When I was little, we lived in Hawaii for about 15 months. I loved it. Besides swimming every day and going to the beach, a favourite memory I have is visiting Baskin Robbins. They only have a dozen or so stores in the UK now, so you may not know about them. But they offer “31 Flavours” of ice cream. That has been their tagline forever. Well, since they were founded back in 1945.
I’ve only been to one of their stores since then, as they aren’t in my area. But I recently learned about an SMS marketing promotion they are doing. It’s a great example of taking something that you’re known for and making it even more special.
So their tag line is “31 flavours”. The intention behind that is you can have a different flavour every day of the month. I’m not sure how many customers they get coming in every day, but it’s still a great concept.
The thing is, not every month has 31 days right? But generally you can get any of their flavours at any time, so those seven months that have the extra day don’t get much notice. Until their SMS promotion that is.
Just so you know, the following marketing campaign is being run in the US. I haven’t been able to confirm if it’s in the UK too.
Here’s the concept:
Every 31st of a month, ice cream scoops only cost $1.31 (£1.03). See the “31” there? Now the normal cost is $2.79. That’s about a 53% saving when you stop in on the last day of the month.
But while 53% sounds like a great deal, using the actual monetary value is better. At least for this promotion. It ties directly into their slogan – their identity really – and what people associate with them.
Everyone who gets their SMS marketing message will remember not only the day the offer is valid but also how much it is. If they ran a 53% off sale, though, would customers remember when to go to the store? Of course, customers can just reference the message, but the point is that they won’t have to when the number 31 is all over it.
This offer is a regular promotion that will excite current customers to come in on these special days. Maybe it’s the only day they come in, or they come an extra day in each of the seven months with 31 days. How much money do you think they could make from such a simple offer? Doing some quick maths here: Thousands of customers x one extra scoop x 7 “31st” days a year = lots, and lots of money.
Part of the reason this SMS promotion works so well is because it plays on their iconic brand. It’s something people know and remember about them.
So think about your business. Is there something that can work similarly for you? Maybe it’s in your logo, slogan, or anything people associate with you (in a positive way of course).
It doesn’t have to relate to the calendar either. Maybe it has to do with weather, sports, or holidays. For example, what if London Fog (a retailer specialising in overcoats) sent out a promotion to Londoners on their list every time there was fog? Or they could do it for anyone when there’s fog in London.
Forget whether that would be a good idea or not, and let’s stick with the example. If they wanted to do such a promotion, SMS messaging would be the only practical way of doing it.
SMS is fast and customers could get the special deal on their mobiles before the fog even lifted. Even email couldn’t be guaranteed to deliver the messages faster. The offer could be front of mind while conditions existed that would make them want to take action on it.
I realise that’s an idealised situation. But it is another way a brand can play off of what they are known for based on their name. And to be clear, it is a completely fictional example I just made up. Don’t try to sign up for it at their website!
You don’t have to be a large, international corporation for it to work either. A pub known for awesome chips and supporting the local sports team could use the same approach every time the team plays. They could send the offer just before the start of a game with an offer for free chips with every pint (or vice versa) but only during the game.
You’ve probably considered all sorts of marketing like this when it comes to leveraging your brand. These examples hopefully show how easy it could be to take an offer and deliver it – based on some condition – using SMS messaging. The trick is finding a way of making it time sensitive, then sending it out to your SMS list to boost sales, attendance or anything else you’re promoting.
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