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  • Emilie Heaney

How to give discounts without cheapening your brand


Whether you have stock you need to get moving or you just want to entice more customers to buy, discounts are a great way to meet your sales goals this month. However, some brands worry about the effect discounts can have on their brand image. We’ve put together our guide to giving discounts, complete with crucial do’s and don’ts for marketing your offers.

Read on to find out how to give discounts, without cheapening your brand.

Offer fewer but bigger discounts

The first trick to bear in mind if you’re worried about damaging your brand image is not to offer constant discounts. A steady stream of discount offers can have the effect of reducing the value of your products. It also lessens the impact of your discounts - customers are less likely to buy from you if they know there will be another sale next week.

To make the most of the discounts you give, try reducing the frequency of discounts but increasing the reductions you offer. This will encourage customers to act quickly, especially if you include an end date in the offer. This is one way to help you get the results you want!

Consider giving loyalty discounts

Another great way to offer discounts without cheapening your brand is to give loyalty discounts to select customers. You can reward customers who have shopped with you before by sending them a one-time discount code via email or give them the opportunity to buy a new product at a lower price before everyone else. This can help to motivate your existing customers to buy from you again and not reduce the value of the product in the eyes of new customers. It also reduces the tendency of driving price-driven shoppers to buy your products and instead helps to build up your following of loyal customers.

You might like to offer different stages of discounts for different types of customers, such as providing offers to customers after a certain number of purchases. Make sure you emphasise your appreciation for their loyalty to your brand, rather than focussing on the drop in price. Similarly, you could also choose to offer milestone discounts where customers receive a personalised offer on their birthday or anniversary.

Don’t forget to market your products

However you’re giving discounts to your customers, remember to emphasise the value of the products. You should aim to increase the perceived value of your products in the eyes of your customers, so that the discount has an even bigger effect. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and try to frame this as a must-have opportunity. What makes your products different to your competition? Why are you proud of what you have to offer? Translate this into your marketing and you should see bigger returns.

Keep your offers simple

Similarly, when it comes to giving discounts, simplicity is key. Keep your marketing brief and to the point, whether that’s in a banner on your website or when publicising through your social media channels. There’s no need to overcomplicate the discounts you’re giving - if you’re offering 10% off plus free delivery, you don’t need to add extra layers of discounts on top of that. If you keep it simple, it’s easier for customers to understand what’s on offer and act as soon as they see the announcement.

Choose your products carefully

If you’re opting for a sale or a discount that’s open to everyone, take care to only choose products that you need to move. Don’t mark down new products that you’ve just released or items that are already selling well at full price. By only discounting less popular products, you reduce the danger of cheapening your brand in the eyes of consumers.

You can also emphasise that the discount is a limited time offer or ‘while stocks last’ to motivate people to act now. This also helps to make your discount seem like a more exclusive deal that doesn’t come around too often, helping to preserve your brand image.

Utilise calls to action

Once you’ve decided on the discounts you are offering and to whom, you should aim to make it as easy as possible for people to act by adding calls to action and direct links. Link your discount message directly to the sales page and include buttons and clickable banners that take your customers right to where they need to be. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for customers to make the purchase immediately, utilising that instant ‘I must buy that’ reaction that your offer creates.

By increasing the visibility of the offer and the ease with which customers can make a purchase, you will increase the conversions of people coming to your site and buying your products. You should be aiming to make your conversion numbers as high as possible and the best way to do that is through plenty of calls to action - keep it brief and target your words to your ideal audience.

Offering discounts is easy with the right words

Discounts aren’t as daunting as they might seem at first glance. You can easily offer your customers discounts, without the risk of cheapening your brand, if you frame them in the right way. Consider the words and phrases that your target audience is looking out for and think about what will entice them to buy. This will not be the same for every business and even for every product so find what works best for you.

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