Working in marketing, particularly shopper marketing, means that sales are part of the lifeblood of our day-to-day lives.

The Xmas and January periods have become synonymous with sales. Over recent years we have seen the obligatory January sale period evolve into ‘pre Xmas, beat the rush’ ‘black Friday’, ‘cyber Monday’ – the list is endless it seems! However, despite the various ways that you can dress up a sale message nothing beats the good old red flash of a HALF PRICE SALE.

With the constant sale melee a consumer faces throughout the entire year, do the sales still prove to be as motivating when shopping? As we continue through one of the busiest shopping periods of the year and into the infamous January sales we thought it would be interesting to take a look into this.

Branded Sales

At The Behaviours Agency, we firmly believe in seamless shopper thinking. As such, a brands sale, whilst it needs to drive urgency and action must feel part of the brand itself. It’s simply another channel and platform for the brand to communicate. Brands that do this particularly well are SELFRIDGES, their infamous lines of ‘it found me’ attached to promotional point of sale instantly sprinkle the Selfridges essence and personality onto what could be seen as a basic and functional piece of promotion.

Saying No To Sales

We are starting to see some brands ignoring the status quo of entering January sale. Brands that are proud to not follow the trend and use an ‘anti-sale’ message to promote their brand during some of the busiest times of the year. A brave move – or simply foolish, only results will tell. However it does highlight that consumers are losing faith and trust in the credibility of large discount sales.

Consumer Confidence

Recent news from Watchdog Which? Exposed major electrical retailers including John Lewis and Currys for advertising mis-leading sales finding a number of them to be false or simply non-existent. When questioned by the Watchdog, almost a third of shoppers said they had bought a product only because it was on special offer, while 41% said they waited for offers before buying items. It has also advised shoppers to ignore the tempting lure of a sale or promotion and seek out the product cheaper elsewhere. But it seems despite government legislation and various protocalls some retailers are still able to flex the rules to attract the discount savvy shopper.

It will be interesting to see the various approaches retailers take in their shopper marketing over the next couple of months. From high discounters, to anti sale, burst promotion and trade ins, the mechanics that a brand has at its disposal are multiple, let the games commence!

Helen Priestley

Account Manager