Are you giving away enough?

At the grocery store today, I noticed an end cap with nylon first-aid kit bags.  The paperback-sized pouches were red, with a cross on them, and the manufacturers name: Johnson & Johnson.  The display was a little confusing so I looked further.  Turns out the bags were free, and empty of supplies, but filled with coupons for J&J products to stock them with.  Pretty good idea, right?  Give away the razor and then sell the blades.

It is in fact a good idea, but this one was executed improperly.  The display did not at all make clear what the bags were all about – no signage to explain them.  I also had to scan the bag at the check-out to discover that it was free (actually, one cent).  No wonder I had seen the same display there for weeks with so few bags moving.

So lesson number one: outsource all the elements of a program that make sense, but make sure that you insource – and hold someone accountable for – the total execution and delivery of it.  Clearly that didn’t happen here.

Lesson number two: What razor do you sell that you might give away?  We see this tried-and-true tactic used too infrequently, I think.  It applies perfectly to businesses that sell a product that uses consumables as well as the consumables.  But it also can be used by consumable-only sellers if they make a special run of the unit that uses (or in this case, houses) them.


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One Response to Are you giving away enough?

  1. Pingback: Great idea, poor execution | Value Acceleration

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