Voucher Packs Blackpool franchisee Andy Atkinson talks about the worth of an offer and the value of a pound sign.

All too often I find myself face to face with a new customer who spends a lot of time talking about how they want their marketing to look, but not about what they want to offer.

Their instinct is to offer 10 per cent off everything. They think it’s an easy option and it covers all their bases.

Not so. The pound sign has far more impact.

Offering £1, £5, or £10 off a product has a much greater pull than a percentage.

If you’re a carpet shop and you’re offering 10 per cent off then that’s great, but are you really telling people how much they will be saving?

It’s a little different if you have already arrived somewhere and you see a 25 per cent off discount.

But if you’re trying to get someone to up sticks and come to you then you need to do more. That’s when the offer really means something.

Which brings me onto the word free. I hate the word free.

Free needs to be free because people aren’t stupid.

Tradesmen always offer free quotes, you who charges for a quote? It never happens.

If you’re offering something for buy one get one free, then that’s a real deal. If what you’re offering isn’t worth anything in the first place, then really there’s no point.

I went to a well-known garden centre with my wife at the weekend because we had a voucher offering a free coffee in the café. We didn’t even visit the café in the end, but we drove miles to get there and came home with a car full of stuff.

That’s the value of a real offer.

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Andy Atkinson spent 25 years as a KFC franchisee and was secretary of the chain’s franchisee association