Thursday, July 30, 2009

Business Day Thursday: Fight The Discount, Give A Gift

Good Morning Everybody,
Well, yesterday started out a little shaky. We had planned to take the Master Class attendees to one of the local parks for our morning shoot but the rain was coming down pretty steadily when I looked out the window about 7:00 A.M. So we jumped to Plan B Wednesday.

As luck would have it, I gave a call to one of my vendor buddy's who runs one of the very popular venues for weddings in the City. I don't know if she was expecting an 8:15 A.M. call to her home or not, but she was very gracious and opened the doors to the Cincinnati Club to us for our shoot.

Turns out this was about the best thing that could have happened for us on this rainy day Wednesday. The Cincinnati Club not only offers great backgrounds for incredible wedding images, but the entire class could break out into our 5 assigned groups and work on their own without getting into each other's way. I think everyone loved it. We are reviewing all those images today - I can't wait.

Before I scoot out the door, let me hit you with a quick Business Day Thursday thought. Here we go.

Fight The Discount, Give A Gift
I was reading in the Wall Street Journal last week about how one luxury merchant was handling our current economy. Many of us have felt the down turn in business. Clients are asking for discounts on the products and services many businesses are offering.

This pretty much has never been heard of in the luxury markets. Some photography studios may fall into that group. Regardless of where your business stands in the current business climate, I thought the particular approach from this retailer was good advice for anyone doing business in any business up-hill or down-hill climate.

Here is the bottom line of what they choose to do and why. When a customer wanted a discount, they smiled and offered a gift instead. Here is the thinking. After the client receives the discount, although important for the client at that moment, is long forgotten after they leave.

Why not give a gift instead, worth, say in the neighborhood of 5-10% of the value of the discount. Now when the client leaves, the gift will always be a reminder of the nice customer experience the customer had with that particular merchant. All memories of other discounters will have fallen by the wayside.

But, the merchant who provided the gift, and a nice gift, in lieu of the discount will be long remembered. And it that kind of impression that one leaves with clients that gives them a reason to return to our businesses.

Food for thought.

Hey gang, I got to get moving, images to review, questions to answer, students to inspire. Today happens to be Business Day Thursday for my class, too. It's always one of my favorite days of the class. This evening we have everyone back to our home for a fabulous dinner so look for tomorrow's post to hit later in the day. Hey gang, I'm out of here - See ya' tomorrow, -David


  1. Hi David,

    Interesting concept! Is this the article?

    Thanks for the great idea!

  2. This is a brilliant idea. You end up giving the customer greater value (like a discount) but they end up remembering it for longer. That's killing two birds with one stone, me thinks.

  3. Hi Kristin,
    Yep, that's the article.