Friday, October 16

A Tale of Two Coupons

For marketers who have been around awhile, you'll all remember the height of couponing. We would spend so much time developing strategies and creative executions for coupons, whether for Sunday newspapers (FSI's = free standing inserts), or retail displays, or direct mail. And everything in between.

Looking back, it feels a bit old school but in some ways it worked, especially in highly competitive categories where brands had to do whatever it takes to drive sales.

I'm not sure they built brand equity in the process, but they were highly effective in generating household penetration and trial.

Which is why I had a smile on my face when I received a direct mail coupon via snail mail from Amazon, promoting their fashion offering.

How terribly traditional of them! But I have to say I noticed the focused messaging.

But you know what, I bought it! Literally. I clicked in and checked it all out. I haven't bought anything yet, but I'm betting that I will over the weekend. Household penetration and trial!

And I couldn't help but then notice the next day this coupon inserted into the New York Times from Macy's ... a brand typically known to do a lot of sales promotion and couponing. I think it's how they drive store traffic to be honest.

Holy Clutter Batman! As someone said on my Instagram post, "White space, people, white space!"

Not to be critical, but where's the enticement here?

But it's the contrast of the two couponing strategies and the two sets of messaging that I find so interesting.

Two retailers, two coupons, two sets of results. Two different customers? Perhaps.

What's your experience?  JIM.


  1. Hi Jim, Brian Gorgoni's friend Bob here. The enticement for me is when you get the Land's End catalog, get a 20% off coupon, and THEN read that all of their merchandise has their "Guaranteed Period" policy. If you EVER destroy the material through accident or stupidity, they give you a new one of whatever you In speaking to a higher up at Land's End, less then 5% of their customers take advantage of this. What? A quote from the Three Stooges comes to mind; "Dis place is sho gone crazy."

  2. Ha! Great to hear from you, Bob! JIM

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