I am left wondering …

On Sunday, I was shopping for my son’s birthday party and wanted to buy a couple of litres of mango juice that he likes and presumably his friend will too!!

I chanced to visit a neighbourhood supermarket and saw bottles of maaza arranged as if in a promotion and so I enquired.  And the response I got is the theme of this blog post.

The offer :  Buy for Rs.149 including 1 litre of maaza & get a second litre at Rs.20 less”

It took me a while to really understand this promo and I repeated to the counter clerk the “promo offer” ad nauseam just to see if I got it correct and she confirmed that I got it.  But I still don’t get it!!  Allow me to explain.

A bottle of maaza costs Rs.55 and hence for my requirement I would have to pay Rs.110.  According to the offer, I will have to pay Rs.184 for the two litres of the juice because I really don’t need any other stuff now.  that works out to Rs.92 per litre and instead of being available at a discount, I am paying Rs.37 more on the MRP which works out to a whopping premium of 67%.  Didn’t make sense and so I gave it a go!!

Even without all these calculations (some people do not bother: They think they have got a deal and buy some worthless stuff for Rs.94 just to get the “discount” ), I think that it is a stupid promo.  Again allow me to explain.

Imho, a Promo should

Induce immediate action and not contemplation.  For example, if the offer is “pick up one bottle of maaza and get another @ 10/- less ” or “buy two litres of maaza for Rs.100 or even better @ Rs.99” then a person who wants to buy one litre may decide to take two.  This promo offer that I saw puts the shopper in a dilemma “what to pick so that i will get a discount” and if he wanted only one bottle, he will not use this offer at all. End of story.

It should be straight-forward and not convoluted.  This is a corollary of the first point and the examples quoted therein would apply here as well.  Alternatively, there could be an offer like “Buy a bottle of maaza and get 5/- off on lays chips” assuming that they both go together and are from the same company.

It should be really worth it.  As we saw from the above calculation, it isn’t really worth it to buy other stuff for Rs.94/- just Rs.20 off.

Marketers should decide whether they want to use promos to increase sales  or confuse customers, who will anyway vote by their wallets, if at all!!

The moral of the story (and the blog post as well):

KISS (Keep It Simple & Short)

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