Carrots consumers deserve

Carrots consumers deserve

Michael Killeen

The Irish consumer has been ripped off for the past decade and would appreciate some payback. I'm personally looking for companies to recognise my past loyalty. I want them to appreciate that these tough times are hurting me and show that they are willing to help me get through them. I'm open to value but no catches please. The nation is almost paranoid about a good offer. If there's a catch, you're going to lose me for ever.

While in New York recently, I came across a taxi offer and realised that nothing in the short term beats a juicy carrot. Today more than ever before, we are receptive to creative offers. Gyms use them, telcos use them, airlines use them…Even taxi firms use them.

Taxmobil in New York offers customers unlimited taxi use for a €48 monthly fee based on a quarterly commitment. Imagine getting around town for less than €50 per month. Where do I sign? Wait till 100 close pals get word of this extra-special offer.

The truth is this offer replaces the company's whole acquisition strategy. They are relying on word of mouth to drive further new business while locking in their loyal customers at the same time. As we all know well, Ireland loves to tell a good news story, so here goes.

When times are tough our attitude determines our success or failure. Success in every market is totally dependent on attitude. If you want to fail, get a negative attitude and you can pretty much guarantee failure. Work on staying upbeat and positive. Customers have enough doom and gloom thrown at them from the media. They don't want it from their favorite brands too. With that in mind here are some carrots that will open wallets.

Golf courses are shutting down in Ireland for the first time in living history. Insight: Only 30 per cent of golfers have handicaps. So here's the offer. Get your official handicap for €150 (that's three games, folks) and then sign up for membership without a joining fee and pay a flat fee of €50 per game. People will be queuing up to sign.

Charities prefer monthly rather than once-off donations to allow for better planning. Insight: How can they reduce churn when donors are tightening their belts? Offer: We appreciate your commitment and recognise you may have your own financial pressures. To help in tough times, pick a month to take a break and pay 11 instalments, not 12.

Home entertainment thrives during down times. Insight: Like to smack the counter geek when he tells you owe him €9 for late fees? Offer: A get out of jail card from Xtra-vision for every four dvds hired. Forget to return, and you don't have to smack the geek.

Concert promoters want their money up front to help manage their own risks. Insight: The ticket fee alone would get me into a concert in most countries. Offer: Guarantee your tickets today and get billed the week before the concert not one year in advance.

Tesco/Dunnes: Men sometimes forget a shopping bag – because they are men. Insight: Multiples are making profit on the environment and that's not green with me. Offer: Free multi-use bags if you are a good but forgetful customer.

The car industry is hurting, no need to say more. Insight: Second hand cars are rusting in car lots across the country and biting into cash flow. Offer: Dealers run old-fashioned cash auctions where the deal will be absolutely authentic.

The pub: Yes, no denying we love our Friday night snifter. Insight: It's time for publicans, brewers and government to lock themselves behind closed doors and deliver a decent priced pint so we can get in and out on Friday for a tenner. Offer: The €3 pint

Banks: My bank doesn't know me well enough to offer me relevant financial advice.

Insight: Now more than ever before I'm looking for honest financial maturity.

Offer: The bank will remove their credit card interest charges if I agree to share information and attend a financial audit to help me with my financial planning.

Sidebar: None of the offers discussed revert to selling at below cost. There are no winners in a price war. Consider offer mechanics such as providing cheaper entry level products; increasing performance or durability or provide alternative payment options. We don't have to resort to discounting to appeal to cash-strapped consumers.

It can take along time to build a confident, quality brand and a minute to blow it. Yes, while the above are admittedly quick fix solutions they can and should be used as the start of a longer term solid relationship. Dig up them carrots.


€3 pint

‘It's time for publicans, brewers and government to deliver a decent priced pint' – Michael Killeen

‘It's time for publicans, brewers and government to deliver a decent priced pint' – Michael Killeen

Michael Killeen ( is managing director of Dialogue Marketing

Share with friends:

Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy