blog banner

Good “Clean” Marketing Fun

fbc.jpgHere's a great example of good marketing (and a company that's not confused about "getting it's name out there").

My wife received an invitation to come in to Bath & Body Works and pick out 5 hand soaps for $10. B&BW pretty much has the exclusive on soap in my house, so she excitedly hurried down to the store after work yesterday.

When she arrived, they showed her some new scents of soaps - one she really liked...Cherry Blossom, I think.

Well, go figure, that new scent didn't fall into the category for the 5 for $10. No problem, though. Even though this soap is marked $9, you can package it with the others you've chosen for only $15. My wife comes home feeling like a champ, proudly displaying her new scented soaps, and announces that she was able to wrap a $9 bottle of soap in with these others and get 5 for just $15. Wow!

I thought to myself, "Who would ever believe we would buy $15 worth of soap at one time, and come home feeling like we got a great deal?"

It's amazing, isn't it? You can buy a brick of 12 bars of Dial soap for less than $2 at Wal-Mart. You can buy a 64 oz refill bottle of Dial hand soap for a little more. That would last a year or two at my house. In fact, many people might price shop that brick of soap. Target, Wal-Mart, Winn Dixie - who sells it for less?

But B&BW has removed itself from the soap business. They don't sell soap. They sell experience. They sell a show. They sell you the ability to wash your hands and feel like a bigshot or a princess. They sell you the excitement of smelling new and exotic scents in your own bathroom. In that context, 5 for $15 is a bargain!

Now, is this soap any better than Dial? I don't know...I can't say. Maybe, maybe not. Is it 7 times as good? Likely not. But they have shown it doesn't matter.

The other thing at work here is the offer itself. This mailer didn't just show the product and display the name of the 011047.jpgcompany and say "Buy me!" or "Come in!" or "We're the best" or "Great customer service!". Nor did this mailer even discuss the "experience" I mentioned above. This was a mailer to existing customers - it didn't really need to. Nay, this mailer focused on one thing: the offer -5 for $10.

Many people would be scared to make an offer like that. Many people would prefer to "get their name out." If this mail piece wasted its time "getting the name out" it would have been speaking only to the trash can lid. But an offer as strong as this one STOPPED MY WIFE DEAD IN HER TRACKS. (Insert tires screeching.)

So there we are - back to the fact that $10 for soap is a great offer. See how cyclical it is? See how one depends on the other?

The experience speaks for itself. There's little need to say it out loud or on paper. People probably wouldn't believe it anyway.

But the offer is real and believable and specific. It speaks for the sale. The offer is what makes the ad work - and the experience is what makes the offer work.

Make sense?

OK - Million dollar question. What should the mailer to non-customers say? Ah ha...good question. I have two answers, but would love to hear your ideas.

Mine are these:

  1. "Free Soap Sampler Pack Just For Visiting"
  2. Don't send mail to non-customers for an item this cheap - unless you're certain you can get that customer back again and again and again.