Thursday, June 16, 2011
Coupon Recovery is Free
I took a lot of heat recently over a post on Groupons. Disclaimer: I don't care by the way, especially from those who want to take potshot commentary like: "you as a business person should know not to say things like that" or "by talking negatively about groupon folks, you will alienate business"...
First, its a blog, I have to hook people by calling it the way I see it. Appalling is a good thing if I am delivering my goodness correctly. The world is not homogeneous, neither is my expression. Unconventional is good when navigating the web, no? It is all in good fun.
Second, well, they are likely right, I should not be doing this. I should not alienate potential customers just because they have the expectation that, if they mine the papers and web for deals, they will get one up on the average consumer at the expense of the business who conforms to that which is not in their best interest. The other consumer, my ideal consumer, who purchases things at face value, cares about business in community and understands how hard it is to make it in a retail business. These...non-coupon people, perhaps, have more disposable income, but most are simply loyal customers who rarely balk at the cost of what is purveyed because there is value built in to the entire "performance" of the experience. Because they like the experience, the food, the culture, and the personality of the place. These value centers, by the way, are loaded in the cost of the check average. In case you didn't already know this.
OMG, small business is at the root of our community folks. If we don't patronize small business, it goes away. And with the current lending situation, the banks with piles of money counted and sorted and manicured and groomed and counted, and loved by smiling white shirt red tie suits who do nothing more than sell checking accounts (not making loans), well we are in trouble (please refer to paragraph 2)
To have the expectation that, in order to earn loyalty, small business needs to discount, is unsafe for the business owner. Group purchasing cultivators (tribe builders of educated and conditioned discount seekers) are centered on their own agenda. While encouraging small business to participate, the number of entitled patrons grows making it harder for the small business to justify selling anything at a break even, much less a profit. This, by the way, was the genious reference to Groupons people being like roving zombies. I thought this was most excellent. (paragraph 2 please)
I was at a concert in the park last night. My business participated in Ballwins Concert in the Park and they hired one of our house bands, Alvin Jett and Phat Noiz to play. I made that happen. As part of the deal, The Wolf was set up giving away wraps, and sliders, and chips and salads, promoting our business, getting involved in the community goodness through art and culture and business. its a great way to promote your business, btw. I enjoy doing it. In fact, we did it at Ballwin Days, we do it at the Short Track Races at Castlewood, we do it for numerous charity events around the city, we do it just about every month these food and beverage give aways. Just to promote the business while being a part of whatever community or whatever endeavor.
So when a real nice lady came up and asked me where the free coupons were while she was taking a pull off of one of those free blackbean sliders that my boy Lupo layed on her. I launched in to my rhetoric. Basically told her to read my blog.
Folks, I don't mean to ruffle any feathers. But you heard it here today. I will never, ever do another coupon again. I am officially off the grid when it comes to discounting through any type of coupon, groupon, Metromix, deal of the day, anything. It is unhealthy for my business, and it is unhealthy for the economy adn the overall general condition of the wold and the universe we live in. The fact that several businesses (groupon type businesses) are cultivating tribes of discount seekers, packs of one time hitters with a mission to get something for nothing, at the expense of the small business owner, is not healthy for the small business economy. I might as well call my business Wal-wolf.
Somebody needs to scream out the window "I am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!" I am OK being that dude.
Controversial? probably. Who wants to conform anyway? Ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.