“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”
I continue to be amazed at the number of vendors and store owners who believe that discounting is a viable economic model to grow your business. Clearly, seasonal sales promotions are often used as a carrot to draw people to your brand, but “serial discounting” is a sure recipe for business failure.
As I have written on numerous occasions for the Stationers Guild, “If you sincerely want to trash your brand and reputation, there is no better way to do so than “serial discounting.” Unfortunately, large printing companies that have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to position their brand in the market are now recklessly dragging their good name through the dustbin of insipid designs that have long ago lost their luster.
I suspect that the Internet – with it vast repository of truly tasteless designs and Jersey Shore hype – has led corporate bean-counters to recommend to cut quality and lower prices to compete. This might be a useful strategy if you are prepared to become the low-cost producer and drive everyone out of business, but most quality printing companies cannot do so.
Let’s face it, there are 4 million search results for the term “cheap wedding invitations.” Dominating the top search results are two of my favorite discount printers: 123print.com and weddingpaperdivas.com, whose parent company, Tiny Prints is now owned by Shutterfly. Now if you are considering discounting, take a hard look in the mirror before trading in your brand for print quality and papers of low cost industrial producers like Shutterfly and VistaPrint. Those fellows will eat your lunch.
This message was brought home to me once again by a fascinating note from Lee Collins, Managing Director of StomperNet entitled “Discounting Yourself Out of Business.” In this blog, Lee Collins introduces Michelle Chance-Santhong who explains with glaring simplicity why serial discounting can be hazardous to the health of your business.
Now most of you have probably never heard of StomperNet, but it is the premier learning center for anyone who truly wants to make a living on the Internet. StomperNet members and faculty are professionals and I take their advice very seriously.