Friday, 11 May 2012

IKEA Invades; Coupons reinvented.

The economic downturn, credit crunch, depression... whatever you want to call it has had an effect on retailers the world over. One age old solution to this is couponing, a smart piece of thinking in itself. Rather than discounting everything (and risk giving a discount to those willing to pay full price) you are able to more specifically target those who would not buy without this discount.

Couponing is an extremely over-used and basic promotional technique almost always applied to fmcg products, as by their nature they are quick, disposable discounts.

IKEA Australia, an smcg company, looked at the over crowded couponing world and saw an opportunity to innovate...

So what is so special about IKEA calling their coupons rent cheques?

1.       By trading the rent cheques for space in your home they immediately seem more valuable than coupons given away for free.

2.    By making the process by which you receive these coupons memorable they achieve cut through in a very crowded market.

3.    Any stigma attached to the idea of using coupons is removed as A) this money off has been earned and B) they aren’t called coupons.

4.    The monthly process ties you in emotionally. A coupon is easy to throw away but 12 coupons earned across a year!?!?! A scandalous waste of money...

5.    The catalogue acts as a miniature advertisement in your house.

The real genius in this process is understanding people, more specifically how people buy furniture. We like to peruse all the options, think about it for a while and above all we are attracted to as big a discount as possible.

‘Rent cheques’ is a really smart piece of divergent thinking.

Put simply every month you are reminded that you are building up a big discount at IKEA whilst you look through the catalogue deciding what to spend it on.

By the end of this process I won’t just know what sofa I am buying, I’ll know the whole catalogue inside out.

PS. I can’t think of one other example of couponing worth talking about. Any suggestions?

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