in droves.

Supply and Demand are Half-Brothers
Marketing and Branding are interesting industries. It is our job to create a need for a product the potential customer may not need nor know exists.

Need vs. Want
There is an interesting phrase that has bounced around through the years in marketing and branding that is “creating a need”. When you are hungry, you have a basic human need to eat. However indulging in a triple fudge sundae with whipped cream and cherries is not what you need. Sounds good though, doesn’t it? None of us need a Porsche but the company that builds them hopes some will feel the want which will be enough to create even a false need.

They Will Always Be There
There is a reliance that the Bargain Hunter will thrive in this environment. Because the only thing that is important is getting a good deal, right? Wrong.

The Bargain Hunter is wise to the tactics and schemes. He or she is also leery about the financial future and may no longer simply buy everything in their path.

How will you change your business model to adapt to a more careful and savvy customer base?

km

 
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